All eligible applications will proceed to the judging panel for review and selection. Judges will select four outstanding finalists to be represented in each of the three award categories.

The judging panel will consider each finalist against the following criteria, and will be looking for information that supports and demonstrates examples and evidence of each of the following:

  • Hardship endured.
  • Financial obstacles overcome.
  • Social obstacles overcome.
  • Company financial viability.
  • Fiscal application to company.
  • Positioning in the marketplace.
  • Potential future growth in the marketplace.
  • Ingenuity and creativeness in the marketplace.
  • Contribution to Australia and its social fabric.
  • Contribution to the community.

The finalists are then notified with a filming date. A professional producer, director and film crew will visit the finalist’s business and film an interview with the finalist, including an overview of the company. The footage is edited into a short documentary style presentation to be screened during the Gala Presentation Dinner and subsequent broadcast to national and international television audiences.

Judging Panel

Eve Crestani

Eve Crestani is an experienced Chairman, Non-Executive Director and Business Consultant. She qualified in law, and has 28 years’ experience as a Non-Executive Director and Chairman, and as chairman of multiple board committees.

She has deep experience in the governance of complex and highly regulated businesses, strategy development, risk management, financial management and transformation. Eve has served on a variety of boards – listed, unlisted and mutual, global and domestic.

Eve is currently a Director of Australian Unity Investment Real Estate Limited, booking.com, Heathley Real Estate Investment Trust and is Chairman of Seres (Hong Kong). She has just finished her term as a Director of the Zurich Group, has previously been Chairman of Mercer Super and a long-serving Director of Australian Unity. She also sits on the ASX Disciplinary Tribunal, and has been a Fellow of AICD since its inception. Her pro bono activities include being a Director of Soils For Life.

Eve’s consulting career has been focused on providing strategic advice and transformation implementation to organisations such as KPMG, ING, ASX, HK Securities Institute and Fairfax Interactive.

This is Eve’s twenty first year as a judge for the Ethnic Business Awards.

Adam Goodes

Dual Brownlow Medallist, dual premiership player, four-time All-Australian, member of the Indigenous Team of the Century and representative in the International Rules Series, Adam Goodes holds an elite place in AFL/VFL history.

But his is a name that transcends the football field. Adam was named the 2014 Australian of the Year, in recognition of Adam’s community work aimed at empowering the next generation of Indigenous role models as well as his advocacy in the fight against racism.

Born in South Australia, Adam moved to Victoria as a young boy and developed a passion for Australian Rules Football. Adam soon became one of the game’s leading scorers and had a much-celebrated career spanning over seventeen seasons. He announced his retirement from AFL in September 2015.

Adam is equally known for his involvement and leadership within the Indigenous community. In 2004 he was invited to join the National Indigenous Council (NIC). In 2009, Adam set up The Goodes-O’Loughlin (GO) Foundation with fellow Indigenous teammate Michael O’Loughlin. GO Foundation’s vision is to create a brighter future for Indigenous children through education. In 2014, he joined the board of Supply Nation. Adam’s work within the corporate world extends to advising various organisations, such as retail giant David Jones and Lend Lease, on their Reconciliation Action Plans (RAP).

Adam is also passionate about the elimination of discrimination in society and advocates for the Recognise Movement along with Racism It Stops With Me campaign.

Adam is an ambassador for many prominent brands including Toyota, David Jones, Qantas, Lend Lease and CMC Indigenous Services. He is also an ambassador for Woolworths and board member for Support Through Australia Natural Disasters (S.T.A.N.D). Since retiring from AFL, Adam has enjoyed investing more time in the GO Foundation and being CEO for iDiC- Indigenous Defence and Infrastructure Consortium along with getting involved in other opportunities that he is passionate about.

Allan Gyngell AO

Allan Gyngell is National President of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, an Honorary Professor in the ANU’s College of Asia and the Pacific and a member of the board of China Matters.

His extensive experience inside and outside government includes appointments as Director-General of the Office of National Assessments, the inaugural Executive Director of the Lowy Institute and as Foreign Policy Adviser in the office of Prime Minister Paul Keating. He began his career as an Australian diplomat serving in Asia and Washington.

Allan has written and spoken widely about Australian foreign and security policy and economic relations with Asia. His most recent book Fear of Abandonment: Australia and the World since 1942 was published in 2017. He was made an Officer In the Order of Australia for service to international relations in 2009.

Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery, AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC (Retd)

Major General Jeffery was born in Wiluna WA in 1937 and educated at Kent Street High School and the Royal Military College, Duntroon. He graduated into Infantry and served operationally in Malaya, Borneo, and Vietnam, where he was awarded the Military Cross and the South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

After command of all combat elements of the Army from platoon to division – including the Special Air Service Regiment – he retired in 1993 to assume the appointment of Governor of Western Australia, which he held for almost seven years. His major interests during his tenure were in youth affairs, education, environment and the family.

For his services to the State he was appointed a Companion in the Order of Australia, a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order and a Citizen of Western Australia. On his retirement as Governor in 2000, he established in Perth, a not for profit strategic research institute – Future Directions International (FDI) – whose objective is to examine longer term issues facing Australia. On 20 December 2000, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Technology by Curtin University.

On 11 August 2003, he was sworn in as the twenty-fourth Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, serving in that capacity until 5 September 2008. Upon his retirement as Governor-General, he served as Chairman of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Outcomes Australia, The Global Foundation, the Constitution Education Fund Australia, the Diamond Jubilee Trust Australia and the Australian Trachoma Alliance.

He was appointed the National Advocate for Soil Health in 2013 by Prime Minister Gillard and is patron of various charitable organisations. He is presently the Chairman of FDI and Soils For Life.

Major General Jeffery is a Companion of the Order of Logohu (PNG), a Knight of St John, a Paul Harris Fellow and an honorary life member of the Returned and Services League.

Carla Zampatti AC AM

Fashion icon, Carla Zampatti, is one of Australia’s fashion pioneers. She has been recognised with numerous Australian and international awards for her achievements and excellence. Carla was appointed Commendatore (Commander) in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic by the Italian Government in 2004. She was also awarded Bulletin/Qantas Businesswoman of the Year in 1994 and was named Designer of the Year by the Australian fashion industry.

Carla has been a judge of the Ethnic Business Awards since its inception in 1988. Already a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), in 2009, she was awarded an AC – a Companion of the Order of Australia for her leadership in the fashion and retail sectors, for her contributions to multicultural broadcasting, and for being a role model and mentor for women.