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2016’s best Canberra business women revealed

HerCanberra Team

The winners of the 2016 Canberra Women in Business Awards were announced last night at a gala dinner at the Hyatt Hotel.

The event brought people from across the region together to recognise the contributions and successes of businesswomen in our community.

Claudia Vannithone, President of Canberra Women in Business, says this year’s winners show the strength of women, either as business owners or working within organisations, across a range of industries and sectors in the Canberra business community.

“I would like to congratulate the winners of the 2016 Canberra Women in Business Awards,” said Ms Vannithone. “I’ve had the pleasure of being involved in six Canberra Women in Business Awards Nights and it’s inspirational to see women from all industries achieving excellence.

“This year we’ve had diverse group of women being recognised for the contributions they have made to the Canberra economy and wider community. From retailers to exporters and service providers, it seems local business women have their eyes set on success.

“I applaud each of this year’s finalists on their hard work, leadership and innovation. We need women to proudly put their hands up to be acknowledged and celebrated for their achievements and to become role models and mentors for other local women.”

Canberra Women in Business is proud to announce this year’s winners:

Business Woman of the Year: Maryanne Gore, Project Lighting


Maryanne is a pillar in the business community, leading a highly successful group of staff across an increasing number of outlets. She models longevity in business, whilst being responsive to changing customer and business needs. A quiet achiever, she shows that continuous commitment to service can bring longstanding results.

Highly Commended: Tracy Keeley – Bookplate

Young Business Woman of the Year: Fiona Fonti – The Rehabilitation Specialists


Fiona brings passion and dedication to the workplace rehabilitation industry, building The Rehabilitation Specialist group from the ground up. She has established a sound reputation for quality outcomes and business, turning personal adversity into a thriving venture employing 23 staff.

Highly Commended: Anna Froon – Harris Scarfe

Best New Busines: Julie Okely – Dilkara Essence of Australia

Julie demonstrates determination and gumption. Not only has she achieved enormous success in the highly competitive hairdressing industry, she recently created the first range of hair care products using native Australian ingredients. Julie’s drive and passion has resulted in widespread distribution of her products including being a provider of choice for Qantas Airlines.

Highly Commended: Jane Lombard – Fifo Capital

Outstanding Community Spirit: Elise Apolloni – Capital Chemist Wanniassa

Elise exemplifies true spirit and tireless community engagement. After losing a colleague to suicide, she immediately looked to volunteer her time and energy to assist as a crisis supporter with Lifeline Canberra. As community pharmacist and managing partner of Capital Chemist Wanniassa, she encourages her staff and customers to raise funds and sponsor many charities focusing on improving quality of life.

Highly Commended: Alicia Freile – Tango Media

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