Renovation | Fashion | Agri-Business | Hospitality | Tourism | Social Media

Kyal & Kara

Renovation Experts from The Block / The Living Room

Kyal & Kara began renovating over 10 years ago when they purchased their first home. Kyal, having just completed his carpentry apprenticeship and Kara in her final year of university studying physiotherapy, immersed themselves in the after hours work involved in creating their first transformation.

Fast forward a few years, and they’ve completed two reality renovation television shows including Channel 9’s The Block, have regularly contributed to Network 10’s The Living Room, and run a successful design and construction business. Over the past five years alone, Kyal & Kara have project-managed, designed or completed over 35 renovation projects. It’s what they’re passionate about!

Kyal & Kara have a strong social media fan base of 446K followers and brand partnerships with Beaumont Tiles, Bisley, Mazda and Healthy Care.

Adam Linforth

Chief Smuggler at Budgy Smuggler

Adam’s goals in life are to own the Canberra Raiders and a sheep farm with fresh running water and a distillery on it.

Adam has been the Chief Smuggler at Budgy Smuggler since 2008, and during the first eight of these years of smuggling, he was also the Director of Finance and Partnership at AIME (the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience). Adam helped to raise $50 million for Indigenous education but received less than $2 million from the government. So depending how you look at it, he’s either a good fundraiser or pretty ordinary at government relations.

Budgy Smuggler the business has transitioned from a hobby business run from an apartment at Manly Beach, to a global enterprise with a team of 20 based across in Australia, the UK and France. All swimwear is made in Australia and today there are a pair of Australian made smugglers (or smugglettes) sold on average every two minutes.

Along the way, Budgy Smuggler has also been the founding sponsor of the online version of the Betoota Advocate, the Grade Cricketer podcast, and even got named in the Oxford Dictionary in 2016 alongside the words ‘glamping’ and ‘wedding tackle’.

Julie Mathers

CEO and Founder Flora & Fauna

Flora & Fauna is Australia’s largest eco store; it’s also a platform for purpose being driven by purpose and values. Julie founded the business 7 years ago with a clear vision to be the most responsible retailer possible with the best customer service.

Flora & Fauna was named Most Sustainable Retailer at the Power Retail 2020 and 2021 Awards, Best Small Online Retailer at the 2018 ORIAs and won the Telstra Small Business of the Year for NSW in 2018. Flora & Fauna is 100% carbon offset, has saved over 30 tonnes of plastic from hitting landfill by shipping orders plastic-free, offers a recycling scheme and has lots of charity partnerships.  

Julie has a strong personal desire to create change for the better and frequently mentors and speaks about responsible retailing and small business. Julie was named Number 1 in the 2021 and 2019 “Top 50 People in Australian eCommerce”. Prior to founding Flora & Fauna, Julie has worked in the UK, Europe, Asia and now Australia for the last ten years. She has worked in consulting, private equity and with many retailers, including senior leadership roles in Woolworths, Coles and APG & Co.

Tawnya Bahr

Leading Food Consultant, Founding Partner at Straight To The Source

As an industry connector, chef, and founding partner of bespoke food tour company Straight To The Source, Tawnya uses her culinary experience as a platform for promoting and supporting sustainable agricultural practices and producers. Tawnya takes chefs and the public to our Australian farms to understand produce – how it is grown, where it is grown and by whom. This allows her to share her passion for Australian growers, regenerative agriculture, sustainable ingredient sourcing and drought consequences.

Today, she runs her two businesses and is also the group executive chef of The Orchard Early Learning Centres. When she’s not watching the seasons, weather conditions and the ebb and flow of produce in the market, she mentors entrepreneurs and critical thinkers to help take their concept to market.

Ameer El-Issa

Co-Founder at Knafeh / The Bearded Bakers

With portable bakeries in Sydney, Melbourne and New York, and a constantly evolving range of pop-up projects, The Bearded Bakers are always on the road.

Quite possibly the world’s coolest cooks, The Bearded Bakers are best known for their unique food-meets-theatre performances in converted shipping containers that tour cities.

Co-founder Ameer El-issa operates the hugely successful business with his brother, Joey, and sister, Mouna. An architect by trade, Ameer developed an early fascination with repurposing shipping containers; around the same time, he found a passion for the cuisine of his Palestinian culture.

Together, they opened Bar Biscotti in the old Arnott’s factory in Sydney’s suburb of North Strathfield 14 years ago and these days, it’s still as busy as ever. Building on the café’s success, Ameer also opened a restaurant, showcasing family recipes on the menu. But there was one dish in particular that impressed the crowds: Knafeh.