The SA Woman Awards are designed to celebrate the achievements of women in business and careers across South Australia. They not only give the winning women and finalists well-deserved recognition, but also a platform and opportunity to showcase their success. We believe that ‘we can’t be what we can’t see’, and the SA Woman Awards are one way SA Woman is working to show what is truly possible as a Woman in South Australia. 

Every year, we have more & more to cheer about!

While the inaugural event was held in November 2018 at the Duke of Brunswick, bringing together 60 women in business, the SA Woman Awards have become an annual event that is attended by hundreds as we cheer and celebrate the achievements of women in South Australia.

From start-ups to employees to major businesses and organisations, our award categories recognise women who are excelling at all different stages in their business  & career journey.

The Rise Award (Business Under $200k turnover, 2+ years in business)

For a woman who has had a year of growth in their business (including but not limited to financial, staff, location etc) – UNDER $200k turnover, 2+ years in business .

The Soar Award (Business over $200k turnover, 2+ years in business)

For a woman who has had a year of growth in their business (including but not limited to financial, staff, location etc) – OVER $200k turnover, 2+ years in business .

The Emerging SA Woman Award

For a woman with a business under 2 years old or in a Career for less than 2 years and has shown strength, courage and a determination to excel.

The First Nations SA Woman Award

For an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman who has had a year of growth in their business (for both new or established businesses) or career.

The Regional SA Woman Award

For a regional woman who has created a thriving business/career and is an advocate for her community.

The Heart Award

For an organisation that has at it’s heart the needs of women in their local community (eg. Social enterprise/not for profit/community organisation).

The Young SA Woman Award

For a woman under 30 (as at 1 July 2021) who has started her own business and shown personal growth, tenacity, determination and an entrepreneurial spirit.

The Disability Award

For a disabled woman in business or career who has created a growing business or thriving career, and contributes to the positive conversation about disabled people at work (through deliberate campaigns or simply by leading through example).

The Backbone Award


For a woman who is the backbone of the family business or place of employment. Recognising the valuable contributions of women – even if they aren’t the listed business owner, because without them the business would not run nor operate as smoothly.

The Mum in Business Award


For a woman who is juggling motherhood and business and shown great growth in their business in the last 12 months.

The Leadership Award


For a woman who has demonstrated exceptional leadership, overcome challenges, shown determination and exemplified team spirit – in a business or organisation.

The Empower Award

To recognise an organisation that has created a workplace environment that empowers women within its workforce to thrive and excel on their career path.

We are incredibly grateful for the businesses and organisations who have put their support  behind South Australian women by being a sponsor for the SA Woman Awards. They allow us to create an event that truly celebrates and showcases the talented women in business and careers across South Australia.

To find out more about becoming a sponsor, please email us HERE.

In addition to all our Category Sponsors listed above, we are lucky to also have the following businesses a part of the SA Woman Awards.


We have been honoured to celebrate the achievements of women in South Australia since our first Awards night in 2018. Now in its fourth year, we cannot wait to showcase our next generation of award winners!

Rise Up Award

2021: Bec Hardy – Bec Hardy Wines
2020: Megan Potter, Megan Potter Cosmetics
2019: Bree May, Food According to Bree
2018: Shanti Wilby, From the Wild

The Emerging SA Woman  Award

2021: Emily Bennett – That Hashtag Girl
2020: Genevieve Hodge, Spire – Youth Coaching & Leadership
2019: Megan Hodge, Your Wealthy Life
2018: Kristy Robertshaw, Charlie & Jack

The Regional SA Woman Award

2021: Sandy Davis – Davo’s Deli
2020: Julie Trenaman, JT Elements – Unleash your business potential
2019: Natasha English McCulloch, Hip Hop Bounce
2018: Alex Morgan, Move Pilates Studio

Heart Award 

2021: Dinah Thomasset-Hearn – Villagehood Australia
2020: Melanie Tate, Puddle Jumpers Incorporated
2019: Steph Malan, The Village Co.
2018: Claire Byrt, Love Local Fleurieu

