TBA Finals 2016 130A Byron Bay bohemian fashion and lifestyle brand, Spell and the Gypsy Collective, was tonight named the 2016 Telstra Australian Business of the Year.

The business also won the 2016 Telstra Australian Small Business Award at the national event which was held at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney tonight.

Spell and the Gypsy Collective is known for its unique, vintage-inspired designs, and boasts a celebrity following including the likes of Brazilian supermodel, Alessandra Ambrosio and singer, Katy Perry.

Telstra Business Awards Ambassador, Andy Ellis, praised this year’s winners of the Telstra Business Awards for their sound financial performance, innovative thinking and their dynamic attitude which has the potential to disrupt their industries.

“I have been inspired and humbled by the high calibre of the 2016 Telstra Australian Business Awards winners,” Mr Ellis said.

“These business leaders have all demonstrated a unique and compelling combination of heartfelt passion and impressive business acumen.

“It was a tough job for our judges to measure these successful businesses against a range of indicators, including innovation, corporate social responsibility, financials and potential for growth.”

Mr Ellis says that the 2016 Telstra Australian Business of the Year epitomises this excellence.

“Spell and the Gypsy Collective is a very exciting business. Not only are they showing significant innovation in the digital space, but they are turning the traditional business model of the fashion industry on its head,” he said.

Spell and the Gypsy Collective is the creation of sisters Elizabeth Abegg and Isabella Pennefather. Having come from a creative family, Ms Elizabeth Abegg says the sisters started the brand as an artistic outlet for their everyday lives.

“We’re demonstrating to the fashion industry how a female-centric small business can grow and flourish in regional Australia,” says Ms Abegg.

Mr Ellis said another NSW business, Jewel Fine Foods, won the 2016 Telstra Australian Medium Business Award.

“Jewel Fine Foods shows impressive business sense coupled with admirable values. Not only does the business plan reflect a solid bottom line and steady growth, but the business leaders and staff also demonstrate a mutual respect for each other. They set a great example of how a successful business should operate,” he said.

Now in their 24th year, the Telstra Business Awards showcase and celebrate the achievements and entrepreneurial spirit of Australia’s most brilliant small and medium businesses across five Award categories: New Business, Micro Business, Small Business, Medium Business and the new Charity Award which is designed to recognise the significant contribution that not-for-profit organisations make to Australian communities and the economy.

Other winners of the 2016 Telstra Australian Business Awards were: Victorian not-for-profit organisation, Snowdome Foundation (Charity), Queensland high-tech towing company, Tow.com.au (New Business) and ACT business, medical simulation technology provider, iSimulate (Micro Business).


Winners of the 2016 Telstra Australian Business Awards are:

2016 Telstra Australian Business of the Year and 2016 Telstra Australian Small Business Award winner – Spell and The Gypsy Collective

Spell and The Gypsy Collective is an Australian fashion and lifestyle brand with a continually expanding international presence.

With a celebrity following that includes the likes of Alessandra Ambrosio and Katy Perry, the label is fast becoming recognised in global fashion circles for its grassroots approach to business and fashion. Spell and The Gypsy Collective have become known for their unique take on vintage-inspired style and incorporating original prints. Having come from a creative family, sisters Elizabeth Abegg and Isabella Pennefather created the brand as a creative outlet for their everyday lives.

The label currently ships to more than 130 countries, and in the six years since its inception, has expanded its categories to include accessories, homewares, children’s wear and bridal, all with the brand’s signature modern-bohemian aesthetic. The label continues to grow at an impressive rate, as more and more digital influencers take to social media to share their Spell wares with their communities. Spell and The Gypsy Collective itself has a social media following of more than 800,000, and cites this presence across multiple platforms as central to its international growth and success.

Spell and The Gypsy Collective employs 50 women across its Byron Bay based warehouse, office and flagship boutique.

“We’re demonstrating to the fashion industry how a female-centric small business can grow and flourish in regional Australia,” Elizabeth Abegg, Owner and Founder, Spell and The Gypsy Collective


2016 Telstra Australian New Buiness Award - Tow.com.au

Tow.com.au is a high-tech towing company, and the only truly national towing service, operating in every state and territory in Australia. Through its first-of-a-kind automated towing dispatch platform, Tow.com.au provides rapid deployment of assets nationally, backed by its dedication to customer service. Tow.com.au provides Australian consumers, businesses and government a highly scalable, real-time towing management system, built to provide a rapidly available service, across the country, complete with asset tracking and vehicle management. Tow.com.au provides estimated time of arrival updates, scheduled bookings and SMS updates. Using an advanced geolocation system, Tow.com.au can quickly locate stranded motorists and cut hours of travel time for trucks and waiting time for customers. Prior to Tow.com.au, stranded motorists often relied on towing companies that only operated within a specific, small and localised geographic area.

