Award Categories

Building Communities.

The strength of a nation can be measured by the harmony of its communities. This category focusses on small and medium-sized businesses making a positive impact on their communities in a way that benefits each and every citizen. 

Who is it for?

If you’re achieving one or more of the following Category examples, consider nominating and entering your business for this Award.

Community cohesion

For businesses actively enhancing community cohesion by supporting Australia’s most vulnerable citizens.

Care and education

For business’s whose day-to-day operations include providing care and education in a way that helps the community thrive.

Celebrating diversity

For businesses who fight for, embrace and promote the community’s array of cultures to create­­­ a welcome and more inclusive environment for all.

Cultural preservation

For businesses striking a balance of preserving and promoting awareness of our rich multi-cultural society in a way that holistically benefits the community.

Training and access

For businesses built around educating and training people to advocate for and create greater social cohesion.

The 2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards Building Communties National Award Winner is West Australian Shalom Group Inc

The West Australian Shalom Group Inc runs Shalom House, a residential rehabilitation centre. The program focuses on restoration and reintegration, and everyone leaves 100% debt free, with a current drivers’ license, a car, and full-time work.

Featured 2022 entrants.

Progressing Australia

ACT Winner

Employ for Ability

Employ for Ability is an innovative social purpose business focused on improving the employment rate of people on the autism spectrum, one placement at a time. By doing so, Employ for Ability seeks to change the conversation from disability to ability.

Progressing Australia

NSW Winner

Renew IT

Renew IT helps businesses achieve their carbon zero goals, by buying back redundant IT hardware. The hardware either finds a new home or is broken down responsibly, giving companies a return on IT without compromising data.

Progressing Australia

NT Winner

Ikuntji Artists Aboriginal Corporation

Established in 1992, Ikuntji Artists Aboriginal Corporation was the first art centre established by women in the Western Desert Art Movement. Today Ikuntji Artists Aboriginal Corporation are represented in galleries and institutions in Australia and around the world.

Eligibility criteria.

To enter, the following set of eligibility criteria that must be met. Each category also has specific criteria requirements too. If you have any questions about these conditions or eligibility please contact us.

The business must:

  • Reside in Australia
  • Have a registered Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Have been operating in Australia for at least 12 months at the time you submit your Stage 1 entry
  • Be more than 60% Australian-owned, with the owner(s)/founder(s) responsible for making the key management decisions
  • Be a small-to-medium business that’s a sole trader, partnership, incorporated, NFP, social enterprise or franchise whose franchisor is 60% Australian owned and not a listed company
  • Earn more than $50,000 in annual revenue
  • Have under 200 full-time equivalent staff at the time you submit your Stage 1 entry
  • Operate in an ethical manner with suppliers, distributors and contractors

The business must not:

  • Be a listed company, franchisor, a club, co-operative, or a Telstra licensee
  • Be affiliated with Telstra through investments, donation or reselling
  • Be more than 50% owned by another business
  • Be a government agency
  • Have filed for bankruptcy in the prior 5 years or been subject to court proceedings in the prior 12 months – including in the business owner or founder’s personal capacity – at the time you submit your Stage 1 entry
  • Be a recipient of significant ongoing government funding (excluding temporary government relief or support packages, such as Jobkeeper or disaster recovery)
  • Have been a contracted commercial supplier of Telstra in the last 3 years
  • Enter the same category where the business has previously won at State or National level at the Telstra Best of the Business Awards in the past 3 years
  • Have a staff member that has been a State or National Judge in the Telstra Best of Business Awards for any category in the past 3 years

Conditions of Entry:

  • A business may not enter the awards if a staff member or owner has applied to be a Judge in the same awards program year.
  • When requested, business financials must be supplied. All financials will remain confidential and will not be shared or used outside the purposes of judging the business’ performance, success and viability. 

Key Dates for the 2023 Program.


Nominations open

Nominations for the 2023 program have now closed, but don't worry - we accept nominations all year round, so you can always nominate for the next program.

Stage 3 entries

6 September – 26 September

Click below for details on category information, selection criteria and eligibility.

Q&A interviews

15 – 18 November

If your Pitch Pack entry is successful, you will proceed to Q&A. Click below for details on category information, selection criteria and eligibility.


Have a question?

Try our FAQs or speak with our Award Team. Call 1800 AWARDS Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm (AEST)

Nominate an exceptional business - even your own!