Mum in Business Award

2021: Maggie Dmochowski – Adelaide Bakes
2020: Sam Paior, The Growing Space
2019: Elaine Tang, Melvory Skincare

Backbone Award

2021: Jodie Hawkes – Bowhill Engineering
2020: Kelly Dawson-Fitzpatrick, Hydro-Jet Solutions Australia
2019: Melina Seltsikas, LS Design Construct

First Nations Woman in Business Award

2021: Rebecca Wessels – Ochre Dawn
2020:Kerry Colbung, Mandanga Enterprises

The Leadership Award

2021: Deb Penaluna – DEWC Services Pty Ltd
2020: Heather Croall, Adelaide Fringe

The Young SA Woman Award

2021: Emma Duncan – Halo Hair Collective

The Disability Award

2021: Keli Doubikin – Spiral Coordination


The Innovator Award

2021: Yovanka Loria – Yovanka Loria
2020: Helen Whait, ActivOT

All Rounder Award

2021: Libby Parker – Expressions Media
2020: Cassandra Day, The Carers Place
2019: Alex Karatassa, Five Four Entertainment & Taking Back Saturday

Quiet Achiever Award

2020: Jo McDonald, Move Through Life Dance Studio
2019: Naomi Husain, Kanti Yoga
2018: Janine Boyd, Little Picassos


2020: Wendy Perry, Switch Start Scale
2019: Carolyn Jeffrey, Women in Business Regional Network
2018: Ayesha Michael, Yellow Cake Creative Roxby Downs

Member of the Year/COMMUNITY Awards

2020: Sandra Senn, Hashtag Insta Prints
2020: Kelly Hody ~ Kelly Hody Mkt Etc
2020: Shelley Cox ~ Workspace Barossa

2019: Robyn Verrall, Bullys Meats
2018: Katharine Crane, Crane Creative

Who can be nominated?

Any women in a business or career who is located within South Australia. All regions. All industries. All sizes of business. All women.

what is the awards process?

We are all about celebrating women in business in all industries and regions. Nominations are open until the 31st of August.

This step is completely OPTIONAL.

APPLICATIONS WILL OPEN IN EARLY JULY, nominees will be notified at this email address as soon as they open up, so keep an eye out! They will close on September 10th at midnight.


Applications will be read (yes we read every single one!!) and judged by our team (and select volunteers). Each category will be shortlisted and finalists chosen. The timeframe to shortlisting is dependent upon number of applications received.

Finalists will be announced on facebook, instagram and our social media channels.

The Judging panel is kept anonymous.

When finalists are announced, People’s Choice will also open up. These winners are based on number of votes they recieve. Because we want to ensure the love is spread around, applicants can not win both people’s choice AND overall category.


Winners will be celebrated and announced at our Awards Gala Dinner on the 12th of November. Get your fave outfit and your dancing shoes ready! Tickets will be available mid-year.


 While there is no fee to nominate, there is a fee for the submission of applications, this goes directly towards all the costs associated with running the SAW Awards (admin, software, judging time etc). SA Woman receives no government funding or grants to run the SA Woman Awards.

There is NO requirement to complete an application just because someone has been nominated, it is entirely up to them if they want to then put themself forward. For so many simply being ‘seen’ is an award in itself and the recognition alone gives them some added sparkle. From previous years, about a quarter of nominees then go on to apply.

The 2022 Application Fee is:

For all women/organisations: Application Fee of $88 (incl GST). Paid at time of completing their Application.
For SA Woman Collective Members: $44 (incl. GST). You can find out more about our Membership at www.sawoman.com.au/join.
Scholarship: If you are unable to afford to apply, you can access a Scholarship. Please email carly@sawoman.com.au to apply.


The Awards Night will be held on Saturday September 24th at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Tickets will be available in June.


Winners receive an award plaque and gift on Awards night and subsequent showcasing accross the SA Woman Channels. In 2022 we will also be bringing to life a special edition of Soar Magazine to showcase each finalist individually. 

Finalists are also detailed in Social Media group posts in the leadup and on the Blog. And become part of the SA Woman Alumnae group.