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Queensland local takes home Telstra social enterprise award

Telstra Queensland Business Women’s For Purpose and Social Enterprise Award went to Dushyanthi Thangiah, CEO, Yumba-Meta Housing Association.

As the CEO of Yumba-Meta Housing Association Limited, an organisation that provides access to housing and support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Dushyanthi Thangiah helps the most marginalised people of the Townsville region.

Natasha Chadwick, CEO of aged care facility, NewDirection Care in Bellmere, is the 2019 Telstra Queensland Business Woman of the Year.

As Founder and CEO of NewDirection Care, Natasha Chadwick has been pioneering a new direction in aged care for the past seven years. She has created a new microtownTM residential community for the elderly, as well as those living with younger onset dementia and complex care needs.

The innovative “microtown” model aims to replace the typical institutional design of aged and nursing care facilities with a village of homes, a community that residents share more like housemates, supported by staff as needed.

“I want to see task-focused traditional aged care models replaced by inclusive dementia-friendly communities that concentrate on relationship-based care and services, where residents can feel at home,” Chadwick said.

This state-of-the-art residential care community is just like any small suburban town. It has 17 homes, plenty of outdoor space, BBQ areas, a retail precinct with shops, a cafe, cinema, wellness centre, barbers and beauty salon.

Chadwick’s aim is to see her model replicated worldwide. With a client-first approach, she measures her success not by revenue and profitability, but by the changes she has made to the lives of residents and their families.

Natasha Chadwick also took home the Medium & Large Business Award.

For 24 years, the Telstra Business Women’s Awards have recognised and celebrated the outstanding achievements of Australian women in business.

Telstra’s Group General Counsel and Group Executive Legal & Corporate Affairs, Carmel Mulhern, congratulated the Queensland winners who are all inspiring examples of leaders who are challenging the status quo within and beyond their industries.

“These women are undoing traditional business practices by using their own unique approach to rewrite what it means to be successful. They’re championing inclusion, innovation, and inspiring others to do the same,” she said.

“Natasha Chadwick is disrupting her industry and re-writing the books on what aged care can look like in this country. She is purpose-driven and is completely transforming the traditional aged care model.”

Also recognised at the 2019 Telstra Queensland Business Women’s Award were:

·  Small Business Award: Angie Mansey, Owner/Managing Director, Kuluin Mufflers

Angie Mansey followed her dreams and sold the family home and assets to build her exhaust specialist business, Kuluin Mufflers, in the Sunshine Coast.

·  Public Sector and Academia Award: Assistant Commissioner Debbie Platz, Australian Federal Police

Sunshine Coast-based Debbie Platz is dedicated to policing and protecting Australian communities. Specialising in crime operations, she leads, manages and cares for the resourcing of this area across Australia and offshore.

·  Emerging Leader Award: Mary-Ellen Redmayne, Director, The Foot Stop Podiatry Services

Mary-Ellen Redmayne founded The Foot Stop Podiatry Services to provide extra income to her family. Now a successful mobile practice, it brings its services to around 200 patients’ homes in Southern Brisbane, Gold Coast, Tweed Coast and Northern Rivers areas weekly.

All 2019 State and Territory winners will be invited to Sydney for the National Awards judging on Wednesday 15 May. The national winners will then be announced at a dinner celebration on Thursday 16 May.

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