Pakko founder Nina Nguyen has taken home a 2022 Telstra Best of Business Award for winning in the Progressing Australia category, beating six other finalists and thousands of local small businesses that were nominated.
The Progressing Australia award recognises the best of the best in Australian business, celebrating the trendsetters and trailblazers that address issues Australians care about the most. It also highlights the most inspirational businesses that showcase local leadership and tackle a need in the community head-on, creating thriving communities of the future.
Nguyen accepted this award in person, which was presented at a recent gala event in Sydney.
“Thank you so much. I’m just so grateful and full of gratitude right now. Thank you, to the team at Telstra for hosting this wonderful evening and for connecting us. This means so much for small businesses, especially someone like me,” Nguyen said, when accepting the award.
“I want to thank my mom and dad, who aren’t here tonight, and my family and friends. Thank you for believing in me and supporting me. To my team – you all are truly amazing. Thank you for showing up every day and for being passionate, committed and dedicated.
“I really believe that everyone here tonight is a winner. We all share the same love, passion and commitment to our work, our businesses, and our communities. What we were given here by Telstra is a framework and an opportunity to reflect and communicate the ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘what we do’.
“When I started Pakko in 2017, it was just an idea about a cardboard box. Today, we manufacture these boxes and we help businesses by creating, manufacturing and delivering functional packaging. A lot of people think ‘it’s just a brown box’ but it’s the first thing people look at when you receive a box.
“It’s an opportunity for you to tell your story, your message on that packaging. It should not be an afterthought. There’s so much to it; a box isn’t just a box.”
The other finalists for the Progressing Australia award include: Adatree from NSW, Aero PM from ACT, Frontier Pets from NSW, Propertybuyer from NSW, Suremploy from NSW and The Trustee for McCartney Family Funerals Trust from QLD.
Other winners from the evening include: She’s A Crowd for the Telstra Best of Business Accelerating Women Award; West Australian Shalom Group for the Telstra Best of Business Building Communities Award; Ear Science Institute Australia for the Telstra Best of Business Championing Health Award; Sea Forest for the Telstra Best of Business Embracing Innovation and Promoting Sustainability Awards; Killara Services for the Telstra Best of Business Indigenous Excellence Award; and Complete Home Filtration for the Telstra Best of Business Outstanding Growth Award.
Telstra consumer and small business group executive Michael Ackland said this year’s theme was Local Leadership, highlighting the businesses that are building thriving communities and contributing to their local neighbourhoods.
“A massive 96 per cent of consumers consider small businesses an integral part of their communities. We’ve also increased our focus on diversity and inclusion in the Best of Business Awards, both in the entry process and in creating new awards categories,” he said in a statement.
“Each winner is outstanding in their field and their recognition is well deserved. After over 25 years of rewarding exceptional leaders and small and medium businesses, this year’s cohort are among the best.
“These winners have made a meaningful and positive impact in the communities and industries that they operate in, and they should celebrate their success. 2021 was every bit as disruptive to normal business operations as the year before it, so we commend them for their resilience and their ability to survive, grow and thrive in difficult conditions.
“We had an incredible inaugural year for the Telstra Best of Business Awards, and we’re looking forward to continuing to support small businesses around the country in the year ahead.”