From Shark Tank to top honours at uni

Southern Cross University's 2017 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Bethany Mantle.
Southern Cross University's 2017 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Bethany Mantle.

AT JUST 20 years old, Lismore-based Bethany Mantle has attained a lifetime of achievements.

Fresh from her appearance on the Shark Tank, Ms Mantle has been recognised for her outstanding achievement as a Southern Cross University alumni, and was awarded Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the university's Alumni of the Year Awards on Friday.

Bethany Mantle graduated with an Associate Degree in Business in 2016 and has become an entrepreneur with her own natural skincare company, Bethany Grace.

Her passion for entrepreneurship began when she was five and living in Coober Pedy, where she created jewellery and sold it.

She was home schooled and completed Year 12 at the age of 15, but by 13 she had launched her own natural skincare range after experimenting using ingredients from her parents' farm.

"It's great to have an acknowledgement like that, it means your on the right track," she said of the award.

"It encourages me to push a bit harder with my own business."

The past few years she has been working on her online base and selling in local shops.

After a traineeship she took at McDonald's as a step to get into university, she said she found university "validated her learning at home".

She said due to being home-schooled, she was initially unsure how she would compare to others at university, but found the transition easy.

"Uni really encourages self-learning... you need to go and find the answers yourself.

"It was something that really worked well for me."

Ms Mantle said she was trying to keep up with the momentum from Shark Tank, which she said was "nearly $2 million worth of advertising".

Since the show Bethany has found a mentor in Boost Juice's founder Janine Allis, and a stockist in Naomi Simson of online retail site RedBalloon.

Winner of SCU's Outstanding Alumnus of the Year was MasterChef Australia contestant, and ambassador for Australian children's services charities Key Assets and Adopt Change, Jules Allen (pictured below).

Ms Allen graduated with a Bachelor of Social Sciences in 2009, and was living in Lennox Head at the time.

Her long list of achievements also include an award-winning youth advocate, co-host of Studio 10, blogger of popular parenting websites and TED Talk presenter.

The single mother of four, and foster mother to 32 children has in the past 20 years worked in youth support, child protection and as a counsellor.

Full list of winners

Outstanding Alumnus of the Year - Jules Allen

Young Alumnus of the Year - Tara Grant

Young Entrepreneur Award - Bethany Mantle

Vice Chancellor's Alumnus Award - Allan Stewart

School of Arts and Social Sciences Alumnus of the Year - Glenn Fawcett

School of Business and Tourism Alumnus of the Year - Michael Emery

School of Law and Justice Alumnus of the Year - Marcelle Burns

School of Environment, Science and Engineering Alumnus of the Year - Rodney Ingersoll

School of Health and Human Sciences Alumnus of the Year - Professor Debra Jackson

School of Education Alumnus of the Year - Tara Grant

International Alumnus Award - Kini Rema

SCU College Alumnus of the Year - Christian Layland

Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples Alumnus of the Year Award - Emma Stone

Topics:  northern rivers business northern rivers education southern cross university

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