telstra business award winner

Telstra Business Awards - WA State

The 2018 Telstra Business Awards was an incredible journey for Pachamama.  With over 10,000 nominations, Pachamama became one of only six national award winners.  In the 26-year history of the esteemed Telstra Business Awards, Pachamama is the first education provider to be crowned as a national award winner. 

In June 2018, Pachamama became a WA state finalist in the Small & Succeeding Category,  In August 2018, Pachamama was crowned WA state category winner.

It was noted that “Pachamama – with two highly regarded childcare centres in the Perth Hills – develops unique learning environments steeped in nature, diversity and creativity. It uses art sculptures to encourage younger generations to ‘think outside the square’. The business engages a local artist to provide unique and tactile play spaces that, together with flora and fauna, spark the imaginations of children, staff, parents and the wider community.”

Pachamama has grown rapidly since opening in 2012, and is now a valued member of the local community. Kristen McPhail, Director, explains Pachamama’s innovative approach to early education has seen the small business amass a considerable social media following.

“We believe that nature must be a fundamental part of every child’s life.”
Kristen McPhail, Director

“At Pachamama we create environments that are both inspirational and aspirational.”

Kristen McPhail, Director

National Winner-Banner Small and Succeeding winner logo

Telstra Business Awards - National

At the National Awards Ceremony on Thursday 20 September 2018, Pachamama was crowned national winner of the 2018 Telstra Business Award – Small and Succeeding.

“The winners are all shining examples of businesses doing great things. They’re not afraid to take a risk, to choose innovation first and to keep pushing their vision forward. Getting to this stage of the Telstra Business Awards is a huge achievement. It’s the culmination of all their hard work,” said Mr Penn, CEO of Telstra.

The national winners were awarded following an extensive judging process, which involved in-depth interviews with a panel of high profile judges, including Janine Allis, founder of Boost Juice and Retail Zoo, Stevan Premutico, founder of Dimmi, and Tracey Spicer, journalist, author and founder of Outspoken Women.

“The judges were impressed by Pachamama’s clear vision and business strategy, laser-like focus on its customer and dedication to providing a nurturing environment for its people, contributing to an outstanding workplace culture,” said Mr Penn.

Kristen McPhail explains, “Pachamama is honoured with this extraordinary acknowledgment from Telstra that our hard work is valued and appreciated. We look forward to continuing our service to the community and I would like to thank all Pachamama’s educators – both past and present – that have helped us achieve such wonderful results to date for our children and families.”

2022 Ethnic Business Award

Kristen’s life began in the USA, and she arrived in Australia in 1987 with little more than a suitcase and empty pockets. Despite these challenges, she carried with her a heart full of hope and a strong determination to make a positive contribution to society.

During Kristen’s 25 years in executive roles within the financial industry, she honed her business acumen, leadership skills, and financial expertise. Her entrepreneurial spirit eventually led her to seek new opportunities that would allow her to express her creativity, knowledge, and leadership more freely. This desire for a new venture likely fuelled her ambition to explore other areas beyond finance.

In mid-2012, Kristen co-founded the Pachamama group of companies. Her primary goal of this endeavour was to provide children with an educational environment that emphasised the value of nature and diversity while fostering essential life skills such as resilience and confidence.

Over the course of a decade, from 2012 to 2022, Kristen’s dedication to Pachamama resulted in remarkable growth. The company expanded significantly, going from just 6 employees in 2012 to a workforce of 57 by 2022.  This rapid growth is a testament to both Founders determination, persistence, and passion for the mission.

The Pachamama group of companies is not just growing in size; it is also making a significant impact on the childcare landscape in Australia. Kristen’s vision and dedication are changing the way childcare is approached, emphasising environmental awareness, diversity, and life skills in early education.

Kristen’s journey from challenging beginnings to creating a thriving business with a profound mission is a story of resilience, determination, and the power of following one’s passions. Her work with Pachamama demonstrates her commitment to making a positive impact on society by providing children with a unique and valuable educational experience

“The vast majority of employees at Pachamama are immigrants and I would like to acknowledge the hard work they do every day to raise the future generation of Australians.”

Kristen McPhail, Director

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