Victorian Excellence Awards finalists announced

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Victoria’s best and brightest managers are set to be unveiled tomorrow at the Australian Institute of Management’s annual Excellence Awards.

The winners of the Victorian Excellence Awards will be announced at an exclusive ceremony held at Maia, Harbour Esplanade.

The awards recognise outstanding leadership in a range of industries through categories such as Not for Profit Manager of the Year, Young Manager of the Year as well as a Manager of the Year category.

For the past 22 years, the AIM Excellence Awards have been uncovering some of the unseen heroes in Australian business, government and community groups and this year promises more of the same with a high calibre of finalists represented in each category.

See below for a full list of Victorian finalists.

AIM CEO David Pich has said he is excited about the prospect of discovering some of Australia’s best leaders in this year’s awards and he’s wished all of the finalists the best of luck for the judging process.

“Year after year, the feedback from finalists highlights to us the tremendous thrill that comes with being part of such a prestigious awards process and program,” Mr Pich said.

“For many, the AIM Excellence Awards are an unforgettable career milestone and we extend our sincere congratulations to each of the finalists.”

Judging for the 2015 Victorian Excellence Awards will be taking place at Maia Australia on Friday 4 September and the winners will be announced at the awards event that evening.

Winners from each category will then go through to the National Excellence Awards finals taking place in Melbourne on Friday 16 October.


Young Manager of the Year

The Young Manager of the Year category recognises successful young entrepreneurs and business leaders aged between 18 and 30 years. This category acknowledges rising stars and aspiring leaders from business, government and industry. They are Australia’s “high potentials” and are recognised through AIM’s commitment to educating and developing Generation Y.


Adrian Powell

Team Leader Client Services North

State Trustees Ltd

Leading one of State Trustees Limited (STL) client services teams based in Bendigo, Adrian has 13 direct reports in one of the highest achieving teams within the organisation.

As a workplace culture coach Adrian is passionate about providing a positive and achievement focused environment as well as implementing change to increase overall client experience.

Adrian believes leadership is about engaging positively, communicating openly, inspiring others, and empowering employees in delivering key outcomes.


Clare Rudland

Manager, Australasian Contact Centre

Choice Hotels Australasia

Calre’s department comprises five different contact centre branches which work as distinct teams to provide a service of excellence in loyalty, reservations, franchisee internal help desk and data management.

Clare has a proven track record of building positive and fun office cultures to promote high performing teams in both tourism operations and contact centre sales.

As a means to ensure equity for working parents and to further build a team of effective staff, Clare partnered with JustMums Recruitment to examine how their work practices would attract and retain working parents.


Jane Tighe

HR Manager Asia Pacific

Chromaflo Technologies


Jane is successfully running all HR activities for the Asia Pacific region (including Australia, China, Malaysia, Thailand, India and South Africa).

Since she joined the company almost three years ago now, the APAC region in which she is responsible for has more than doubled, from a headcount of around 90 staff to now almost 200 staff.

Jane is also an E-Mentor to students from low socio-economic status as well as remote and Indigenous backgrounds to help raise their aspirations to participate in higher education.


Odell Menon

Managing Consultant

Litmus Group

Odell works for a management consulting firm and is responsible for delivering strategy execution and business transformation projects for clients.

His role involves extensive collaboration with multiple stakeholders and layers of management, all with conflicting interests, to drive an aligned outcome that serves both as a compromise but also represents a positive way forward.

He is consistently taking on additional responsibility and management of multiple streams of work due to his work ethic, intellect and capacity to successfully manage multiple priorities to required standards.


Manager of the Year

The Manager of the Year category celebrates the innovation, strategic thinking and visionary leadership of executive and C-Suite leaders from the public and private sectors. Finalists include senior managers, executives and leaders of business across all industries who have had an extraordinary impact on their organisation’s financial success through forward-thinking strategies.


Carlos Schafer

Executive General Manger Industry and Training

Open Universities Australia

In his role, Carlos oversees the operations of the Open Training Institute, E3Learning and Corporate Sales for the entire OUA Group.

With a track record of building organisational strategies to deliver sustainable growth in a variety of industries, he has achieved this in different geographies and cultures within emerging and mature markets.

