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Irish Chamber

Irish Australian Business Awards Peoples Choice 2017

Irish Australian Business Awards Peoples Choice 2017
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2017 Irish Australian Business Awards - People's Choice Voting category the "Higgins Award"

An opportunity for the public to make their voice heard and help support the National Finalists with their votes. The most popular finalist on the public vote wins the Higgins Award, named after our founding President Gerry Higgins and is announced on the evening of the National Final.

 

Congratulations to Flexi Rent, our 2017 "Higgins Award" Winner!

 

Scroll down and "VIEW MORE" to learn about our 2017 finalists and to watch their videos.

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Hydric Media is a technology studio specialising in building apps and digital products that delight, fascinate and touch millions of people. Over the last several years we had the opportunity to work a very wide and diverse range of clients, such as Spotify, MTV, Northwestern Mutual, Gatorade, Twitter, Reebok, among many others.

Hydric Media is solely owned by 2 Irishmen, Eoin McCarthy and David Lowry, who met while studying at the University of Limerick together. We started with humble beginnings in late 2012 and over the last 4 years, have grown to employ 12 people across Brisbane and New York - with the production happening exclusively in Brisbane.



 

Hydric is now regarded globally as one of the most experienced Spotify application developers having created Spotify powered applications for brands like Bose, Gatorade, SXSW and even Spotify themselves. The apps we have been built have been significantly features in the US app stores, with our own app Wonder.fm recently receiving an Apple 'Editors Choice' in the music category.

Our work with MTV in the US received this glowing recommendation from our client:
"We worked with Hydric Media for our MTV Artists App on iPhone, Android, and iPad from design to development. They are truly an amazing team to work with. They are incredibly collaborative and creative, and bring a lot of technical and platform knowledge as well.
They brought great perspective and ideas, and also came to the table with some great technical solutions for getting us where we wanted to go."
Mark Mezrich - VP Product Management, Music Group, Viacom

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I am a Development Manager at VicTrack and have over fourteen years’ experience in the Property and Construction Industry in both Ireland and Australia. I am passionate about development and how it can influence the way people live by creating great places to gather, collaborate, innovate and prosper. 

My main interests are in commercial/ mixed use/ retail development, transit orientated developments, sustainable design, placemaking, and beautiful architecture.  I am a member of the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce (IACC) National Board and the Victorian Committee President. I have been a key facilitator of the IACC’s pilot program The Horizons Group, a young professional’s leadership forum, the Affinity mentoring program with African communities and the mentoring project, a social enterprise project initiative.

I am a worthy winner as I have dedicated my time to not only supporting VicTrack’s strategic business targets but also to the development of the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce to ensure that the IACC adds value to its members and continues to stay relevant for Irish Australians and those with affinity for either country.



Currently one of my main projects for VicTrack is Jewell Station Urban Village, which involves working closely with our development partners Neometro. I also manage several other station precinct projects including the air rights development at 24 Chapel St Windsor, and the new St Albans Station retail precinct.  My most notable development project to date is the iconic Grand Canal Theatre and commercial development in Dublin’s Docklands designed by Star-hitect Daniel Libeskind. I have also delivered VicTrack’s first station precinct development - the award winning Glen Waverley Station – Ikon development with Development partners Consolidated Property Group.

I have a background in architecture and engineering and I hold a postgraduate diploma in project management from Trinity College Dublin.

Before moving into the property and transport sector in Australia to focus on transit orientated development, I worked in the entertainment, retail, commercial and hotel and leisure sectors of the property development and construction industry.

I am an outcomes person and enjoy making good ideas reality. I am a strong communicator and negotiator and I enjoy getting the best out of the teams I work with.

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I think I would be a worthy winner because I love what I do, love the construction industry and have been involved in some very rewarding & challenging projects over the past few years. I am a Senior Project Manager at Built Pty Ltd and have been with the company for 8 years- ever since returning from Ireland in 2009. I have forged many great working relationships in that time, including with a number of great Irish people.

