Award Categories

Progressing Australia: Transforming Tomorrow.

The prestigious, national-level Progressing Australia category will focus on the nation’s most important issue as designated by the public, as well as independent research experts. This year’s category is for small to medium businesses reimagining how they operate and challenging industry models, to meet the new and emerging needs of Australians. 

The Transforming Tomorrow theme celebrates the businesses looking ahead, and beyond. The ones identifying what Australia will want and need, before it actually does. More than a short-term shift or temporary ‘pivot’, these businesses have initiated revolutionary structural or organisational change to meet the needs of future Australia. Embracing new technologies, attitudes and trends, they’ve demonstrated courage to challenge 'the way it’s always been done’, to help ensure a better tomorrow for their local communities.

The Benefits of being a judge

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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.

Understanding society.

For businesses aligning their purpose and processes to the changing attitudes and needs of Australians – now and into the future.

Embracing change.

For businesses that have evolved how they operate by turning barriers or inefficiencies into opportunities to reevaluate and move forward.

Leading the way.

For businesses that sparked an evolution in their industry by considering alternate market scenarios and emerging technologies.

Increasing inclusivity.

For businesses driving inclusivity by understanding and meeting the diverse future needs of their communities – and encouraging others to do the same.

Championing community.

For businesses using their game-changing vision and action to improve community wellbeing and prioritise local engagement.

The Benefits of being a judge

The 2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards Progressing Australia National Award Winner is PAKKO

Pakko is Brisbane-based cardboard manufacturer that embodies Local Leadership through their commitment to sustainability and social cohesion.

Featured 2022 entrants.

Progressing Australia

National Winner

Business Name

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Progressing Australia

National Winner

Business Name

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Progressing Australia

National Winner

Business Name

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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 JobKeeper or any other COVID19-related support)
  • 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:

  • In addition to Progressing Australia, you must also enter in 1 or more of the core categories.
  • 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.


Nominations open

Nominations for 2023 close 24 June 2022. 

Missed the deadline for this program? Don't worry – we accept nominations all year round, so you can always nominate for the next program.

Stage 1 entries

16th May - 6th July 2022

If nominated, create an Awards Hub profile and complete Stage 1 entry requirements. 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)

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