Carlos brings a passion and drive to everything he does and is adaptable, resilient and creative in dealing with challenges.


George Azzam

National Sales Manager

L&H Group

George is responsible for the private brand portfolio of L&H Group an Electrical Wholesaling company that has been in operation in Australia for nearly 130 years and has an annual turnover of $60M.

Throughout his time with the L&H Group he has focused on his learning and development, having completed eight subjects on his way to an MBA with AIM.

He is a proud and passionate leader committed to driving the company values, leading by example and being the best people manager he can in order to deliver the best results possible.


Josie Brown

Regional Manager, Client Services

State Trustees Ltd

Josie is responsible for the leadership and operational management of 50 employees across Deceased Estate Administration, Personal Financial Administration, Enduring Power of Attorneys and Trustee Services.

This year Josie travelled to Singapore to participate in a five-day exchange program with the Public Guardian and Public Trustee of Singapore, enabling them to learn about new ways of working within the sector.

Externally from State Trustees, Josie is also participating as a Mentor in the Leadership Victoria, African Leadership Development Program for emerging African Australian leaders to develop their leadership skills.


Kim Stirling

Operations Manager


Kim’s role is to ensure the consistent delivery of customer service excellence through the operational management of the vehicles group which manages 30,000 novated leases via salary packaged arrangements.

Kim’s ability to empower the people around her whilst driving efficiencies and increasing sales, has led to many successes for her organisation and her people.

Kim improves processes by asking subject matter experts to describe the perfect "new" process for the same task and then breaking down what can be implemented and at what priority.


Mohsin Ali

General Manager

Energy Intelligence

Mohsin Ali is General Manager of Energy Intelligence, a rapidly growing energy consultancy based in Hawthorn East.

In a small company, Moshin often wears many hats and is at various times a Team Leader, IT Manager, HR Manager, Business Analyst and Regulatory Officer, while also being heavily involved in marketing and new business development.

The values Mohsin has built his career upon are dedication, creativity, innovation and loyalty.


Phil Barron

Area Manager Metro

Road Service


Phil Barron has worked at the RACV in Emergency Roadside Assistance for 22 years and his current role manages the delivery of Emergency Roadside Assistance, 24/7, 365 days per year across the southern regions of metropolitan Melbourne.

Phil was heavily involved in a large organisational change project introducing a new vehicle service network aimed at providing improved RACV member services now known as the Accredited Auto Care Centre.

In his role he approaches mentoring and leadership by demonstrating a positive attitude to change and by leading by example.


Skye Crawford

General Manager - Talent & Capability Development

Incitec Pivot

Skye’s role is leading talent management and capability development for a global chemical manufacturer with operations in around 10 countries. 

She has implemented a number of initiatives aimed at reducing overall cost to the business through removing duplication and wasted efforts from people working on the same things in isolation. 

Skye is passionate about driving improvements in the effectiveness of organisations, and holds her core values of integrity, respect and collaboration at the heart of everything she does.


Owner Manager of the Year

Entrepreneurs and business owners are recognised through the Owner Manager of the Year category. They are savvy, hardworking individuals with incredible determination who have channeled their learnings, turning points and visionary moments into viable businesses.


Debbie Demooy


Rad Bookkeeping & Business Solutions

Debbie Demooy is a qualified Bookkeeper and Registered Bas Agent and is the founder of Rad Bookkeeping based in Mornington. 

Debbie developed this boutique bookkeeping practice to focus on clients and provide quality client service.

Rad Bookkeeping & Business Solutions has blossomed from a home office 15 years ago to a wonderful office in Mornington that now supports five employees.


Tim Livingston


Bakers Delight

Tim owns the Bakers Delight bakery at The Pine shopping centre and is currently exploring the option of taking on a second site.

Tim has managed to grow sales by 25-30% and is still achieving the same growth after 10 months.

Bakers Delight is scheduled to hold their National Conference in September which will have over 1,000 delegates and Tim’s story and performance has been selected as one of the case studies to be shared at the conference.


Shakila Maclean


All Hours Conveyancing

Shakila oversees Residential Conveyancing all over Victoria and as the business owner she is the relationship manager, managing new business.

