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Medal for Management Innovation Recipients

2014 - Phillip Butler

Phillip Butler
Director, Textor Technologies, Melbourne, Victoria

Phil Butler has been managing a textile business for the past twenty five years.  In 2000 he purchased Textor Technologies from the English parent company and converted the business from supplying the garment and automotive trades to focusing on the global medical and healthcare fabrics markets. The company has been transformed through constant innovation into a state of the art operation supplying multinationals operating in the Asian Pacific basin.

When they relaunched the company, all the customers were local Australian companies. Today, large multinationals, including Kimberly Clark globally, make up the bulk of the business.

Collaborating to create a new absorbency layer that revolutionised the diaper market in Australia and abroad, Textor Technologies worked with other CSIRO and other partners to bring the new technology to market.

Phil currently sits on the Strategic Advisory Committee of CSIRO Manufacturing Division. He was also the Chair of the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Industries Innovation Council and a member of the Prime Minister’s Manufacturing Taskforce. Phil has also been appointed to the newly formed Manufacturers Leaders Group, created to provide new initiatives on manufacturing policy to the Government.

2013 - Heather Hill

Heather Hill
Managing Director - Heather Hill Nursing Agency

Heather is a registered nurse with more than 15 years’ experience in aged care. In 2002, Heather identified the need for a nursing agency and opened her business in that year. Many of her assignments were for agency staff in nursing homes and residential aged care facilities. Over the years, she became increasingly aware that the families of the frail aged needed advice and recommendations on the choice of facility. She identified that a move from a long-term family home to a new residence meant that families were often unaware and unprepared with both legal and financial matters. She found that families were seeking her advice on what to do to prepare for the change and for recommendations.

Heather Hill Pathways was established in 2011 to assist consumers to make informed decisions about aged care, based on up-to-date information about all the options. From immediate care needs to long term planning, the organisations can explain the services and their costs and benefits, giving consumers peace of mind about the choices.

Heather spent 12 months researching the right company structure and preparing the management checks and balances required for Heather Hill Pathways before she commenced operations in 2011. The structure is based on a documented agreement between the participating organisations which charge no fees to each other for referrals. Service requests can be initiated by any one of the participating professionals and they are fed through a portal to which all have access. One of Heather’s early safeguards was to ensure that all management processes were documented and accredited to ISO standards.

The services that the alliance provides include assistance with the regulatory frameworks that apply to residential aged care; financial planning to ensure that bonds and service fees can be met; preparation of wills, enduring powers of attorney and advanced health care directives; and mediation support if and when difficulties arose between family members.

The big winner in this collaborative model is the consumer: mostly baby boomers who are caring for frail aged parents. It provides support, counsel and the services of a diverse range of experienced and acknowledged experts through a one-stop web-based service backed up by 24/7 telephone support.

The innovative alliance structure developed by Heather Hill, supported by the rigor of ISO accreditation and coupled with the increasingly efficient use of technology, significantly improves the consumer experience of those at a vulnerable time in their lives. It is about a unique combination of innovative management thinking, people practices and the ability to address a problem in a unique and resourceful way that brings dignity and solutions to all.

2012 - Allan English

Allan English
Founder - Silver Chef Foundation and Director - English Family Foundation

Allan English founded Silver Chef, an ASX-listed hospitality equipment funding business, in 1986 and held the position of Managing Director until June 2010, before being appointed Non-Executive Chairman. The idea for Silver Chef was born at a 1985 US trade show, through the booming American home delivery pizza market. Convinced of the market's potential for growth in Australia, Allan invested heavily in conveyor ovens.

Unfortunately, it soon became clear that many pizza businesses could not afford to buy them. The solution? The ovens were rented out, and soon began to sell themselves. Ten years later, Allan bought out his partner and devised a funding option that enabled small hospitality businesses to procure the equipment they needed, without committing large amounts of capital up-front. The new option, called Rent-Try-Buy®, has been at the centre of the Silver Chef success story ever since.

