Pilbara trio up for business women’s awards

Alicia PereraPilbara News
Karratha’s Telstra Business Women’s Award finalists, Jessica Ireland and Kylah Morrison.
Camera IconKarratha’s Telstra Business Women’s Award finalists, Jessica Ireland and Kylah Morrison. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

Three Pilbara businesswomen are in the running for some of WA’s most highly regarded awards for women in business.

Kylah Morrison, Brie Healy and Jessica Ireland have been named finalists in the 2019 WA Telstra Business Women’s Awards, now in its 24th year, which celebrate successful women transforming the way business is done.

The number of Pilbara finalists is believed to be a record number for the region.

Ms Morrison, who is chief executive of the Karratha and Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry and chairwoman of the Pilbara Universities Centre committee, has been short-listed for the for-purpose and social enterprise award.

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Both Ms Healy — the founding director of Tom Price and Paraburdoo dance studio From Dust Creative Arts — and Ms Ireland — a LJ Hooker Karratha sales executive and president of the Karratha Young Professionals — are finalists in the emerging leader category.

From Dust Creative Arts founder Brie Healy with some of her dance students.
Camera IconFrom Dust Creative Arts founder Brie Healy with some of her dance students. Credit: Felicity Ford Photography

Ms Morrison said she was not surprised at the number of finalists from the Pilbara because of the amount of business opportunities available in the region.

“I think that the Pilbara is where you get opportunities, especially for women and especially for young people,” she said.

“If you’re prepared to come here and take hold of the opportunities that present themselves, there is a great support network, a great opportunity to make your mark, and so you do stand out more than perhaps you would in a bigger city.”

Ms Healy said she hoped the trio’s recognition would bring more attention to female success in the region.

“I moved here by myself, as a female moving into a very male-dominated region, and by succeeding in business I think it perhaps shows a really great (example) for young kids by showing them that it doesn’t have to remain a heavily male-dominated region,” she said.

“Anyone can step up and follow what they want to do, and if just one of my students gets out of that that whatever their dreams are they can pursue them, in dance or something else, I’ll feel like it’s a job well done.”

Ms Ireland said she was excited about the future possibilities that could stem from being short-listed.

“I think it’s great to be recognised for what we’re doing and to be given more of a platform and more of a voice to go further with it,” she said.

The Pilbara finalists are among just 19 women up for the awards.

Telstra Business Women’s Awards ambassador and chief financial officer Robyn Denholm said all the finalists deserved to be congratulated on their achievements.

“The 2019 finalists are all extraordinary women following their own path,” she said.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday, March 28 at Crown Perth.

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