Over the last five years Shakila has expanded to South East Asia where 30% of herr business is now derived from.  

All of this has been through her hard work building a brand as the trusted legal representative for her clients.


Not for Profit Manager of the Year

The Not for Profit sector makes important contributions to society and the economy, the impacts of which are sometimes overlooked. Finalists for the Not for Profit Manager of the Year category are senior managers, executives and leaders in this sector who have worked for their organisation in a professional management capacity. Our finalists have transformed cultures, aligned the development of individuals in their organisation to the needs of the business culture and managed the demands of stakeholders with finesse.


David Sandison

General Manager Leadership Organisational Development

Anglicare Victoria

In 2007, David joined Anglicare Victoria and is now responsible for promoting and designing learning and organisational development opportunities that shape the culture and workforce of Anglicare Victoria.

Amongst his many accomplishments, David established the Learning @ Anglicare Victoria, Professional Development Program which involved more than 780 participants in 2014 and 2015.

David has a highly consultative style of dealing with complex tasks as he seeks the views and experiences of key people to help him understand the complexity and develop a way forward.


Gregory Phillips

Director Support Services

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Greg's role in a specialised teaching hospital encompasses providing non-clincial support such as, facilities management, food services, environmental services, patient transport and security.

He recently outsourced the patient/staff cafe to a private operator resulting in an in-house business unit that was making a loss turning into a profit arrangement.

Outside the work environment he has been involved as a Junior Vice President, Australian College of Health Services Executives (Victoria) and he has held the position of President of a local Eastern Football League club.


Jennifer McNaughton

Director Northern Region

Berry Street

Berry Street commenced services in 1877 and has grown to be Victoria’s largest independent welfare agency providing an extensive range of services to children, young people, women and families.

In 2014/2015 Berry Street North directly supported more than 8000 children, young people, women and families with 120 office based staff, 70+ Residential Support staff and more than 160 Foster Carers.

Jenny has experience in managing a broad range of multidisciplinary staff, and appreciates and values diversity within her teams.


Kim Hoyling

Business Coordinator Community Services

City of Greater Dandenong Council

Kim’s role requires management of a range of budget, corporate and Council planning and human resource functions for a large service focused Directorate that employs approximately 400+ employees with an operational expenditure in excess of $40M.

Kim was recently involved in the development of a more transparent Directorate budget that identified efficiencies and reallocation of funds to support areas that required more resources.

Kim has an absolute commitment to customer service, being a role model for others, leadership by bringing others with her on expected outcomes and her own personal and professional development to be an effective leader and manager.


Michele Gellatly

Organisational Development and Capability Manager

Australian Red Cross Blood Service

As the largest operating division of the Australian Red Cross Society, the Blood Service provides the community with safe, high quality blood and blood products, and organ and bone marrow services for transplantation.

As the Organisational Development and Capability Manager, Michele’s role is responsible for developing and operationalising the strategies for the attraction, retention and development of organisational talent.

Under Michelle’s leadership, The Blood Service was recently a finalist at the Australian HR Awards in the ‘Best Workplace Diversity and Inclusion category.


Moti Kshirsagar

Chief Executive Officer

Taxpayers Australia Limited

Taxpayers Australia Limited (TAL) is a not-for-profit organisation committed to a fairer and more transparent taxation system for every Australian taxpayer.

Moti’s skills include an ability to streamline business operations that drive growth and increase efficiency and bottom-line profit.

Under Moti’s leadership TAL has increased seminars and workshops offerings from 12 per annum to 55 per annum resulting in significant increases in the Seminars & Educational Products revenue stream.


Sandro Cirianni

General Manager

Guide Dogs Victoria

Sandro’s role is to head the coordinated delivery of services for clients of Guide Dogs Victoria and to ensure a quality experience for the blind and vision impaired community.

He is responsible for 60 staff and approximately 200 volunteers, delivering services to 1500 blind and vision impaired clients.

Under Sandro’s leadership, client volume has grown by 15 percent with full time staff numbers remaining the same and dog utilisation rate has improved from 50 to 71 percent.