Philanthropy has allowed Allan to transition from business success to personal significance. In 2010 Allan stepped down as CEO of Silver Chef and put in place a process to transfer 50% of the family shares over a 3 year period to form the capital base of the English Family Foundation. A primary goal of the establishment of this Foundation was to fund 1 million people out of poverty by the year 2020.

In cascading these philanthropic pursuits and values back into the organisation, Allan received a tremendous level of support from staff, and found it to be a powerful tool in recruiting talented people into the organisation.

Allan is a Director of the Board of Karuna Hospice Pty Ltd, a Brisbane-based charity bringing comfort, support, care and peace of mind to those who are dying, as well as their carers and families. He is also an Ambassador of Opportunity International Australia, a nonprofit offering microfinance in developing countries. Allan has provided the Brisbane office of OIA space pro bono since 2003. Allan has raised significant funds for OIA's work with the poor since 2001.

Allan was awarded Queensland Community Philanthropist of the Year in 2012. He also received the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the northern region in 2006. Silver Chef was proud to be listed Number 25 on the BRW Great Place to Work list of 2010.

2011 - Jamie Pherous

Jamie Pherous
CEO and Managing Director - Corporate Travel Management

Jamie Pherous, CEO and Managing Director, founded Corporate Travel Management (CTM) in 1994. From a relatively modest start with himself and two staff, CTM became the largest privately-owned travel management company in Australia and, in late 2010, became successfully listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Jamie was also a major shareholder and co-founder of online hotel booking engine which was sold to Flight Centre Group in 2003.

Jamie was convinced that technology and the way people used it could be the differentiator to meet evolving needs in the corporate travel market. By using accounting methodologies and diagnostics to provide more accurate reports for corporate travel managers, regularly revising the application of technology to encompass the impact of mobile applications, and enhancing his team by retaining key people in the mergers undertaken, he has built a culture which embraced technology and service that differentiates CTM from competitors.

The use of accounting diagnostics and methodologies has been successfully embedded as acquisitions were completed. The result is that revenue has grown from $16 million in FY2001 to a forecast in FY2011 of $491 million with 16 consecutive years of organic growth complemented by five successfully integrated acquisitions.

2010 - Tony Ellwood

Tony Ellwood
Director - Queensland Art Gallery

Tony was named the 2010 Medal for Management Innovation recipient. Conferred by the AIM board and sponsored by Griffith University, the Medal celebrates a Queensland leader who has demonstrated unwavering commitment to business growth through management innovation.

Appointed to his role in June 2007, Tony Ellwood is the Director of the Queensland Art Gallery. Tony previously held a number of senior roles at the NGV and in regional galleries in Victoria and Western Australia. He has been on numerous State and Commonwealth boards and was also on the selection committee for the 2003 and 2007 Venice Biennales.

While the success of the Queensland Art Gallery is the result of many people's efforts, the assured leadership of the Director provides the environment in which innovation can flourish. Tony Ellwood has personified the ability to push the boundaries of creativity and a capacity to view management responsibilities as inclusive of innovation.

Tony has sought to consolidate the Gallery's profile as a two-site institution while developing and promoting the strengths of each building's curatorial and programming focus to audiences. His ability to create the environment in which novel partnerships have supported significant international exhibitions exclusive to Queensland has increased the profile of the Gallery as a cultural tourism destination for local, intrastate, interstate and international visitors.

These exhibitions, and the opening of the Gallery of Modern Art, have contributed significantly to the increasing recognition of Brisbane as an important cultural tourism destination.

2009 - Brett Clark

Brett Clark
Managing Director - ePharmacy
Managing Partner - Chemist Warehouse QLD and NNSW

Pharmacist and eBusinessman Brett Clark was awarded the Griffith University Medal for Management Innovation at the 2009 Australian Institute of Management Excellence Awards State Final and Gala Dinner.

The co-founder and Managing Director of ePharmacy and Managing Partner of Chemist Warehouse QLD and Northern NSW was recognised for his innovation in creating a market leading e-business model for pharmaceuticals and cascading it into a diversified business portfolio.

Starting his career as a pharmacist over 20 years ago, Mr Clark translated a single-site pharmacy business model into a highly successful online business unbound by traditional limitations of the pharmaceutical industry.

