11/03/2010 - 00:00

Winners in a league of their own

11/03/2010 - 00:00

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ASKING guests to enter a black-tie dinner function through the loading dock was a sure sign the 2010 WA Business News 40under40 awards would continue a tradition of innovation.

Winners in a league of their own

ASKING guests to enter a black-tie dinner function through the loading dock was a sure sign the 2010 WA Business News 40under40 awards would continue a tradition of innovation.

Held last month at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre, the awards showcased 40 high-achieving young business people from across Western Australia.

The 40 were led by First Amongst Equals winner Suzanne Daubney, who has turned the Bannister Downs dairy farm at Northcliffe, near the state’s south coast, into a successful producer of value-added dairy goods.

The award was presented by Treasurer and Commerce Minister Troy Buswell, who attended the event with parliamentary colleagues, Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore, and Energy and Training Minister Peter Collier.

As well as Ms Daubney, the entrants short-listed for the First Amongst Equals award were involved in business sectors as diverse as psychological counselling, day care and protective workwear.

Tracy Westerman pioneered a new field for private enterprise when she established Indigenous Psychological Services, which delivers mental health services to Aboriginal people.

A University of Western Australia graduate who has proceeded to complete a PhD, Dr Westerman was awarded the UWA strategic alliance award.

Wrights HardWear managing director Damione Wright has built an innovative business supplying high-quality work gloves for professionals who wear them every day.

Having convinced customers to pay a premium price for his products, Mr Wright’s business is now Australia’s largest technical glove company.

The short-listed entrants for the First Amongst Equals award also included day care entrepreneur Rory Vassallo, who bought his first centre at the age of 20.

Six years later, his company has more than 300 staff members operating 20 childcare facilities in WA and Queensland.

Another winner on the night was Agustin Costas. He was selected for the City of Perth strategic alliance award for his achievements at engineering services company AME.

This year’s innovative venue continued a tradition whereby 40under40 breaks the mould, year after year.

Previous venues for the awards function have included the front steps of Parliament House, with sweeping views over the central city, the inside of a ferry at Austal’s shipyard at Henderson, a vacant floor in the newly completed Woodside Building, and the basement of the 100 St Georges Terrace building.

The entertainment at this year’s award included an ice sculptor, speed painter Brad Blaze, gymnasts and music trio Bojeme.

 

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