I was born & raised in Melbourne, to an Aussie Mum & a very Irish Dad (a Kerryman). I have always had a strong affiliation with Ireland, and moved there upon completing my degree in 2003. I lived & worked in Ireland for 6 years, before returning to Australia in 2009 with my now wife Olivia who is from Leitrim. We now have 2 young children and have just returned from a 6 week family holiday in Ireland.

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I have been honoured and humbled to be nominated to be nominated for this Award.

Being both Irish and female I find self-promotion difficult. Multiple times during this process, I have made the decision to back out but I have not. My wonderful friends and colleagues have assured me I am a worthy nominee.

Therefore; I think I am a worthy winner of this Award as I would like to further spread what an amazing opportunity it is to be a woman in technology, a female in sales and an Irish person abroad. I want people to look at me and think if she can do it then there is a chance that is something I can do as well.

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I became the Chief Risk Officer at EISS over three years ago, a role that has been one of my greatest challenges but also one of my greatest achievements during my time in Australia. I moved here in May 2009 to further develop my career by taking on the role as a Manager at KPMG Sydney before being head hunted by EISS.

EISS is an award winning not-for profit industry superannuation fund which manages over $5 billion in funds under management for over 22,000 members.  I have been instrumental in the development of the organisation, executing the growth strategy and leading by example, mentoring all new staff to invest in the vision. Since I joined in May 2014, I have led the significant growth of EISS from $4.3 billion funds under management to currently $5.4 billion. When I joined, there were 9 people in the EISS Trustee office. Today there are 54, with the objective to have 70 staff within the next 12 months.

“It is a testament to her dedication and passion for the organization, which would not be in its current form without her”. Alex Hutchison, CEO at EISS

The core objective of EISS is to put members at the centre of everything it does. That ethos is fundamental to why I enjoy working in this industry. I strive to continually maintain a strong risk culture and robust risk management governance controls to ensure that everything EISS strives to achieve is in the best interests of members. I have built the risk management function from the start and it is evident that a strong risk culture exists and permeates. I recently executed a survey on positive independent risk culture and employee satisfaction that rated at 93%.

One of my key achievements at EISS was leading the Project to review our largest outsourced provider; our Administrator. To complete this task I took a strong entrepreneurial vision for the future growth of EISS. As a result, I recommended that the Board change our Administrator to a competitor to ensure that our members would receive the most digitally focused experience going forward. I recognized the importance of technology to grow our younger membership and promote a digitally enhanced member - centric experience. My vision for our members (and to safeguard the growth of the company) is to implement technologies such as “click to chat”, removing paper from all processes, ethically investing in technology companies and promoting social responsible investing options for our members. I have recently established a Project Management Office and Project Steering Committee to oversee the consistent implementation of all projects and initiatives under one risk banner.

Expanding my network and learning from other peoples’ working experience is integral to my personal development. I was chosen as a member of the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce Emerald Influence Peer to Peer mentoring Program, where I have met so many like-minded women. Also, I am intrinsically involved in the Risk Management Association, where I was the first non-bank, superannuation member. Also, broadening my horizon and interest in the investment management industry; I have developed and implemented an investment operational and risk management due diligence review program of all our investment managers in-house instead of relying on the assessment of an outsourced provider.

I also taken great joy in applying my risk management skills to other areas in life. This includes part taking in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in December 2016 where risk management is such a key focus in the preparation of an offshore yacht race. Also, embracing my working knowledge of investment risk management, I have undertaken further education in the past 18 months having passed Level I and Level II of the CFA Candidate Program, where I am scheduled to sit Level III in June 2018.

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In 2010 Sinead commenced as a Registered Nurse in Surgical Services at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney. She is dedicated to both patient and staff safety. Her dedication stems from her genuine desire to improve quality and safety for patients, families and staff in healthcare. Sinead’s personal and professional values and beliefs align with the Mission and Values of St Vincent’s Health Australia.  As a professional working in healthcare with over 11 years of experience, Sinead have demonstrated the ability to work autonomously and in a team environment.  She has taken every opportunity to gain both technical and interpersonal skills and extended her knowledge in Surgical Services and Anaesthetics and Recovery. These interpersonal skills and her leadership and managerial ability led Sinead to be supported to apply for and gain the role of Associate Nurse Unit Manager in Anaesthetics and Recovery.