Professor Michael Powell FAIM, Pro Vice Chancellor (Business) at Griffith University, said that Mr Clark has fostered innovation that positively impacts pharmaceutical customers Australia wide.

The initial 'back of a napkin' business plan for ePharmacy centred on servicing customers in rural and remote areas who require medication for chronic illnesses on an ongoing basis. This market accounts for around 80% of all prescription sales in Australia, Professor Powell said.

Brett displayed innovation in turning an idea into reality and creating an online business model drawing from his industry experience and understanding of customer behaviour.

2008 - Mark Pascoe FAIM

Mark Pascoe FAIM
Chief Executive Officer
International Water Center

Under Mark's leadership, the International Water Centre (IWC) is known as a leader in promoting new ways of thinking about water management.

The IWC consciously encourage people to acknowledge the multi-dimensional nature of future water challenges and the critical role culture, politics and society have in shaping solutions.

Mark's work as CEO of IWC has brought global recognition for Queensland's commitment to innovative approaches to sustainability.

2007 - Maha Sinnathamby

Dr Maha Sinnathamby
Chairman and Founder of Springfield Land Corporation

An inspiring business visionary has been honoured for his innovative approach in creating a world-class, modern city that tackles the challenges of building a new community and socially uplifting an economically depressed region of South East Queensland.

Chairman and Founder of Springfield Land Corporation, Dr Maha Sinnathamby, was awarded the coveted 2007 Fisher & Paykel Medal for Management Innovation at the 2007 Australian Institute of Management Excellence Awards State Final.

AIM Board Chairman John Hoey FAIM said Dr Sinnathamby was chosen for his long-held standards of management innovation, on which his businesses are built.

Greater Springfield is a community-of-the-future success story and Dr Sinnathamby has received this award because of his uncompromising drive to incorporate leading edge management practices and new technologies at all stages of the development, Mr Hoey said.

Dr Sinnathamby said he was humbled and honoured to receive such a great award from such an esteemed organisation as the Australian Institute of Management.

Dr Sinnathamby purchased 2860 hectares of land just south of Goodna in 1992 for $7.9 million. At the time, his master planned, technologically advanced, world class community concept did not meet with universal acceptance, but his passion, commitment and persistence to make his dream a reality, eventually turned resistance around.

2006 - Deborah Fleming

Deborah Fleming
Creator and Producer of the ABC's Australian Story

The visionary producer of one of TV's most acclaimed shows was awarded the 2006 Medal for Management Innovation at the Australian Institute of Management Excellence Awards State Final.

Ms Fleming accepted the Medal on behalf of the entire Australian Story team saying, "any achievement here is a collective one."

It is especially gratifying to receive an acknowledgement like this from people who make a living in the cut and thrust of the commercial world, Ms Fleming said.

When asked to create a credible and worthy current affairs show more than nine years ago, Deborah turned traditional thinking on its head.

Dispensing with the reporter's presence and voice-over, she asked her journalists to focus on the human side of events and to tell the tale purely through the voices of interviewees… the result was Australian Story, an innovation in Australian television and a new journalistic genre.

Deborah's work is an outstanding example of management innovation. All managers can learn from the manner in which she has taken a different perspective. She has led a team wisely and creatively and she has taken appropriate risk to create a change that adds value.

2005 - Mark Henry

Mark Henry
Managing Director and Design engineer of Furitechnics.

Mark Henry founded Füritechnics in Brisbane, Australia, in 1996 to provide a vehicle for the commercialisation of his 'innovations for serious cooks'.

As Managing Director, Mark took Füritechnics from foundation to its current multi-million dollar turnover, developing the products and marketing strategy that has established Füri as a leading professional brand in Australia and generated significant worldwide exports and recognition.

The success of Füri knives and chefs accessories is based on their performance, after years of fundamental re-engineering. Mark takes old concepts and, with chefs, researches the real functions that cooks require to make their working life faster/easier/safer/cleaner.

