About the Judges
Learn more about the judges for the 2023 Whitehorse Business Awards.
John is a Strategic Mentor. Based on 30+ years of business strategy, improvement and ownership experience in Australia, England and the United States of America, John helps business owners and CEO's to set their direction, plan how to get there and then walk beside them to help achieve their goals and stay true to their visions and aspirations. His ultimate professional pleasure and fulfillment is their growth and achievement.
Acacia Consulting Services
Dianne is a Business Analyst, Accountant and Trainer. Dianne established Acacia Consulting Services to provide the best accounting software implementation experience to medium sized businesses. Over the years Acacia has grown to a team of 17 providing Business Process Analysis, Software implementation of MYOB Exo and MYOB Advanced, and the building of integration applications between other software and the two MYOB enterprise platforms. Dianne’s greatest sense of achievement is when the clients have that “Light Bulb” moment and understand all the benefits of what good software can provide.
Deakin Law School
Linda heads up strategic projects and partnerships for Deakin Law School. Her mission is to strengthen the standing of DLS as one of the most respected law schools in Australia.
She is delighted to continue her role supporting the Whitehorse Business Group Excellence in Business Awards. This leverages her experience in business as both a product manager and strategist. A recent example of this was leading the Alfred Deakin International Arbitration Moot that she has project managed over the last five years from 10 to now, 40 teams in 20 countries competing to develop their skills and experience She has extensive Product Management experience used to develop and commercialise information and intellectual property products in the UK, USA and Australia.
‘’I love talking with business owners about their goals and achievements and am very much looking forward to being a judge in the Whitehorse Business Group Excellence in Business Awards this year.’’
Raie is an expert at putting your business online. She asks the critical questions to ensure your online solution works for you, connecting you more closely with your ideal clients, increasing revenue and freeing up your time for strategic business thinking.
WEB IDEAS is based in Mitcham and has been at the forefront of website development for the last 20 years. They thrive on changing technology and business adaptation, helping clients adjust their online business offerings over time. Making the most of circumstances and actively positioning for the future are key values.
Raie is focused on real results – results that improve your business and connect you more closely with your business community.
“I am an estate planning lawyer from Robinson Gill Lawyers who are based in Box Hill and I am honored to be involved in judging for the 2023 Whitehorse Excellence in Business Awards. The awards showcase and recognise the innovative businesses and their dedicated teams that we have in the Whitehorse area."
Julie is a senior associate lawyer skilled with over 20 years’ experience in advising people on managing their estates during their lifetime as well helping to plan for their family in the future by ensuring that clients have properly prepared their estate planning documentation including their Wills, Testamentary Trusts and Powers of Attorney.
Having had the unique opportunity to practice law in New South Wales, Queensland, New Zealand and Victoria, Julie has a broad range of skills available for her clients to assist with their legal matters. These skills enable Julie to provide clients with a personalised approach for their Estate Planning requirements, obtaining Probate/Letters of Administration for estates and when representing clients for any estate litigation matter.
Meet Homa Mahdinejad, currently working as a Business Partnerships Coordinator at Deakin University; Homa's journey is defined by her dedication and passion for growth.
Her journey began at Deakin University, where she pursued a Master of Business degree. She was known for her enthusiasm for business strategies and partnerships, earning respect from her professors and peers. After graduation, Homa joined the Sales and Marketing team for the City of Monash and City of Melbourne recreation centres. Her commitment to enhancing community services and strategic thinking made her a valuable team member.
In 2019, Homa returned to Deakin University as a Course Specialist and Business Partnerships Coordinator. In this role, she uses her business acumen to foster partnerships between the university and various organisations, boosting Deakin's profile and mutual benefits.
Homa's journey from a diligent student to a Business Partnerships Coordinator exemplifies the power of dedication, education, and collaboration. She continues to shape the future of education and business partnerships with her contributions, setting a bright example for others to follow.
Steve is professional business consultant and mentor.
He has a pedigree in leading and facilitating business growth projects – strategy, marketing and performance.
Steve works with business owners and management to develop business plans; make informed business decisions including those relating to high-value investments, develop and launch new products or services and improve the value of their business.
He is the author of six books, one e-book and owner of Roaring Success Pty Ltd based in Melbourne, Australia.
