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Telstra award for shopping manager and scosa CEO

by Katrina Phelps

Alison Pearson at Westfield.Walking into your local shopping centre, you may be surprised by just how much strategic planning goes into your shopping experience but that’s where UniSA graduate and winner of the Telstra Business Women’s Award in the Private and Corporate Sector, Alison Pearson (pictured above), is hard at work.

Alison, who is Centre Manager at Westfield Tea Tree Plaza, works closely with retailers, customers and co-owners to deliver the best possible customer experience.

“As a centre manager my role is to engage with shoppers by creating the most vibrant and social retail experience by integrating both physical and digital innovation,” she says.

Alison, who finished her UniSA Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies in 1992, was last month awarded with the Telstra Business Women’s Award in the Private and Corporate Sector.

Alison says the award is a highlight of her career to date, along with an award from Westfield two years ago – the People Leader 2012 award, which is the highest accolade for people leaders at Westfield.

Nicole Graham, CEO of scosa.Also at the 2013 Telstra Business Women's Awards (South Australia), Nicole Graham (pictured right), CEO of Spastic Centres of South Australia (scosa), who has a UniSA Bachelor of Management Employment Relations, (2003), won both the Community and Government and Young Business Women's categories.

In her role as CEO of scosa, Nicole leads a team who provide support to people living with disabilities to overcome considerable barriers.

“Each and every day the team at scosa which I lead is making a positive difference in the lives of people living with disabilities as we strive to maximise people’s potential,” she says.

“I was honoured, proud and humbled all at once to receive the 2013 Telstra Business Awards.

“The awards are recognition of the courage and determination that I have shown in my numerous leadership roles in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sector.

“I take enormous pride in the affirmation of my contributions to leadership, innovation, business acumen, social justice and community inclusion. I am pleased that I have the opportunity to share my story with other leaders to hopefully inspire them to reach their peak performance for a greater benefit in our business and social communities.

“The awards demonstrate that leadership success can come from any sector regardless of age.”

Other UniSA alumni among the finalists were Bachelor of Business graduate Catherine Barnett, CEO at Food South Australia in the Business Owner category; and Carmen Garcia, Director of Multicultural Youth South Australia Inc (Bachelor of Arts – International Studies), in the Community and Government and Young Business Women's categories respectively.