Stage 3 is closed! Thank you and good luck to all our entrants.

Award Categories

Progressing Australia.

The prestigious, national-level Progressing Australia category will focus on the nation’s most important issue as designated by the public and independent research experts. For 2021, this category is for small and medium-sized businesses embodying Local Leadership to move our nation forward. These are organisations creating a thriving community for the future and building skills to sustainably drive growth and social cohesion.

To enter this national-level category, you’re required to enter a core category first.

Who it's for.

If you are achieving one or more of the following Local Leadership examples, consider nominating and entering your business for this Award.

Skills advocacy

For businesses advocating for the skilling, re-skilling and up-skilling at a local level.

Filling the gap

For businesses identifying key skills gaps in their local communities and working to close them.

Next generation

For businesses focussed on providing training and career pathways locally for the next generation.

Contemporary skills

For businesses committed to ensuring the older generation in their communities are up to date with contemporary skills.

Future focussed

For businesses that have an eye on the future and are actively upskilling their employees for what their roles might look like in 5-10 year's time.

Eligibility criteria.

To enter, you must meet the following eligibility criteria.

The business must:

  • Have entered into another category or categories to be considered for Progressing Australia
  • Reside in Australia
  • Have a registered Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Have been operating in Australia for at least 12 months
  • Be more than 60% Australian-owned, with the owner(s) or founder(s) responsible for making key management decisions
  • Be a small to medium-sized business that's a sole trader, partnership, incorporated, NFP, social enterprise or franchise whose franchisor is 60% Australian owned and not an ASX-listed company
  • Earn more than $50,000 in annual revenue 
  • Have under 200 full-time equivalent staff as at the close of entry date
  • Be a business that operates 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 or donations
  • Be more than 50% owned by another business
  • Be a government agency
  • Have filed for bankruptcy in the last 5 years, or have been subject to court proceedings in the last 12 months from the close of entry date, including in the business owner or founder’s personal capacity
  • Be a recipient of significant ongoing government funding. Excluding Job Keeper or any other COVID-19 related support
  • Be a business who has been a contracted commercial supplier of Telstra in the last 3 years

Key dates.

Shortlisting Q&A

16th November

The day all entrants learn if they have been invited to undergo a Q&A with the Judging panel to discuss their Stage 3 submission in further detail.

Stage 3 Q&A

22nd November – 26th November 

Entrants will be given the opportunity to talk about their business face to face with Judges. An opportunity to let their passion shine through.

State Finalists Notification

30th November 

The day entrants learn if they have been selected as a State finalist.

Have a question?

Try our FAQs or speak with our Awards Team

Call 1800 AWARDS Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm (AEST).

Nominations for this year's program are closed. Nominate for next year.