Entrepreneur Of The Year Australia™

2019 Winners

Nominations now open for 2020!

Nominate online

Lex Greensill

Congratulations to Lex Greensill,

2019 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year

Find Out More

Meet our Australian National category winners for 2019, a stellar group of unstoppables on the path to transforming our world. 

  • 2019 National category winners

    Lex Greensill, Greensill

    2019 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year

    2019 Emerging Male


    Hana Krawchuk, Love to Dream

    2019 Emerging Female


    Didier Elzinga, Culture Amp

    2019 Disruptor


    Angus Kennard, Kennard

    2019 Sustained Excellence


    Mark Sullivan, Medicines Development for Global Health

    2019 Social Entrepreneur

Congratulations to our regional Australian finalists

There are a lot of successful people in the world. But to build something truly remarkable, you can’t let anything stand in your way. Only a few leaders are part of this special group: the ones who never give up. Driven by their desire to better the world around them, they stop at nothing to achieve their greatest ambitions. They cut through the noise of this transformative age by breaking away from the pack — and then end up leading it.

  • Social: Daniel Morrison

    Daniel Morrison

    Wungening Aboriginal Corporation

    When Daniel Morrison became CEO of the Perth-based Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Service in 2010, he launched a transformation that expanded the not-for-profit organisation, offering new services and tripling its reach. A new name – the Wungening Aboriginal Corporation – was chosen, using the Noongar word for “healing”. Today, Wungening provides family support services, youth and adult programs, and manages four prison family visitor centres and a refuge for women and children. The organisation has expanded to nine locations across Western Australia, with 189 employees, 70 per cent of them having an Aboriginal background. During Daniel’s tenure, the number of people who receive Wungening services has grown from 500 to 1,540 per year. A proud Noongar/Yamatji man, Daniel received the NAIDOC Outstanding Achiever award in 2016 and was a recipient of a Business News 40under40 award in 2018.

  • Emerging Female: Iris Smit

    Iris Smit

    The Quick Flick

    When Iris Smit struggled to get the “winged eyeliner” look she liked, she decided to create her own solution. Iris designed a unique eyeliner tool that completely revolutionised the beauty industry by combining a wing stamp with a felt tip eyeliner pen. Iris developed the product while she was at university studying Interior Architecture, investing around $10,000 of her own savings. Only 14 months after launching, The Quick Flick was stocked in 450 Priceline stores nationwide and had expanded into the US, UK, Europe and Middle East markets. Two years later, and following a $300,000 investment offer from Shark Tank investor Andrew Banks, her company now has 250,000 customers worldwide. Following her appearance on the Shark Tank, increased demand for her product meant Iris no longer needed immediate investment and subsequently turned down Banks’ offer. At the time, the company had sold already $310,000 worth of eyeliner after only 3 months of trading. Now valued at $10 million, The Quick Flick has six full-time staff with others located across the globe.

  • Emerging Male: Mike Pivac & Mark Pivac

    Mike Pivac/Mark Pivac

    FBR Limited

    A truck-mounted robot named Hadrian X, has built a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in less than three days– an indication that “the future of homebuilding” has already arrived. Pallets of blocks are loaded in the back of the truck, where the robot automatically dehacks them, cuts them to size where required, transports them through a 25-metre boom, applies adhesive, and places them with precision, laying course by course according to a 3D CAD model. The robot can lay a block every 20 to 30 seconds and has the potential to build up to 300 homes a year. The robot can lay a block every 20 to 30 seconds and has the potential to build up to 300 homes a year. Hadrian X is primarily the invention of Mark Pivac, an aeronautical and mechanical engineer, who founded FBR with his cousin Mike. Based in Perth, the company has partnered this year with block producer Brickworks, in a joint venture called Fastbrick Australia. FBR has a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to build 50,000 homes in the Kingdom by 2022.

  • Disruptor: James Symons

    James Symons

    PC Locs/LocknCharge

    James Symons joined PC Locs soon after his school teacher father started the business in Perth twenty years ago. His father had designed a system which locked computer devices to desks in order to reduce the high theft levels of school property that was occurring. Around 40 computers were being stolen from Perth schools every night and James saw the potential to turn the idea into a successful business. After running sales and marketing for the business, James took over as general manager in 2006. Leaving its “backyard shed” beginnings behind, the business now has nine offices, employing 100 staff across four continents and sells products into more than 20 countries. Trading under the LocknCharge brand, the international offices contribute more than 80 per cent of the company’s revenue. With innovation at its core, the company recently launched its new consumer brand, TechDen, which is the first product to combine software with hardware to teach kids positive habits for using their devices.

