A University of Newcastle graduate is the 2011 Telstra Australian Young Business Woman of the Year.
Jo Heighway completed her business degree at the Central Coast campus. A decade after starting her accounting career, she decided to start her own business, becoming an accountant to the accountants.
In 2005 at age 27, the single mother launched SMSF Outsource Solutions (now Engage Super Audits), auditing self-managed super funds in the front room of her home.
Today, the Erina-based business is one of the largest self-managed super fund auditors in Australia, providing independent audits for thousands of accountants, advisors and trustees in all states.
Now 33, Mrs Heighway has worked hard to earn the respect of large administrators at a young age through investment in continual education. Her knowledge must exceed that of the accountants and administrators she audits to ensure she can review records accurately, provide correct superannuation advice and report any compliance breaches.
The judges said it was Mrs Heighway's entrepreneurial drive and ability to manage the competing demands of work and family life that made her a clear winner.