2023 Western Australian of the Year Awards

Business Award Finalists

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The Business Award is presented in celebration of excellence and outstanding ethics in business leadership, social entrepreneurship or innovation at a state, national or international level, resulting in major positive social or economic impact in Western Australia.

Meet our 2023 Business Award finalists:

John Barrington AM

John Barrington AM is a well-respected entrepreneur, community and business leader and health advocate. Over his 40- year career, John has played a key role in developing the state’s business community by providing quality education, mentoring, consulting and commercial opportunities.

John’s contributions have been recognised with numerous accolades including being named a Member of the Order of Australia in 2019 and receiving the Australian Institute of Company Directors NFP Award for Director Excellence in 2017. As co-founder and former Managing Director of data mining company Nerve Systems and healthcare company Artrya, he has made a significant impact on the industry.

Community involvement has been a long-held passion of John’s. He served as the Chair of Anglicare WA, revamping their strategy to target sustainability as a key objective alongside community service. He is also heavily involved in the arts sector, serving as the Chair of the John Curtin Gallery and Deputy Chair of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia.

John’s commitment to others was learned at Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club, where he rose to become the youngest Club Captain and helped the first group of women in Australia to become qualified surf life savers. He is also leading the proposed development of a $750 million cancer institute as the Chair of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

John’s leadership inspires all those around him to think big. He believes that encouraging innovation is both socially and economically beneficial, and his impressive career in the commercial and arts sectors speaks for itself.

Gina Rinehart AO

Gina Rinehart AO is an inspiring business leader and philanthropist who has contributed greatly to the mining, agricultural and philanthropic sectors in Australia. As Executive Chairman of the Hancock Prospecting Group, she has transformed the company from one experiencing financial difficulties into one of the most successful private businesses in Australian history. Under her stewardship, Hancock Prospecting has successfully diversified into mining, iron ore, copper, potash, gold, coal, gas, cattle, dairy, and property industries and importantly supports many philanthropic sectors.

Gina’s business acumen and leadership have earned her several awards, including the Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year (2009) and Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to the mining sector, philanthropic initiatives, and sport (2022).

A passionate philanthropist impacts thousands of people across Australia and internationally, she supports various medical, educational, sporting, health and community organisations, serving as Patron of Australia’s Olympic swimming, rowing, volleyball and synchronised swimming teams. Her contribution to Olympic teams makes her the largest individual donor to Olympic sport in Australian history, supporting 175 individual athletes.

She has also supported Breast Cancer and Telethon as charitable causes that have impacted hundreds of thousands of children and families in WA and throughout Australia. Gina’s commitment to the Hanrine Futures Scholarships ensures that disadvantaged and vulnerable indigenous children in the Pilbara will receive an education and a guaranteed a job, which is life-changing.

Gina’s commitment to giving back to the community has inspired her staff to raise money for various charitable causes. Her contributions to the community, leadership, and business success make her an inspiration and role model for

many Australians, especially women.

Steve Scudamore AM

Steve Scudamore AM, a renowned business leader and community figure, Steve has worked in senior management for over 28 years, and has served as a respected Partner for global accounting giant KPMG. He was appointed Chairman of Partners from 2004 to 2012, where his collaborative and consultative approach earned him the respect of his colleagues and associates. Steve’s considerable business acumen saw him appointed as Chair of the Audit and Risk committee of Pilbara Minerals Ltd and Regis Resources Ltd. He has also overseen the Pilgangoora Lithium project, an initiative that has yielded significant employment for locals and considerable export income.

Steve generously has given his time to many boards, including Chair of the insurance arm of MDA, a national mutual organisation which supports and provides insurance cover for doctors, Australian Institute of Company Directors, Celebrate WA, Barking Gecko, Edge Employment, Awesome Arts, Aquila Resources and Altona Mining. He has been a Trustee of the WA Museum since 2006 and Vice-Chair since 2016.

Steve’s passion for history saw him appointed as a Trustee of the WA Museum in 2006. He has also provided support to Telethon Kids Institute as it continues in its important mission to fund vital medical research for kids.

Steve’s contributions to the WA community were officially recognised when he received an honorary doctorate from Curtin University in 2021, and he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2023. His philanthropic spirit is underpinned by a belief that all people, no matter where they come from, essentially have the same life goals.

Major Supporters

Celebrate WA wish to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we meet on for all WA Day festivities. We wish to acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this State. Paying our respects to Elders past, present, and emerging.

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