  • Sustained Excellence: Pat Tallon & Jim Fitzgerald

    Pat Tallon/Jim Fitzgerald

    Civmec Construction and Engineering

    In 2009, a decline in the Australian manufacturing industry saw an increasing number of projects moving overseas. Jim Fitzgerald and Pat Tallon, saw this downturn as an opportunity. With a vision to build a multi-disciplined organisation, Jim and Pat joined forces to start Civmec, a construction and heavy engineering company. In 2010, Civmec commenced its first fabrication project from its new state-of-the-art facility at the Australian Marine Complex. In its formative years, Civmec achieved significant year-on-year growth, through involvement with numerous resource construction projects in WA’s north-west. In 2012, the company listed on the Singapore Exchange, and achieved a dual-listing on the ASX in 2018. With more than 2,500 employees, Civmec continues to invest in training and development, including more than 60 apprentices. Civmec has worked on some of Australia’s most prestigious projects, including the Gorgon, Wheatstone and Ichthys LNG projects and the Elizabeth Quay, Perth Stadium and Matagarup Bridge projects. Civmec has recently won a major contract to deliver the Offshore Patrol Vessel program for the Royal Australian Navy.

  • Champion: Nick Tana

    Nick Tana

    Sumich Group

    In his 50 years in business, Nick Tana has kept Australians fed, housed and entertained through a variety of ventures. Today, Mr Tana is the owner of horticultural exporter, Sumich, but has also been a fast food pioneer, a property developer and the founder of the Perth Glory football club. Mr Tana launched his first vegetable business while still at school and then, after finishing National Service in the 1970s, spent four years establishing four Chicken Fries takeaway stores in Perth.

    He later launched Big Rooster in Brisbane and teamed up with Frank Romano's Chicken Treat to start a new fast food company – Australian Fast Foods –creating a chain of 140 restaurants. After buying the Red Rooster chain from Coles Myer, Mr Tana exited the fast food industry in 2007. This left Mr Tana with his vegetable business, the Sumich Group, which is now Australia’s largest exporter of horticultural products.  In 1995, Mr Tana created the Perth Glory Soccer Club and was instrumental in the $120m redevelopment of Perth Oval by the State Government.

  • Social: Alison Covington

    Alison Covington


    Alison Covington stepped away from a successful corporate career to bring the matchmaking charity Good360 to Australia. Good360 connects companies’ surplus brand new goods to Not for Profits and eligible schools helping to lift up Australians who need them most. The former managing director of a transport company, Ms Covington launched the charity in 2015, bringing to Australia the Good360 model which has operated in the US for 30 years. Good360 Australia has now distributed over 8 million new items, worth more than $85 million, and has created a network of more than 1,200 Not for Profits and schools and more than 100 donating businesses, including BIG W, L’Oréal, LEGO, Woolworths and LUSH. The charity aims to donate $1 billion worth of brand new goods by 2025.

  • Emerging Female: Hana Krawchuk

    Hana Krawchuk

    Love To Dream

    Few things are as exhausting as a baby who doesn't sleep, however, Hana-Lia Krawchuk’s challenges in getting her baby boy Elijah to sleep longer than 45 minutes at a time, was the catalyst to develop an easier and safer way to swaddle. Hana-Lia invented a unique sleep solution which is now patented and available in 45 countries.

    Hana invented the SWADDLE UP™, a unique swaddle which allows babies to be effectively swaddled with their arms up – a more natural sleep position, allowing them to put hands to mouth and self-soothe through sucking.

    Fast forward ten years and Love To Dream has helped millions of familes achieve more sleep. The company now offers a Newborn to Toddler 3 Stage Sleep System offering a range of sleep solutions from birth to four years.