He is a Certified Management Consultant, Board Director of the Institute of Management Consultants (Australia) and Committee Member of the VIC/TAS Chapter
He holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management (one of Europe’s leading business schools) and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Ashwood Group P/L
Dale is a Business Adviser, Coach and Mentor. He has 30 plus years of experience advising business owners on improving services, market share and profitability, in professional services, retail and manufacturing, across Australia and the Asia Pacific Region. He enjoys helping Businesses to identify the critical factors and working with the Leadership team to implement the strategies identified and grow individual team members. His greatest professional satisfaction is seeing them grow and achieve their goals.
Mike Bengough is a teaching scholar in the Deakin Business School (Department of Management). He has designed, chairs and delivers post-graduate units in Organisation Development and Change, Management and Organisational Consulting and Leadership in Complexity.
Prior to joining Deakin, Mike worked in the NAB for 19 years in a number of senior management roles across Institutional and Corporate Banking, Payments Solutions, Transactional Banking and Major Projects.
His research interests focus on organisational change readiness and the impact of change on employee health and wellbeing.
Mike is a Director of the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) Learning and Development Division.
Adjunct Associate Professor, PhD, MBBS, FRACGP
Bob has been a member of the Rotary Club of Nunawading for 26 years with terms as secretary and president over that time. Bob was founding Director of the Centre for Developmental Disability Health Victoria from 1998 – 2013 at Monash University and worked at Monash Health from 2015-2022. He has a particular interest in challenging behaviours in people with developmental disability. Bob started in general practice in 1979 in the country town of Loxton, South Australia. His interest in health issues of people with disability developed as he managed patients from a local disability support organisation. Bob chaired two rural disability organisations before taking up a position at the Department of Community Medicine at Monash University in 1992. He was founding president of the Australian Assoc. of Developmental Disability Medicine, chaired the Disability Working group for the RACGP curriculum and lobbied successfully for adoption of the Medicare item for the Health Assessment of People with Intellectual Disability. In 2014 Bob was awarded the General Practitioner Award at the Victorian Minister for Health General Practice Awards. From 2012-2016 he chaired the local organising committee for the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disability in Melbourne. He is the current chair of the RACGP Disability Network. He has worked to establish the network as its initial chair and led a group of medical practitioners to develop an ALM in Developmental Disability, he led the joint submission and development of the Disability and Child and Young Person’s SIGs advanced skills in Developmental Disability. Bob retired in July 2022 but remains committed to developing expertise in supporting people with disability within general practice.
Rotary Club of Box Hill Central
Olive is a member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Box Hill Central and an Assistant Governor of the Rotary District 9810. Olive had a long and varied career in nursing and public health. She is committed to equity and social justice and empowering people to live their best lives, and has worked to achieve this through a focus on health promotion and primary prevention. Olive’s experience as a registered nurse spanned across the acute, aged care, community health and remote area nursing sectors. She believes that providing people with healthy environments and the requisite resources, skills and supports provides the best enabling opportunity to become independent and active members of the community.
Olive’s commitment to advocacy and promoting positive health and wellbeing was amplified by her contributions as past Chair of the Deakin University Health Advisory Board for a number of years, past Chair and member of the Women’s Health East Board and President of the Victorian Community Health Nurse’s Special Interest Group.
Brian A McPhail
McPhail & Partners Pty Ltd
Accountant, Fellow of CPA Australia, currently a consultant to McPhail & Partners Pty Ltd where he was formerly a director and owner.
Also a director and owner of three private franchises of the Bendigo Bank which own the Ringwood, Boronia and Bayswater branches.
My 50 year career has been in accounting public practice in Box Hill, and now in Mitcham, with a special interest in small to medium business helping and advising on their profitability, financial affairs and taxation matters.
Outside of business I am a member of the Rotary Club of Box Hill Central which is greatly involved with local community and overseas projects together with youth, education and environmental interests.
I am married to Sue with three daughters and six grandchildren.
My other strong interest is playing and being a member of a golf club.
At the centre of Luke’s business plan is a desire to be constantly evolving and developing skills to stay ahead of the marketplace. Achieving outstanding results doesn’t occur by chance, it is the cultivation of the commitment he makes not only to himself but to his clients.
Over a decade of real estate experience has taught Luke that too often the real estate process is over complicated. What usually results from this over complication is unnecessary stress for all parties involved. He aims to simplify the process and provide clarity, which only aids his clients in making informed decisions.
Open and honest communication from the outset ensures that you are clear on the path Luke will embark on to achieve a premium result for your property. As an auctioneer his style is adaptable to all market demographics.
Luke Banitsiotis is a four-time REIV award winning auctioneer and one of only 18 REIV Master Auctioneers in the state. There is no better choice for ensuring a successful sale of your property within the eastern suburbs.