The Australasian Academy of Cosmetic Dermal Science (AACDS) has won the Nokia Business Innovation Award category for Western Australia in the 2009 Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

The academy, and its Director, April Jorgensen (pictured at left with Leanne Wesche, 2008 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year), were named a Western Australian finalist in a total of three of the five categories in the 2009 Telstra Business Women’s Awards: the Nokia Business Innovation category, along with the Commonwealth Bank Business Owner Award and the Marie Claire Young Business Women’s Award.

Established in 2004, AACDS says it provides the majority of accredited dermal therapy training in Australia. In November 2004, the Advanced Diploma of Cosmetic Dermal Science was nationally accredited.

From the first year’s intake in 2005 of 16 beauty therapists, the academy has grown to encompass online education to bring its program to over 200 students nationally and internationally to date.

According to Jorgensen, the Advanced Diploma of Cosmetic Dermal Science remains the benchmark qualification in dermal therapy training for beauty therapists in Australia, and is still the only course with recognition from many of the Australian cosmetic medical and surgical societies.

Jorgensen said: "The Telstra Business Women’s Awards are well known amongst Australian businesses and just being a finalist provides instant credibility to one’s business. The recognition achieved by winning the WA Nokia Business Innovation Award will provide many new opportunities for AACDS to continue its growth. I will use this recognition to further develop new courses, though mainly to inform the public about the meaning of the term qualified dermal therapist."

Jorgensen added that her next vision is a registered charity to specifically direct funds to the Mukhtar Mai Women’s Welfare Organisation in Pakistan. “The organisation provides free education, shelter, counselling and legal assistance to victims of rape, domestic violence, forced marriages and acid burnings. AACDS has received pro bono legal assistance to assist them in the registration of the charity, though red tape slows the process significantly.”