  • Emerging Male: Matthew Wilson

    Matthew Wilson


    As a cybersecurity company, Penten tends to stay out of the limelight, however all that changed when it won a prestigious business award last year. The Canberra-based company took out the Telstra Australian Business of the Year award for its work supplying secure wireless devices to the army and other government agencies, changing the way they share classified information. Penten's AltoCrypt provides secure access to classified information over Wi-Fi, supporting clients in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand. CEO Matthew Wilson and his three co-founders started Penten four years ago and have grown it to a staff of more than 70 people and turnover of more than $13 million. Mr Wilson is on the boards of UK cyber security firm Amiosec, pro-cycling analytics firm Today’s Plan, and is leading the creation of an Australian cyber security industry group.

  • Disruptor: Emma Weston

    Emma Weston


    The three co-founders of AgriDigital started the venture by considering what emerging technologies could be used to solve age-old problems in agriculture – the least digitised industry in the world. The idea they seized upon was to use digitise the grain supply chain and use blockchain in supply chain tracking, to help farmers, traders and elevators buy, sell, store and finance grain. Led by co-founder and CEO, Emma Weston, the AgriDigital platform is now used in more than 30 countries and has more than 11,000 users. Around 7.3 million tonnes of grain has been transacted over the cloud-based platform since its launch in August 2017, involving $1.4 billion in value. Blockchain enables a new way of storing data by allowing users to transfer value or assets between themselves, without the need for intermediaries. These transactions are stored in a ledger that is shared by all participants in the blockchain network, providing all users access to necessary data. The technology builds an effective and accurate audit trail, eliminating fraudulent transactions, tracking provenance, and allowing instant payments.

  • Sustained Excellence:Angus Kennard

    Angus Kennard

    Kennards Hire

    When Angus (Gus) Kennard was appointed CEO of Kennards Hire – the company established by his grandfather – he had already made his mark as a successful entrepreneur. Before putting his hand up for the job, he co-founded Kennards Concrete Care specialist business in 2007, which was sold to Kennards Hire in 2012 and now has eight branches in Australia and New Zealand. Mr Kennard has spent more than 20 years working in the company, starting as a young recruit, in the branch network after attaining a Business degree and working in sales for other companies. Today, the business has 180 branches and more than 1,700 employees in Australia and New Zealand. Recent technology initiatives include a fully transactional online hire website, EasyTRAK, an IOT telemetry platform, and the Network of the Future, all of which lead to an enhanced customer experience.

  • Champion: Len Ainsworth

    Len Ainsworth

    Aristocrat Leisure

    Leonard Hastings Ainsworth was born in Kempsey, NSW in 1923.

    After completing his education at Barker College and Sydney Grammar school, he joined his father in his backyard business, manufacturing dental products that had never been previously made in Australia.

    His creative nature later led to the design and manufacturing of gaming machines, which transformed into the founding of Aristocrat Leisure in 1953. In 1994 he was inducted into the Australian Gaming Hall of Fame, before stepping aside later that same year after a cancer scare.

    The following year, at the age of 72, he started a similar company, Ainsworth Game Technology. With which he continued to pioneer major design and technological innovations in gaming machines until selling the company in 2016.

    In 2018, Len was honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his service to business and manufacturing as well as service to the community through philanthropic contributions to medical research, support of hospitals and universities. In particular, Mr Ainsworth is interested in research into dendritic cells that control the body's immune system as well as research into combating children's illnesses.

    Today at 96 years young, Len can still be found in the office 5 days a week, but his focus is now on his storage company, where he is currently establishing multiple storage businesses throughout the state.

    He has also joined Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett's campaign, The Giving Pledge, which aims to see the world’s wealthiest people pledging to give away much of their fortune to worthy causes.

  • Social: Paul Edginton

    Paul Edginton


    Paul Edginton expected to spend a year at youth services provider, SYC, in Adelaide. Seventeen years later, he is still there. Back when he joined in 2002, SYC worked with 2,000 clients, had a revenue of around $7 million and fewer than 100 employees. Today, more than 61,000 clients are supported annually, with a revenue of $68 million and 580 staff. The organisation has also embraced innovation: last year, SYC developed an employment program for young people (The Sticking Together Project), which became the first social impact bond in Australia to address youth unemployment. The bond sale raised $5 million from 33 investors to help fund a four-year program that aims to provide investors returns as high as 12.4 per cent per year. The Sticking Together Project will work with more than 800 young people who have high barriers to employment, such as a disability or mental health challenges, a criminal conviction or lack of a permanent home.