Mark consulted with Chefs to design the one-piece stainless steel alloy Füri knife range in the early 1990s: simply to solve problems professional Chefs had with traditional knives. After four years on the market, Füri become the leading brand in Australia, and is now regarded as the new standard in performance by many top Chefs around the world.

2004 - Graeme Wood

Graeme Wood, started when Graeme Wood was asked to identify a marketing strategy for a hotel client looking to fill vacant rooms without spending a fortune on promotion.

By March 2000, the site (then known as was launched, under the financial support of Graeme and his fellow directors. The privately owned business allows customers to secure discounts of up to 60 per cent on rooms only available within 14 days.

Whether you are travelling independently or booking for business purposes's innovative flexibility allows 'just-in-time' accommodation solutions!

Graeme has been awarded this medal because of his extremely innovative business practices and his ability to stand-out in a crowded market.

2003 - John Stainton

John Stainton, Best Picture Show Company

The Mastermind of the Crocodile Hunter phenomenon, John Stainton, has been awarded a prestigious management medal for his innovative business practice and its contribution to Queensland and Australian industry.

Best Picture Show Company boss John Stainton, as producer, director and creator of the Crocodile Hunter series, featuring the Sunshine Coast's Steve and Terri Irwin, was awarded the 2003 QR Invitational Medal for Management Innovation.

While in the United States filming a new Croc Hunter reality series, Mr Stainton was unable to accept his award in person but sent a video acceptance speech, featuring some previously unseen audition footage of a very young Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin.

I knew even then he had the qualities to be a superstar, Mr Stainton told the audience. I knew packaged right we had a very marketable product.

The "overnight success" of the dynamic duo is the culmination of a 20-year strong partnership taking Steve Irwin from the crocodile traps of far north Queensland to the equally dangerous haunts of Hollywood.

Australian Institute of Management CEO, Carolyn Barker, said Mr Stainton's long term vision, courage of conviction and willingness to take a calculated risk had seen the 'Croc Hunter' phenomenon reach a position of unmatched market dominance, reaching over 200 million people across 130 countries.

John Stainton has been recognised for his ability to reconceptualise and forge new ground at the front end of his industry by moving away from the 'hands off', third party style of nature documentary, to a vivid and exhilarating approach that involves his viewers, Ms Barker said.

The Brisbane-based Best Picture Show Company, run by Stainton and partner Judi Bailey, employs 6 people plus a range of contractors, and provides support work for production staff hot on the trail of Irwin's next project.

We run our global business from Queensland because we have the world class facilities here to do it but because we also love living here, Mr Stainton said in his video acceptance speech.

2002 - Brett Godfrey

Brett Godfrey, CEO, Virgin Airlines

He researched the feasibility of the Virgin Blue concept with no more than $50,000 and information he could gain from the QANTAS and Australian Bureau of Statistics web sites.

Brett is a very 'hands on' CEO and is regularly rostered on to load baggage into aircraft.

Virgin Blue provides no frills, affordable passenger and freight transportation services. Revenue is applied to the core business of keeping aircraft operating and moving passengers.

The $10 million dollar venture is now worth more than half a billion dollars and plans to have 28 aircraft by the end of the year.

Staff are trained in all areas of Virgin Blue operations. This enables ll staff members to ensure that Virgin Blue service is streamlined and not disrupted, i.e. cabin crew operate with ground staff until a plane is ready to board and ground crew cover for ill cabin crew on flights.

Virgin Blue planes are new Boeing 737 jets that are used to their maximum capacity. When they are not ferrying passengers during the day, they are moving freight at night.

The airline is progressively implementing a kerb-side check-in scheme at all Australian airports. It is believed to be the first in the world. This system allows passengers to input the relevant information, print their ticket and boarding pass. In the near future they will be able to scan pre-printed baggage labels.

Virgin Blue has launched massage bars at Brisbane Airport. If the concept proves successful it will be expanded to other airports. Virgin Blue assists in the training of RAAF pilots. Offer six to eight weeks training and pilots are rostered on as normal crew members during their training.

The airline spends less than $6 million in their marketing budget. They have a small PR unit and also utilise their employees as brand ambassadors.

Read more about the Medal for Innovation.