I rise today to congratulate 19 inspiring, accomplished and all-round fabulous Canberra women who have been named as the finalists for the 2015 Telstra ACT Business Women's Awards. These awards show that ACT businesswomen are excelling in a broad range of sectors. They are leaders, they are innovators and they are mentors.
So congratulations to Katie Doherty, Katie Geus, Jessica May, Claire Naidu, Joanna Richards, Nicole Damiani, Karen Porter, Jenni Tarrant, Jo Whithear, Philippa Moss, Tara Taubenschlag—hi, Tara; how are you?—Jan Harris, Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington, Felicity McNeill, Linda Spurr, Georgeina Whelan, Melanie Andrews, Sue Levy and Sarah Valentine.
I have long championed small business and women in small business—being a former woman in small business —and I am proud to support these awards, which not only support tremendous women but also highlight the diversity and skills of the ACT business sector, which is growing every day, across a broad range of areas. The winner of this year's ACT Business Women's Awards will be announced this Friday, and I am looking forward to getting along there and saying hi to all these great women. They will then go on to the national finals in Melbourne, at the end of November. Congratulations to all these fantastic ACT women. Thank you for what you contribute to our community, and all the best of luck to this Friday.