  • Emerging Female: Taryn Brumfitt

    Taryn Brumfitt

    Body Image Movement

    Taryn Brumfitt started the Body Image Movement to counter the self-loathing many people experience when they compare their bodies with the beauty ideals demonstrated in social media and advertising. A non-traditional ‘before and after’ photo she posted on Facebookto encourage friends who were struggling with their body image went “viral” and led to hundreds of media interviews around the world. She gave up her photography business to make a documentary about body acceptance, called Embrace, raising $331,000 through a Kickstarter campaign. Embrace became Australia’s most successful crowdfunded documentary, backed by 8,909 people. The Body Image Movement spreads the message that everyone has the right to love and embrace their body, regardless of shape, size, ethnicity or ability.

  • Emerging Male: Theo Kristoris

    Theo Kristoris

    Leader Computers

    Theo Kristoris started Leader as a university student, having identified a gap in the market for modems at a time when the internet was beginning its explosive growth. He used his savings to finance the first batch of 50 Discovery modems and stored them in his bedroom. Mr Kristoris says he gained an early understanding of the importance of maintaining close customer relationships, understanding the needs of the market and resellers, while offering them fast customer service. Twenty-three years on and headquartered in Adelaide, Leader employs more than 170 employees across Australia and has achieved significant growth in the past five years, with a national expansion and growth plans. Leader Computers claims to be Australia’s largest privately-owned IT distributor and PC manufacturer. It distributes Leader-branded PCs, notebooks, tablets and white box computer hardware and is trade-only.

  • Disruptor: Martin Perelman

    Martin Perelman

    SILK Laser Clinics

    It is ten years since Martin Perelman and his partners opened their first laser hair removal clinic in Adelaide. Today, there are over 50 stores across the country, employing close to 500 staff. SILK Laser Clinics in Hyde Park with two staff and a small amount of capital. The company's expansion has been from a mix of organic growth and acquisitions. It has also created a skincare brand and acquired another skin care business, Aesthetics Rx. Mr Perelman worked with the Western Australian Government to create new legislation in 2018, allowing medical grade lasers to be used by trained beauty therapists opening up the WA market to the industry. Australian private equity firm, Advent Partners, bought a 67 per cent stake to the company in January, last year, in a deal valuing it between $50 million and $100 million.

  • Sustained Excellence: Stefan Ahrens

    Stefan Ahrens

    Ahrens Group

    Stefan Ahrens has had a busy year, buying up a series of companies to become Australia’s largest provider of rural infrastructure – including silos, sheds and water tanks. Last year, the company took its first step towards global expansion with the acquisition of US distribution and installation business Acer Water Tanks. This was followed up with the purchase of fourth-generation family business Cowell Electric, which was to help broaden the company’s operations at Olympic Dam. In February, this year, Ahrens announced it had taken over Pentair’s Australian tanks and windmills divisions, including Southern Cross Tanks and Windmills, Encon Modular Tanks and Australian Panel Tanks. This gave the company tank-manufacturing bases on both the east and west coast. The strategy behind those acquisitions was to develop the company’s “vertical integration”– to have its own divisions in design, fabrication, civil, electrical, joinery, transport and site installation. The group now employs 1000 people across all states of Australia and in the US and Vietnam. 

  • Champion: Ulrike Klein

    Ulrike Klein

    Ulrike Klein co-founded skincare Jurlique in the Adelaide Hills 34 years ago and stepping away from the business, when it was sold in 2004, did not dull her entrepreneurial spirit. Over the past 15 years, she has pursued her love of music by developing and funding the environmentally-sustainable UKARIA Cultural Centre – a music venue just outside Mount Barker which opened in 2015. Her Klein Family Foundation established the Guadagnini Quartet Project – a $6 million campaign to acquire a quartet of instruments by master luthier JB Guadagnini.  Ms Klein donated 50 per cent of the purchase price with the remainder to come from public and philanthropic donations. The instruments are now on loan to Adelaide’s Australian String Quartet. Ms Klein is also a director of the Adelaide Festival. The Kleins founded Jurlique in 1983 and, over a decade, the company grew to employ more than 200 people across Australia, with more than 30 retail outlets, and exports to 18 countries.