Dominic Holland recognised that when customers need his service, they are in a frustrated, vulnerable, high-stress situation, and require peace of mind that they will be rescued quickly and safely. He says customers need support before, during and after these events, and his business gives priority to providing great customer service when arranging a tow. In just two years, Tow.com.au’s business has grown to be one the largest towing networks in Australia, with more than 550 trucks, 200 secure holding yards, and has successfully towed tens of thousands of customers across the country.

“Our customers are frequently broken down and stranded in remote areas with no distinguishable landmarks, which makes position identification very difficult. We strive to use technology and innovation to provide efficiencies and eliminate challenges and obstacles,” Dominic Holland, CEO and Managing Director, Tow.com.au


TBA Finals 2016 1272016 Telstra Australian Micro Business Award winner – iSimulate

A monitor/defibrillator is a device used by health professionals to restart the heart when a patient is ill or the body goes into cardiac arrest, and can often be the determiner between whether someone lives or dies. Whilst defibrillators are literally life savers, they are expensive and cost prohibitive for training purposes. iSimulate sought to alleviate this problem by developing emergency, obstetric and stethoscope iPad simulator systems. The innovative software and bespoke hardware of the emergency system, ALSi, can turn an iPad into a simulated patient monitor or defibrillator, which is completely safe to use on a human actor or mannequin for educational demonstration purposes. The iSimulate systems are more affordable, versatile and realistic than any other systems currently on the market.

The iSimulate systems have grown in popularity worldwide, as they give health educators the tools to conduct simulations anywhere within minutes. In 2015, ALSi became the main teaching device for the European Resuscitation Council Advanced Life Support Course. Similarly the systems have been adopted in Australia and New Zealand by The Advanced Paediatric Life Support Course.

“We believe that we are at the forefront of the ideas boom, as advances in technology increasingly influence our culture. We realised five years ago that an iPad was more than just a touch screen computer, it was a device that could be used to lead the way in medical simulation.” Peter Mckie, Co-Founder & CEO, iSimulate


2016 Telstra Australian Medium Business Award winner – Jewel Fine Foods

As Australian consumers are becoming increasingly busy with their work and lives, demand has grown for easy access to nutritional, healthy and good value-for-money meals that feed the family. Jewel Fine Foods products supply just that: fresh, authentic, premium quality products, available through major supermarkets.

Since its inception in 1997, Jewel Fine Foods has established itself as the leading manufacturer in the rapidly growing chilled ready-to-eat meals, soups and breads sector. Jewel supplies an extensive and innovative range of both private label and branded ready Thai, Indian, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Mexican and European meals with an outstanding reputation for superior quality and authentic taste. All products are free from artificial flavours, colouring, additives, preservatives and MSG and they are prepared fresh daily and fit for foodies.

Jewel’s success is partly due to being flexible in meeting clients' constantly changing needs and being able to drive growth through innovation. Together, its experienced, passionate and focussed team has led the business to deliver over 15 million meals in FY16.

“We are driven by the core belief that taste and quality should never be compromised for convenience meals’” said Kishore Matta, Co-Owner & Managing Director, Jewel Fine Foods.


2016 Telstra Australian Charity Award winner – Snowdome Foundation

Formed in 2010, the Snowdome Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to help those fighting against blood cancers and bone marrow failure syndromes (BMFS) live longer, better lives. The name of the foundation was inspired by Co-founder, Grant Rutherford’s daughter Chloe, whose fascination with snowdomes saw her gifted over 60 throughout her fight against leukemia. Tragically, she lost her fight at the age of nine.

In May 2015, Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision formed a collaborative partnership with the Snowdome Foundation to fund research into a cure for BMFS.

Every year 12,000 Australians are diagnosed with blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma and a further 140 are diagnosed with Bone Marrow Failure.

The Snowdome Foundation’s founders identified a gap in funding between basic research supported by government and large trials commissioned by pharmaceutical companies. Snowdome’s focus is to support early phase clinical trials to accelerate next-generation treatments for Australian blood cancer patients.

Over the last five years, the collaboration has raised an amazing $11.5 million, resulting in new research, clinical trials and projects that have helped 229 Australian blood cancer patients gain access to treatments that were not otherwise possible.

Co-founder, Professor Miles Prince AM, Snowdome Foundation said Snowdome is fast-tracking clinical trials by providing multi-year infrastructure funding to get trials activated. No other organisation is solely focused on this research opportunity for Australian blood cancer patients.

Nominations for the Telstra Business Awards are open all year round. To nominate a brilliant business please visit www.telstrabusinessawards.com/nominate.