Sinead has been involved in numerous practice and quality improvement initiatives in Surgical Services and facility wide. In particular Sinead has taken the lead in developing and implementing the Massive Blood Transfusion Protocol across the facility. This involved leading a team to research best practice in patient blood management during an emergency and communicate this information and gain consensus with all stake holders in the multidisciplinary team. This led to the development and implementation of a protocol, data collection form and auditing tool and has improved practice related to Massive Transfusion right across the facility. This project is reflective of Sinead’s capacity to professionally develop and extended her knowledge in project and change management, stakeholder engagement and the analysis of data to inform and influence business decision making and quality and safety improvements.

Sinead is an integral part of the management Nursing Team within the Surgical Services. She works closely with the highly professional multidisciplinary team to provide a high standard of patient centred care. She strives to improve her skills and the skills of her colleagues. Sinead is interested in technology and making it available for our patients.  She is committed to St Vincent's Private Hospital and she wishes it to do well. She looks for ways to improve the business and advance optimal patient care.

 

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“The Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce provides members a network of support and a platform to further business objectives (IACC, 2017)”. I believe I am living proof of this aim with the work I am doing in the Education, Health and Research sectors.

I am currently employed as a Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. This is a National course which involves me teaching students across three campuses in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. In this role I am supporting the next generation of OT’s foster their skills they require to be effective OT’s in the ever changing healthcare system.

In addition to this I am also the ACU Victorian Professional Practice Coordinator for the Occupational Therapy course. This position involves networking and negotiating with Health Care Agencies across Victoria for the procurement of Professional Practice placements. I commenced in this role in January and already to date I have secured additional partnerships. To further build these networks, I have completed educational workshops for student supervisors which illustrates my focus on the importance of quality initiatives to sustain collaborations.

I am also continuing to increase my profile within the research field. In October last year, I completed my Professional Doctorate (PhD) of Clinical Sciences in Occupational Therapy (graduating in May this year). My research explored the “conceptions of occupational therapists in addressing sexuality from an occupational perspective”. To date I have submitted an article for publication to the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal and awaiting response from this. I have also presented this research at state and national conferences. In October/November this year I will be presenting the research findings on an International scale, in Taiwan at the 1st Asian Pacific Occupational Therapy Conference and in Northern Ireland at the University of Ulster. I am extremely proud to return to the University of Ulster as this is where I obtained my undergraduate occupational therapy degree.

On a personal level I have also represented the Melbourne Australian/Irish community in the Rose of Tralee in 2012 during this time I had the opportunity to develop many partnerships with organisations both here in Melbourne and Ireland, if I was successful in achieving this award I would use the skills I developed during my reign as the rose to further build partnerships within the health and educations sectors both here in Australia and Ireland.

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I arrived in Australia in 2002 with my degree from the University of Limerick in my back pocket and couple of years experience to-boot! Since then, I've spent the last 15 years building a career in a technology to a point where I am now a recognized technology leader in Australia, with a significant track record for delivering technology-enabled change that has contributed directly to commercial outcomes in both digital media and commercial property / realestate industries.

My last 6 years have been in Property and Real Estate, where I have lead the digital transformation at both Charter Hall Group (now) and previously at the Stockland Group.

As Chief Technology Office and Head of Business Transformation, I am a key member of the EXCO at Charter Hall providing leadership and direction for all strategic & operational technology activities. Charter Hall are a ~$20Bn+ commercial real estate business managing approx. 400 assets across Retail, Office, Industrial / Logistics and Hospitality sectors.

I am an active contributor to the health of technology innovation globally, representing Australia on the advisory board for the ‘Realcomm’ global real estate innovation think-tank, also I lead the Commercial stream of the Business Council of Australia ‘Innovation Nation’ initiative. I provide coaching an mentoring to a Sydney based Irish founder led start-up called NuaMedia, helping them to develop and execute strategy, business plans and create scale as a young Irish-Australian business.