  • Emerging Female: Danielle Lewis

    Danielle Lewis


    The world of “influencer marketing” is mystifying for many people. How can you tell if someone is a mere wannabe or whether an investment in them will pay off? To answer these questions, Danielle Lewis built a platform to connect companies with influencers who are right for their brands and have a demonstrated ability to increase sales. Danielle co-founded Scrunch, a Brisbane-based company with Salvatore Garozzo in 2014, raising $3 million in capital. Scrunch’s products include a software platform to connect 20 million influencers to brands and agencies globally, a people intelligence engine to draw insights from first-party customer data, and digital resources for influencers to help them grow their businesses.

  • Emerging Male: Lex Greensill

    Lex Greensill


    Lex Greensill, CBE, founder and CEO of Greensill, has devised solutions that give companies greater access to working capital. He spent his early life on his family's sugar cane farm in Queensland, where he learned first-hand how a business can be made or broken by the supply chains to which it belongs. Greensill, the company he founded in 2011, uses the power of financial markets to unlock capital on terms that fit the precise requirements of its clients, from 20 days to 20 years and beyond. The company has become a world leader in working capital finance, with more than $60 billion extended to more than 8 million customers in more than 165 countries. Greensill owns a bank, based in Bremen, Germany, and has more than $6 billion of assets under management. The company is growing at around 300 per cent per year and has offices in London, New York, Chicago, Miami, Frankfurt, Bremen and Sydney.

  • Disrupter: Rob and Krista Watkins

    Rob and Krista Watkins

    Natural Evolution Foods

    Krista and Rob Watkins became accidental waste warriors when their truck ran over a handful of dried green bananas on their property at Walkamin, in Far North Queensland. The bananas exploded into a powder and the couple started experimenting with its use as a flour substitute and supplement for gut health. Testing showed it was jam-packed with resistant starch - a fermentable fibre that supports good gut bacteria. Natural Evolution Foods launched in 2015 and the couple has patented a process that can convert any fruit or vegetable to powder in just 10 minutes. Their new business is a boon for other growers who are now being paid for their waste. The product range has now been extended to sweet potato flour, nutritional supplements, beauty products, healing ointments and animal feed.

  • Sustained Excellence: John O’Hara, Simon Hall and Robert Antonio

    John O’Hara, Simon Hall and Robert Antonio

    Sunny Queen Farms

    Sunny Queen Farms in its various forms has been serving eggs to families across Australia for more than 80 years. In fact, in 2019, the brand “Sunny Queen” turns 50 years old. Sunny Queen produces, markets and distributes eggs and egg-based value-added products.

    Following the deregulation of the egg market in 1994, the former marketing board became a farmer owned unlisted public company called Sunny Queen Ltd. Over the years since then, smaller famers sold their interests to the Hall and McLean families and in March 2003, Sunny Queen was totally privatised by the two farming families.

    Hall and McLean families operate a number of large farms on the Darling Downs and supply all their eggs to Sunny Queen, which is supplemented by several other farmers scattered across Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

    Sunny Queen Farms now supplies about 20% of the Australian market and is the number one branded egg in supermarkets. John O’Hara is the MD/CEO of Sunny Queen Farms and has been in the CEO for over 17 years.

    Simon Hall and his brother Roger are partners with the six McLean siblings in Sunny Queen as well as the Sunpork group and Swickers Kingaroy Abattoir. The families also have other joint and separate businesses in and around agriculture. Robert Antonio has been with McLean’s for over 40 years and with over 20 as the CEO. Robert and Simon work very closely together on their joint business interests. He is married to one of the McLean family siblings. Combined, the families employ over 400 staff across their poultry business on the Darling Downs.

    When John, Robert and Simon joined forces they were determined to grow the Sunny Queen business into one of the major, if not major, forces in the Australian egg industry. They set about changing their approach to the market moving from a reactive and production driven business to a proactive market leading business focusing on customers and consumers.

    Sunny Queen is based at Carole Park and has grown to employ over140 people (up from 20 in 2003). The group produces over 80 million dozen eggs across cage, barn (cage free), organic and free-range systems (up from 36 million dozen in 2003).

    In 2006, Sunny Queen decided to broaden its business base to include value added egg-based products to its portfolio. This part of the business started out in a sub-leased 400 square metre facility on the Gold Coast manufacturing omelets with no customers. In 2015, the company invested in a $40 million state of the art manufacturing and distribution facility at Carole Park.

