We Made It!
One of the highlights on the Australian business calendar is the National Telstra Business Awards. Thousands of businesses around the country are put under the microscope by a panel of experienced business analysts, who critique companies based on; their turn over, social impact, business model and innovation.
Nominated businesses are required to submit a detailed dossier profiling their company.
Including and not limited too;
Complete financials plus accountant endorsement letter,
Detailed descriptions of company products, services and practices,
Lengthy questions about the business ethos,
Examples of innovation,
PLUS the social impact that the business has on the greater community.
When it comes to the school and our business ethos, we like to think that our understanding of the company is comprehensive. That said, the application process DIDN’T take hours, it DIDN’T even take days… it took MONTHS!
Once the application was submitted it went to the awards judges who narrow it down to a shortlist of success companies. * Drum roll please * The Huxley School of Makeup WAS successfully shortlisted!
A date was set for two judges to put the school through its paces! The honourable judges for our category was the; HR Heroine, Jade Collins and Accounting Mastermind Harold Peacock.
Judges were required to spend about 45min with each shortlisted business, but anyone who has been to HUXLEY before knows that your likely to spend longer than you expected at the school. So almost 2hours after hearing about the company, watching cool videos, admiring inspiring photographs, seeing students at work and even learning about the process to make realistic special effects human hearts… our judges left inspired and possibly a little disturbed.
All jokes aside the feedback we received from the judges on the day was fantastic. We loved having the opportunity to showcase our incredible school and knew that regardless if we were to become finalist or not, that it was a massive achievement to get this far. In Queensland alone their are approximately 425,000 businesses!! To have experienced business pros like Jade and Harold at our humble school was certainly a privilege and an honour.
A few nervous weeks later and we received a phone call to say that of thousands of business award hopefuls, we were 1 of 5 finalists! YAY!!! Many hiFives were smacked around the office that day.
The next step in our journey was a special finalist workshop, followed by the offical awards ceremony at Brisbane City Hall. Representing HUXLEY was our Student Facilitator and General Manager Sarah Major and myself ^_^ Course Convener Michael.
The workshop was awesome. We met with other successful finalist, past winners and Telstra executives. We were asked to bring something significant artefact to our business to the workshop evening. Then on the night the cheeky organisers sprung a surprise show and tell on us asking us to speak about our artefact and how it impacted our company. Lucky I like to talk…
I chose to take a photograph of my beautiful nana Elizabeth (like the Queen) English. I certainly wouldn’t openly call her an ‘artefact’ but at 89 years old she isn’t far off it. Besides being an essential contributor to my existence, Nana has always been my biggest supporter! She has passed down many of the values which I share with the students and team at HUXLEY. She never had doubt in me or my business. She wasn’t ever judgemental about my ideas, my choices or the things I couldn’t choose. For those reasons and more, Nana has had an unmeasurable impact on me and the company.
Skip forward one day; nails done, hair did, one Disney movie watched and it was the offical awards night. The Brisbane City hall is a beautiful building and from the moment we walked in, we felt really privileged to be apart of such a prestigious event. Sarah was getting a lot of attention for her silk jump suit and people some people asked me if my parents where winning an award that night so .. thanks Dr. Morley. Obviously something is working.
The food was … well, to be expected. In their defence I can barely cook for myself, let alone hundreds of people. One of my favourite venue features was a massive floating projector screen. I’m a bit a production geek and the whole aesthetic was great! We sat down at our table with other competing finalists who were probably all as nervous as we were. Our category came up and my heart was pumping out of my chest. Years of late nights, weekends at work, actual sweat, actual tears, uncontrollable laughs, lows and ecstatic highs. All in all, unforgettable moments which have shaped the person I am. I had one of those moments when I realised that this business means everything to me.
We came, we competed, we … didn't win.
But unlike a game of Jenga where the stakes a high (literally), when our company wasn’t called out nothing changed. I was disappointed, a bit sad at first, but I quickly realised that its just a competition where the only thing we had in common with the other competitors was the amount of full time staff we had. Even within our own industry, there isn’t anywhere like the Huxley School of Makeup. Every company at the event were already winners and I am super proud that HUXLEY is considered a finalist amongst such a strong alumni of Aussie Businesses.
So in summary, a MASSIVE thank you to the Telstra Business Awards for the opportunity to mingle with other incredible businesses and be apart of such a fantastic event