The winners of six award categories as part of the 2021 Rubik3 Canberra Women in Business (CWB) Awards were announced on Thursday night (28 October) at a virtual Gala event.

In another challenging year for many businesses across the ACT, CWB President, Sheena Ireland paid tribute to all working in business through a continuing global pandemic.

“In particular our female-led businesses have shown great tenacity at this time.

“So many have juggled their children’s home learning, pivoted to keep their businesses alive and had the added pressures a lockdown environment brings.

“However, the applications received for this year’s awards were absolutely outstanding. Of course many noted the challenges they faced, but what they also told was the story of overcoming those challenges and how the current environment has made them even stronger.”

The 2021 award winners are:

Chamberlains Law Business Woman of the Year

  • Olga Imbriano, Bellelis Australia, and 
  • Natashia Telfer, National Community Care

QT Canberra Young Business Woman of the Year

  • Vanessa Schimizzi, Branded Graphics

Pipeline Talent Indigenous Business Woman of the Year

  • Melissa Lacey, Point River Networks

Solace Creations Small Business Woman of the Year

  • Justine Lennane, Gumnut Dance

Elite Event Technology Innovation Business Woman of the Year

  • Melissa Lacey, Point River Networks

Bookssorted Social Impact Business Woman of the Year

  • Antoniette Gomez, Exhale Coaching & Consulting

The seven winners were announced from 24 finalists in a year judges advised they assessed the highest number of applications ever.

“Our judging panel advised that applications were of an extremely high calibre, which really does exemplify the passion and strength of Canberra’s female-led business sector,” Ms Ireland said.

“We thank everyone who was nominated and/or applied for this year’s awards.”

In what was the first online gala event for the CWB Awards, due to current COVID restrictions on large gatherings, members of the community got behind the event frocking up and celebrating in small groups, virtually, from home.

The hashtag #cwbawards2021 built momentum during the week leading up to the awards and was in full force once winners were announced.

“We look forward to coming back bigger, stronger and in-person for our 2022 Gala,” Ms Ireland said.

Nadia Pessarossi, Chief Operating Officer of partner and naming rights sponsor, Rubik3, said it was a delight to be involved in the awards, which provided women with an opportunity to stop, take stock and reflect on their achievements.

“Just being nominated for an award is an achievement in itself and recognition that you have touched the life of another member of the community doing what you do in business.

“Rubik3 is honoured to be associated with CWB and to support these annual awards. Congratulations to all nominees, finalists and winners.”

Read about the winners in the file below.