    It is there that Sunny Queen now manufactures omelets, poached eggs, fritters, frittatas and french toast for customers in catering, fast food, health and aged care, airlines and wholesale customers and export.

    Sunny Queen’s turnover is now in excess of $350 million up from $56 million in 2003 with over 95% through organic business growth.

  • Champion: Dr Glen Richards

    Dr Glen Richards

    The Richards Group

    When Glen Richards told his father that he was thinking of becoming an accountant, Mr Richards senior, a sheep and cattle farmer, suggested he might do something more useful, such as becoming a vet. Dr Richards took his father’s advice and, with that interest in business, grew his first Townsville vet practice into a pet care retail empire that, 24 years later, includes 200 veterinary businesses. Now known as Greencross, that company also has more than 300 pet stores operating under the brand names Petbarn and City Farmers in Australia and Animates in New Zealand. Greencross was acquired by TPG in February. Since moving from an executive role in 2014, Dr Richards spends his time as a professional investor, mentor, and director of a number of private and ASX-listed companies. His board roles include being chairman of Healthia and People Infrastructure and a non-executive director of Regeneus.

  • Social: Mark Sullivan

    Mark Sullivan

    Medicines Development for Global Health

    For more than 13 years, Mark Sullivan has been working to make medicines available to millions of the world’s most disadvantaged people – regardless of their ability to pay. MDGH, the not-for-profit biopharmaceutical company he founded in 2005, develops medicines based on public health needs, rather than commercial opportunity. MDGH was the first Australian company to receive FDA approval for a novel drug and the first not-for-profit in history to achieve this milestone. Moxidectin is a new treatment for river blindness – a debilitating illness affecting 16 million people in sub-Saharan Africa – and is the first new treatment for this disease in the past 30 years. It has the potential to accelerate elimination of this disease. Mr Sullivan’s business model has been praised as an exciting new way to develop, register and deliver medicines for neglected diseases, providing a model for other biopharmaceutical companies to become involved. MDGH will continue to develop and deliver new medicines and vaccines for other neglected diseases, such as scabies.

  • Emerging Female: Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen

    Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen

    Two Birds Brewing

    The co-founders of Two Birds Brewing spent 18 months travelling the beer festivals of Australia and – while some people may call that “work” with a wink and a nod – in the case of Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen, that was the truth. The two West Australians launched their own beer brand in 2011 and were building support at every tasting event they could get to. Two Birds Brewing was the first female owned beer brewing company in Australia, with Ms Lewis the Brewer and Ms Allen the Marketer and Operations Leader. Starting on equipment used by others, the founders opened their own brewery and base in Spotswood, Melbourne in 2014, naming it “The Nest”. The Two Birds product line has grown to include a broad range of beers in bottles, cans and kegs available in pubs, clubs, liquor retailers and restaurants across Australia and also in China, Malaysia and a developing export trade.

  • Emerging Male: Sam Kroonenburg

    Sam Kroonenburg

    A Cloud Guru

    A Cloud Guru was started by brothers Sam and Ryan Kroonenburg in 2015 with a mission to teach engineers and software developers around the world, to reskill into jobs in cloud computing. Over four years, ACG has grown to 1,000,000 customers across 178 countries and thousands of enterprises globally rely on ACG to upskill their workforce.

    The idea for the company came about when Ryan discovered there were no good online training courses for learning how to use Amazon Web Services. Sam, a software engineer formerly with Microsoft, gave up a family holiday to spend four weeks building a cloud-based education platform, while Ryan provided the education content. The business was bootstrapped and cash flow positive from day one, and in the last two years has raised over $63 million in funding from the top VCs in USA and Australia. Sam, as CEO, lives in Melbourne and works closely with the training content and platform development teams. Ryan lives in the UK, focusing on the production of the training content.

  • Disruptor: Didier Elzinga

    Didier Elzinga

    Culture Amp 

    Didier Elzinga is the CEO and co-founder of Culture Amp - the Culture First employee feedback company. Launched in 2011, it’s one of the world’s fastest growing technology startups and has helped companies around the world harness the power of employee feedback to drive positive change. With offices in Melbourne, San Francisco, New York and London, Didier is proudly growing Culture Amp into a Culture First company at scale.

