We're delighted to announce the inaugural winners of the Beyond Service Awards.

Inspiring advice from our inaugural Beyond Service Awards Commonwealth Bank Business of the Year Award winner Stuart Alexander of Great Barrier Reef Safaris.

We're delighted to announce the inaugural winners of the Beyond Service Awards. Celebrating the depth and breadth of skills and experience veterans and Defence Force families bring to Australia’s small business landscape, our 2022 Beyond Service Award winners are:

"Take a bet on yourself. Find something that you are passionate about and the rest will be easy.” - Stuart Alexander

Stuart Alexander: Commonwealth Bank Business of the Year Award and Environmental Warrior Award

Stuart Alexander, Co-Founder of Great Barrier Reef Safaris/Mission Beach Charters is the winner of The Environmental Warrior Award, recognising veteran and ADF family members championing sustainability through their business(es).A Royal Australian Navy veteran, Stuart Co-Founded Great Barrier Reef Safaris with his partner and marine biologist Dr Adele Pile in November 2019 - months before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together they offer bespoke adventures, private tours, and scientific charters of the reef.

Stuart’s Business:

David Ballantyne: Winner of The New Mission Award

David Ballantyne, Co-Founder of HomeFront Australia, is the winner of The New Mission Award, recognising the application of skills, experience and/or networks developed in service to the Australian Defence Force to a civilian business(es). This award is sponsored by BAE Systems Australia.

David Ballantyne is a serial entrepreneur of three successful businesses with fifteen years’ service in the Australian Army, including deployments to Afghanistan, Egypt, Sudan and East Timor, among others.

His second business, HomeFront, is a leading provider of vulnerable care home services, including DVA HouseholdServices. Over the last six years, HomeFront has grown to service more than 3,000 clients, and employing 24 fulltime staff - 18 of which are veterans or veteran spouses.

David’s Business:

Bec Waller: Winner of The Defence Family Business Award

Bec Waller, Founder of Australian Partners of Defence (posthumous), is the winner of The Defence Family Business Award, recognising ADF partners and spouses in business(es). This award is sponsored by PwC Australia.

Bec Waller founded Australia Partners of Defence (APOD) in 2012 while the spouse of an Army Officer. Today, APOD works with more than 3,000 brands and 21,000 stores, supporting more than 85,000 military families and recognising veteran owned businesses. Because of Bec’s efforts, APOD secured a contract with the Department of Veterans’Affairs in 2019, granting access to all Veteran Card holders.

Michelle Endacott, Chief Executive of Prince’s Trust Australia said:

“Bec bravely battled – and initially won – her fight with lymphoma. Within 18-months, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukaemia and sadly passed away last year. She is a testament to the determination that so many spouses epitomise during their service to our nation.”

The award was accepted by Bec Waller’s parents Keith and Janet Waller, alongside APOD Chief Executive Paul Broadbridge.

Bec’s Business:

Matt Lewis: Winner of The Power of One Award

Matt Lewis, Founder of MxM – Made by Matt is the winner of The Power of One Award, recognising the outstanding efforts of an individual that works on their own.

Matt Lewis served with the Australian Army for seven years, deploying to East Timor and Timor Leste, and with the Queensland Police Force for fifteen years, before starting his timber craft business. An alumnus of the Prince’s Trust Australia Enterprise programme, Matt uses his craft to support fellow post-traumatic stress disorder survivors.

Matt’s Business: