Joe Berry Award: retail’s golden ticket to success

The entries are open for one of Australia’s most prestigious awards for those within the retail space. With the talent pool increasing each year with high quality entries, we’re excited to see what next years brings.

What is the award?

The Joe Berry Australian Retail Industry Award is a prestigious, industry-based award given to an award-winning essay and finalist presentation by emerging talent within the retail space.

From sales, marketing, logistics, operations, buying, supply, or commercial all employees across all disciplines in retail are encouraged to enter. The only restriction is that all competitors must be under the age of 35. The award has existed since 1986, and the winners have gone on to use the award as a catalyst for networking, mentorship and career advancement.

Entries into the award are submitted through a 2,500 word essay on one of five topics as provided by Joe Berry. The topics are pertinent to the retail industry, looking to the challenges and changes that the retail industry is facing currently. The topics delve into many different branches of retail to give all those involved an opportunity to speak to what their area of expertise is relative to current market trends and movement.

Why should I enter?

The award has become a coveted accolade, with winners and finalists going on to achieve career highlights and create an enviable development profile within this highly competitive space. One of the most appealing aspects of the award is the opportunity for the entrant to highlight their knowledge of the future of retail. As retail is possibly the main industry feeling the shift and change of the technology revolution, it gives young workers an opportunity to boast their wealth of knowledge as they have grown up to understand the importance of this space keeping up-to-date.

Joe Berry Patron Bernie Brookes has said of the awards, “The past two years have seen a major lift in the efforts of the entrants and the quality of the finalists. The Joe Berry Award is closely contested and the contest between the sectors of industry has become nicely balanced. The reason for holding an award such as this is to enable those people with passion for the industry to get the exposure that they deserve.” This is a unique opportunity for the thinkers of today to become the leaders of tomorrow, as this can pave the way of success in a highly competitive yet lucrative environment.

What have the previous winners gone on to do?

In 2018, the award went to Esra Ozege. At the time of winning, Esra held the position of Lion Dairy and Drinks’ National Business Manager for Woolworths. Prior to the win, Esra admits to not knowing much about the awards and opportunity but she has been able to leverage this experience which has enabled invaluable networking and been an overall amazing experience to gain exposure to wide breadth of contacts locally and internationally. From her own words, “I almost wish I had discovered this award earlier in my career. The skills I have developed, networks established and new friends I’ve made along the way have been amazing. I can’t wait to work alongside and grow with the support of these connections.”

As part of Esra’s impressive win, besides the contacts that she was able to make she also received:

  • The Joe Berry Award Trophy and Title

  • A scholarship to Harvard to complete a Management Certificate

  • A Retail Tour including spending time with the CEO and President of Walmart and their executive leadership team, talking strategy and the future of retail globally.

  • Esra travelled to the US and was able to spend time with Crossmark and Mars in addition to Walmart.

  • A feature in Retail World, including their essay and travel report.

  • Esra’s accolade was also published Nationally in various publications including The Herald Sun in VIC and Daily Telegraph in NSW.

  • An invitation to speak at the 2019 AFGC Forum, the Future Leaders Forum, the 2019 Joe Berry Awards’ Dinner, the upcoming one80TC Charity Breakfast and many Retail Company meetings.

Esra has since joined Mars Confectionery as the Woolworths Customer Head and attributes her new role in part to her development through the Joe Berry Process.

Other finalists have spoken about the other benefits of entering into the awards, including the challenge of thinking broadly, and the respect that has come from colleagues and industry leaders when given the chance to understand the entrant’s complex and involved level of thinking and ideation.


To learn more about the Joe Berry Award, click here.