Meet the judges awarding recruitment excellence in 2020

Authored By Carly Fordred

If you’re searching for industry awards online the chances are you’ll strike it rich with a glut of possible accolades in every industry imaginable. So, what makes one Awards more valuable than another?

“Striking a balance between solid, clear criteria and a credible judging panel is absolutely key to ensuring there’s a real drive for businesses to enter and that the process of determining a winner is transparent,” says Lesley Horsburgh, Managing Director of APSCo Australia.

Now in its third year, the APSCo Awards for Excellence relies heavily on the support of the recruitment industry. The commitment of sponsors, the enthusiasm of entrants and importantly, the wisdom and decision-making ability of its judging panel all play a crucial part.

In 2020, with new Award categories and the widening of entry requirements to include all in the recruitment industry, rather than limiting entries to its Membership, APSCo cast its net wide to recognise the outstanding stories of a year like no other.

Behind the scenes, the process of securing a robust panel of expertise began to build what will become the foundations for the ongoing success of the Awards – The Judges.

Representing a cross-section of the business community – some have rich knowledge and history of the Australian recruitment industry, while others who have a niche area of specialisation pertinent to the awards categories for entry, provide the perfect complement.

Here we take a look at the panel of seven who will assess, measure, and debate the outcome of this years’ trophy winners.

Rachel Bowes, Head of Crisis Services and Quality, Lifeline Australia

Rachel has spent over 20 years working in public, private, and not for profit mental health services in the United Kingdom and Australia and has professional and postgraduate qualifications in Mental Health Nursing and Counselling. Rachel first began working with APSCo as a panellist early in the year, discussing the escalating issue of mental health and the role that employers can play in supporting the mental wellbeing of their employees. She is key to determining the category finalists and winners of the health and wellbeing award in particular and contributed significantly across several other areas of the awards.

Brianna Cattanach, National Education and Training Services Lead, Gallagher

Brianna has been integral in developing and facilitating a range of bespoke workforce education projects and training courses which ultimately drive improved productivity, cultural, financial and most importantly people outcomes for organisations. As a regular adviser to APSCo Members and speaker in several of the Association’s events she was a natural fit to join the judges and lead the outcome of the WHS category in particular.

Justin Falk, CEO and Co-Founder, TalentVine

With a background in employer branding and online assessments in both the United Kingdom and Australia, Justin is passionate about the role that technology can play in benefitting the recruitment industry. He was an obvious fit for the APSCo judging panel, giving the breadth of technical insight that would benefit the digital category along with extensive knowledge of the recruitment market.

Nigel Harse, Managing Director, Staffing Industry Metrics

Highly regarded and widely sought after for his knowledge, unwavering passion, and innovation, Nigel is a 40-year veteran of the recruitment industry and a regular commentator and adviser to the APSCo Membership.

In 2003, he founded RIBreport, which provided the answers with a monthly-unbiased perspective on the health of staffing and recruitment firms. Nigel takes great pride in now taking this model online and vastly expanding the offering to staffing and recruitment firms across the globe as Staffing Industry Metrics.

Rod Hore, Director, HHMC Global 

Rod is a 35-year veteran of Australian and international IT and corporate advisory organisations. His executive-level credentials traverse many segments of the staffing and recruitment industry and include corporate advisory assignments, mergers and acquisitions mandates, and C-level advisory to multinational and other public and private organizations.

Rod founded HHMC to provide local industry acumen and global knowledge to Asia Pacific recruitment agencies. Like Nigel Harse, Rod is highly regarded inside the APSCo membership and produces the annual ANZ Recruitment Remuneration Report alongside Nigel and Staffing Industry Metrics.

Greg Muller, Co-Founder, The United Project

Greg is a business leader and entrepreneur committed to the development and commercialization of responsible, ethical, and sustainable innovation and technology.

Greg’s current role is with The United Project, a charitable foundation uniting the world's workplaces to improve mental health & prevent suicides. All registration sales of APSCo’s mental health awareness event Head-to-head held in April this year were donated to The United Project, with Greg offering insights as a panellist.

David Wolstenholme, Founder, brandmebetter

David Wolstenholme is a coach, consultant, and trainer whose sole purpose is to help more recruiters to define, build their personal brands, and drive business results. David’s diagnostic BUILD programs, interactive workshops, and one-on-one coaching has built a loyal client base and brand ambassadors across four continents. David began working with APSCo in 2020.


With 2020 being such a unique setting for the judging of the Awards entries, the judges were in agreeance that the way the recruitment industry had handled this year was impressive, and while there can be only one winner, there is cause to celebrate every single entrant.

The finalists of APSCo’s Awards for Excellence were announced last week. The listing of finalists, as awarded by our judges, can be found here.