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Naomi Simson awards entrepreneur

Last week was about as big as they get. In addition to the three awards received by RedBalloon last week, I was also a judge in the National Telstra Business Womens awards. Actually weeks don’t get much bigger than last week.

What started as a normal week of one on one’s and coaching with some of the newer team members in Sydney… ended up quite differently.

On Wednesday I did one of our less known experiences – which is the art walking tour of Melbourne… Bernie, our host only ever has upto eight people and she loves enlightening us on the journey from street art and emerging to commercial galleries.

Street Art in the lane’s of Melbourne

In our four-hour tour she even squeezed in a trip to a working artist’s studio so we could learn how he is developing his works for an exhibition in May. We finished with a drink at a fantastic little bar on the roof top of an unknown Bourke street location. I grew up in Melbourne, this tour was a wonderful way to experience the uniqueness of this wonderful art city via its little lanes and backstreets. Apparently every time Bernie does the tour she changes its format (so I will definitely do it again).

Thursday was an all day event as a judge of the Telstra Business Womens awards. I had loved reading all the submissions of the finalists for the innovation category – the diversity and outcome of innovation is remarkable: from home renovation to street swags for the homeless;  volunteer travel to dressing women for work; the most amazing librarian transforming what a library is in Mt Gambier; and revolutionary practices in emergency care in Canberra’s largest hospital. The ultimate winner for innovation was Prof. Veena Sahajwalla for her invention of using waste products in the steel making process. This ‘green’ steel is now implemented by OneSteel and another manufacturer in Thailand – and others will follow.  And yes, it is her name on the patent.

Telstra Business Women’s Awards 2011 National Nokia Business Innovation Award winner – Professor Veena Sahajwalla

All awe inspiring women – as were all the other categories. The sheer diversity of the stories and their achievements was exciting, exhilarating and engaging. The overall winner is Catherine Burn, Assistant Commissioner Corporate Services for NSW Police. (Five of the six awards went to women from NSW – a fine achievement.)

After a day of judging I was straight off to the Ernst & Young awards at Shed 14 in Docklands – and another amazing night with four of the six awards going to NSW entrepreneurs, as mentioned in last week’s post.

The Telstra Business Womens Awards were held the next night, also at Shed 14 and very funnily I was seated at almost the same table as the night before. I felt so privileged to be a part of both of these amazing events… a really big thanks to Ernst & Young for hosting such an event. And Telstra for its event. It takes amazing commitment in tough times to keep such programs going with such absolute dedication. And well done to Commonwealth Bank for being a part of both awards…what a great way to connect with customers at such events.

The weekend I spent with with my teenagers painting pictures (indoors because of the raining weather). What an wonderful way to finish the week – with a paint brush in my hand, getting ready to paint the next great phase at RedBalloon.

This week:

Monday: Interview with Marty Wilson for his new book
Tuesday:
Business Round Table
Wednesday:
Speaking engagement for the Assoc of Tertiary Management
Thursday & Friday:
Writing Writing Writing (this book will appear one day)

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