03/02/2004 - 21:00

An impressive 40under40 field

03/02/2004 - 21:00


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In the lead up to the 2004 WA Business News 40under40 Awards, to be announced on February 18, some of the judges involved offer their thoughts on the awards and the judging process.

An impressive 40under40 field

In the lead up to the 2004 WA Business News 40under40 Awards, to be announced on February 18, some of the judges involved offer their thoughts on the awards and the judging process.


Rami Brass: RSM Bird Cameron, managing partner


THIS is the second year in which I have had the honour of being asked to judge the WA Business News 40under40 Awards. 

Once again I was impressed by the calibre and quality of the nominations.

Nominees included: young business men and women in senior executive positions in some of the largest Western Australian corporations; people who have started their own business with limited resources; and others who have the grown the family business into substantial enterprises. 

In all cases the nominees showed they had the ambition and self-discipline to be a leading business person in WA.

Again, it was very difficult to select the top 40 nominations from this quality field. However, I believe the judges, which included senior people from the accounting profession, commerce, and academia, added to the balance, fairness and objectivity of the judging process undertaken by WA Business News. 

After reviewing all the nominations I can safely say that the entrepreneurial spirit and future of Western Australian business is in good hands. 


Richard Thorning: SingTel Optus, business     

general manager WA


THE quality, the diversity and the sheer volume of 40under40 candidates were just outstanding.

As I read through the many and varied experiences, a particular insight was that those who stood out exhibited character, values, humanity and sincerity with such clarity, not just in the significance of their accomplishments, but also in the way they communicated. The use of straight talk, and the absence of cliche and buzzwords, was impressive.

The many instances of independent thought and courage against the odds were remarkable to read.  As a ‘challenger’ organisation, with core values, such as innovation, thought leadership and integrity, we at Optus are happy to be associated with this celebration of Western Australian leadership and energy. Congratulations from Optus to the 40 worthy winners.


RobeRt Harvey: Edith Cowan University Faculty of Business and Public Management,

executive dean


TO me, the most interesting and pleasantly surprising feature of the field of nominees was the tremendous diversity in the nature of each nominee’s business. 

There were rising stars from corporations and government departments, small high-tech companies, rapidly expanding Internet-based businesses, restaurateurs, and partners from legal, accounting, financial, property development and marketing firms to name but a few. 

All of the nominees displayed very high levels of passion, enterprise, innovation, determination and dedication to their businesses, irrespective of whether they worked for themselves or someone else.

A never-say-die attitude also appeared to be one of the keys to their success. 

From a purely personal point of view, I was particularly pleased to read about the successes of our own ECU graduates, who are making their marks on society.   Congratulations to all nominees and winners.

Dr MARITA NAUDE: Curtin University,

MLM program director


IT was both an interesting experience and an honour to read about the accomplishments, motivation and perseverance of the different entrants. 

It was fascinating and inspiring to see how much people are able to accomplish, manage and overcome in their careers, and also to have a little glimpse into the business disasters of some.

For the community contribution area, many entrants focused on participation and/or contribution by the company, such as donating money, and not on personal participation and/or individual contribution, such as personal time.

There seems to be a good and valid representation between male/female, urban/country, smaller company and bigger company entrants. Entrants also came from an interesting variety of fields and areas.

These entrants made me realise, again, that if you have a dream and put all your energy (and more) into accomplishing that dream, anything is possible.

It is not always the person with the best/highest qualifications or the biggest company who will be successful, but the person who is able to dream and then go out and chase that dream. 

And, yes, there might be some times where you will fall flat on your face, but you will have to get up, dust yourself off and try again.


Greg Devine: Godfrey Pembroke, managing director


HAVING been involved in the 40under40 program for a number of years now, I am still amazed at the quality of the business skills that are alive and well in Western Australia.

This program is a credit to WA Business News. It is a fantastic opportunity for small to medium businesses to show their wares and a chance to highlight the skills of key business decision-makers.

I believe that whoever the winner may be it is not as important as the forum this program creates for all concerned to showcase their skills. I would encourage anyone who has created or constructed something special to get involved in the future.


Peter Harold

managing director

Sally Malay Mining Limited


AFTER attending the 40under40 Gala Awards Night in 2003 and being lucky enough (and rather surprised, given the calibre of the other 39) to be included in the 2003 40 winners, I was very keen to become more involved in what I consider to be a fantastic initiative by WA Business News.

Sally Mallay Mining is a young company run by young people and we are delighted to be sponsors of this year’s 40under40. We plan to grow into a major mining house and we can only do this with quality assets – our mineral resources and our people.

This year I took an active role in the 40under40, acting as a judge, and I was highly impressed with the calibre of the nominees and the number of young talented people here in WA. There was a number of common themes that emerged from this year’s entries that I can relate to.

* How important it is to learn by your mistakes.

* Risk takers are rewarded. 

* The need for solid business plans and budgets to avoid cash-flow problems.

* The satisfaction people receive from giving something back to the community.

Overall I was impressed with the level of commitment this year’s nominees have to their chosen field. The future of this wonderful State of ours rests firmly with the younger generations and we need to recognise their achievements and ensure that we assist them in developing their skills so that they are able to sustain our wonderful standard of living.

Well done to WA Business News and all the nominees, and my congratulations to this year’s winners.


            2004 judges


Rami Brass, RSM Bird Cameron; Richard Thorning, SingTel Optus; Robert Harvey, ECU; Darren Tyrrell, Emirates; Greg Devine, Godfrey Pembroke; Peter Harold, Sally Mallay Mining Ltd; Dr Marita Naude, Curtin Uni; Stuart Wright, NAB; Frank Tudor, Woodside; Grant Robertson, Murdoch Uni; Paul McLeod, UWA; Frank Edwards, City of Perth; Mark Pownall, WABN editor.

p The 40under40 gala dinner will be held on February 18


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