Chef and owner of Daana Indian restaurant in Curtin, Sunita Kumar, has been named the ACT’s Business Woman of the Year at the 2020 Canberra Women in Business (CWB) Awards tonight.
Ms Kumar leads the culinary direction of the award-winning restaurant by designing the menu and managing the kitchen operations, as well as looking after marketing, HR and the financial aspects of the business.
Ms Kumar, alongside husband Sanjay, launched Daana in 2015 to change the “stereotypical Indian culinary scene in Canberra”, with a focus on South Indian and regional Indian food.
Co-founder of Altina Drinks, Christina DeLay, was named the Young Business Woman of the Year. She founded the ‘zero-proof’ craft cocktail company with partner Alan Tse in 2018, as a response to Australia’s drinking culture.
Ms DeLay has a PhD in plant biology and is CEO and head of research and development at Altina, a social enterprise that is changing the way people think about drinking.
CWB president Maryanne Gore said this year’s award winners and finalists are doing “extraordinary things in our Canberra community and across Australia more broadly, especially with all that 2020 has brought us”.
“I’m truly in awe of the amazing women we have in our Nation’s Capital,” she said.
Taking out the Indigenous Business Woman of the Year Award is Rachelle Towart of Pipeline Talent, an Indigenous recruitment company that brings together departments and organisations with highly qualified Indigenous candidates for management and executive roles.
The Small Business Woman of the Year award was jointly awarded to Dr Eryn Davies and Jenna Keen, co-directors of Capital Psychology Clinic.
Photographer Tracy Ryan took out the Innovation Business Woman of the Year Award, for her work with virtual reality photography and Canberra Virtual Tours.
The Social Impact Business Woman of the Year Award went to weddings and portrait photographer Tracy Hebden. Ms Hebden is a long-term volunteer for Heartfelt, a group of volunteer photographers who work with families who have experienced stillbirths, premature births or have children with serious and terminal illnesses, and creates the annual calendar and video series for the ACT Rescue and Foster network.
“In a year that has had us staying home to support our community and ourselves, it’s such a delight to be able to attend an event that celebrates the great work of women in business,” said COO of major sponsor Rubik 3,Nadia Pessarossi.
“I encourage everyone to reflect on the strength they’ve shown this year under extraordinary circumstances. This, coupled with the amazing work of the Canberra community to come together and support each other, has been amazing.”