    Before starting Culture Amp, he was the CEO of Rising Sun Pictures where he oversaw the production of visual effects for popular films such as Lord of the Rings and The Last Samurai. Additionally, he was the founder of Rising Sun Research (winner of a Technical Academy Award), and a Non-Executive Director of Tourism Australia.

    Today, Didier is committed to making the world of work better or all, and to providing innovative product solutions and ideas to Culture Amp’s diverse client base of over 2,000 companies. Didier is a sought-after speaker in the areas of culture-building, the importance of employee feedback, and fostering creativity in the workplace. With his prolific storytelling style, he has presented at revolutionary conferences worldwide including Culture By Design and Pause Fest. He is currently a non-executive director at The Atlassian Foundation and The Alfred Research Foundation.

  • Sustained Excellence: Matt Heine

    Matt Heine

    Netwealth Group Limited

    Matt Heine was the fifth employee to join Netwealth – the recently ASX-listed financial services and technology company started by his family to service investors and the financial planning industry.

    The Melbourne-based company was founded in 1999 and is now led by Matt and his father Michael as joint managing directors. With 18 + years of wealth management experience under his belt, Matt Heine drives strategy, innovation and growth initiatives across the business in addition to overseeing sales, marketing, product and technical services.

    Netwealth is not owned or aligned with any banks or other financial services groups and has become one of the fastest-growing wealth management businesses in Australia. In the last financial year netwealth increased Funds under administration (“FUA”) by 30% to $23.3 billion, and Funds under Management and Administration (“FUMA”) to $27.3 billion.

    For the second consecutive year Netwealth has led the market for FUA net inflows with $4.3 billion for the 12-month period to 31 March 2019.[1]

    Netwealth was also recognised by Investment Trends as the No 1 platform for overall user satisfaction for the eighth consecutive year and ranked No 1 platform for overall functionality for the fourth year in a row.[2]

    This growth comes as financial advisers look for specialist platforms, following the events canvassed at the Royal Banking Commission last year and increased governance processes.

    Netwealth’s first product was launched in 2002 and was in direct competition with the major banks and institutions. Insurance and superannuation products were quickly added, and the company pioneered unconstrained product and service features that included direct access to global markets, multiple insurers and brokers and a wide range of fund managers whilst seeking to help more Australian’s see wealth differently through innovative online tools, transactions and reporting.

    In its first five years, Netwealth built funds under management to $1 billion. Growth has been exponential since this time with FUM currently averaging in excess of $1 billion per quarter.

    Matt Heine champions Netwealth’s partnership with Banquer – a virtual classroom economy where school children can learn to earn, save, spend and invest their money. He aims to create financial literacy and capability across the country and 8,500 students, ages between 8 and 12 currently use the program with a goal of 15,000 this year.


    [1] Strategic Insights: Master Trusts, Platforms and Wraps (Mar 2019)

    [2] Investment Trends; April 2019 Planner Technology Report and December 2018 Platform Competitive Analysis and Benchmarking Report

  • Champion: Peter Clemenger

    Peter Clemenger

    The Clemenger Group

    Peter Clemenger has built one of Australia’s leading advertising and marketing companies, the Clemenger Group. He was an office clerk on its very first day of business in 1946, working for his father, John Clemenger. The Melbourne-based business began as a radio production agency and, when his father died in 1964, the company’s leadership was shared by Peter and his brother John, who retired in 1990. The company expanded into public relations, CRM, design and media, as well as market research, field marketing service, sales promotion and branded information advertising. After more than 70 years with the company, Peter Clemenger is still a director of Clemenger BBDO, after standing down as chairman in 1998. Peter founded the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival in 1993 and has been a notable supporter of the arts and theatre in Melbourne including the National Gallery of Victoria, the Australian Ballet and the Melbourne Theatre Company. The Joan and Peter Clemenger Trust has also supported numerous causes including the Centre for Eye Research Australia.


Principal sponsor

EY Contacts


Justin Howse
Oceania Growth Markets Leader
Tel: +61 2 9248  4459
Suzanne Shepherd
Entrepreneur Of The Year Country Manager
Tel: +61 2 8295 6310
Adelaide Cochrane
Entrepreneur Of The Year, Marketing Manager
Tel: +61 3 9288 8503
Charmaine Katsamatsas
Entrepreneur Of The Year, Senior Marketing Coordinator
Tel: +61 2 9248 4156