Along the way I'm proud to have developed and mentored some wonderful people (both within Irish community and outside) and am currently an active mentor in the the ‘Women in Property’ PCA program as well as the IACC mentoring program. I'm also proud to have been able to contribute to the 'grass roots' Irish community here in Sydney through my coaching and mentoring role with NSW GAA.

I'm very proud to be an Irishman in corporate Australia and try to both represent and contribute to the Irish community at every available opportunity. For putting the Irish flag on the top of Australian tech thought leadership - I'm seeking your nomination!!

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The answer to this question starts with my granddad, who was treasurer of the local credit union back in Ireland. He taught me by example that it is possible to give back to your community - through the power of business. I’ve since taken these values onboard, which has led me to become an accountant; to help people.  The values my grandad demonstrated were timeless. The power in helping people, sharing your story, listening to the challenges of others, and also bringing a new perspective – these are the same values that guide my career today.

Since coming to Australia, these values have helped to contribute to the following positive outcomes:  I arrived in Australia six years ago and became a recruitment consultant at Robert Walters. Over the three years that followed, I helped over 400 people find new roles in the financial services industry, and I was promoted three times – eventually leading the banking and financial services arm of this firm. I am proud of this fast trajectory, given I didn’t know anyone in Australia when I first arrived, and I had to start from scratch.  More anecdotally, I have helped many Irish expat accountants to set up their new life in Melbourne, helping them to find roles in a range of banks, General Electric and other organisations within the financial services industry in Melbourne. It feels good to help others who are facing the unknown, to know that my insights – and the networks I have created – can steer them in the right direction.



Now, as Territory Sales Manager at Xero (Victoria and Tasmania), technology has become my tool of choice when it comes to giving back in business, and helping others. I work closely with business owners to help them leverage cloud-based technology to grow their business faster. This involves sharing stories of my experiences, listening to the challenges of others, and lending a new perspective as to how the power of the cloud can transform business and the wider Australian economy; which feels incredibly worthwhile..
I also talk to graduates about their future – through my involvement with Monash University, where I speak at events ran by the Monash Accounting Students’ Association.

 

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I co-founded Lotus People in August 2015, and since then the business has grown exponentially. We have overachieved on every single growth target we have set, as well as building a strong and committed team who high perform on every level.

One year after inception, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue syndrome, and was forced to take 2.5 months out of the business. Although I was mostly housebound, I continued to contribute to the business in any way I could and throughout this time I continued to work from home. In this time, I managed to submit for two full national tenders, and also wrote an award submission for Seek’s annual recruitment awards, where we were named as finalists in the top 4; small agency of the year.

After my return to the business in August 2016, I took over most of the day to day running of Lotus People, as my business partner and co-director decided to reduce her hours, and then in December 2016, she withdraw from her role as Director and shareholder to focus on her personal life and teach yoga full time.  Although this was an unprecedented and confronting situation, I tried to handle the situation with care and consideration, whilst also creating an environment for our team that was secure, stable and supported in this period. I made time to meet each of our clients individually – over 140 contacts over 60 businesses and also provided mentoring and support to each member of our team to ensure they understood they were valued and that the team would continue with very little impact.



Since then the business has gone from strength to strength, with growth both in terms of the team size, but also in terms of revenue generated.  In the two years since lotus has been open, I have tried to lead from the front with motivation, enthusiasm and a tireless dedication to providing an impeccable service to clients, candidates and the industry as a whole whilst maintaining a positive, high performing team culture. I have implemented new business values, overhauled and re launched the company website and managed to recruit quality members of staff.

This experience has taught me countless valuable lessons in terms of how to run a successful business, how to work smarter and not harder, how to streamline, and how to make business decisions that are ethical and good for me, and my team. Off the back of my illness, I implemented a culture initiative for the team - a set of incentives to ensure work life balance, employee satisfaction and team engagement, and to ultimately ensure that our team are looked after and will never end up in a burn out situation. Coming out the other side of my illness, I have a new appreciation for running Lotus and having the opportunity to represent young women in business. It is so important that we keep empowering young woman, and focus on mental health, wellbeing and balance.

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