2012 Business Awards roll on
The celebrations continue as the state finals for the 2012 Telstra Australian Business of the Year Award make their way around the country. Already we have had two awards ceremonies where TasIVF, Tasmania’s longest serving and most successful in vitro fertilisation clinic was named the 2012 Telstra Tasmanian Business of the Year and Winangali Pty Ltd, one of Australia’s leading Indigenous research and communications agencies, named the 2012 Telstra Queensland Business of the Year.
On Friday I arrived in Darwin to meet the locals and attend the 2012 Telstra Northern Territory Business of the Year Awards.
Leaving a winter in the southern states for the warmth of the Territory was definitely a welcome surprise.
Another welcome surprise is the stories you learn as you attend the Awards and speak to the finalists. This year the Awards boasted such diversity from a business selling swimming pools in the middle of the outback to a restaurant that tries to minimise its impact on the environment.
I never thought I would be emotional at these Awards, however, the stories you hear are definitely moving.
The HTC Start Up Award winner, The Chiropractic Place, started up in a small room to integrate chiropractic elements with neurology. The News Ltd Micro Business Award went to Alice Pool and Spa Centre and owner Darren Burton said his wife originally thought he was playing an April Fools joke when on 1 April he purchased a swimming pool shop in Alice Springs.
There is even a People’s Choice Award where the public vote on their favourite entrant in the Awards. The 2012 NT 1300 Australia People’s Choice Award went to a personal training business, VIP Body Conditioning.
For me, the feel-good moment of the evening was when Saffrron Restaurant won the MYOB Small Business Award. Chef Selvam Kandasamy excitedly thanked everyone, apologised as his wife was unable to attend as they only days before had the birth of their first child. His infectious excitement and joy spread throughout the room as he explained how he took his idea, had the support of his wife and parents-in-law and created a restaurant where even the tableware is biodegradable.
However, the Award speech that gave me goose bumps that night was from Geoff Morton. Overcome with the emotion from the Award win, he explained how he decided he wanted to establish a business to service small fix wing aircraft. He said the journey was tough. Initially he used to sleep alone at night in aircraft hangers, wondering if the decision he made to set up a business to service aircraft was the right thing to do. But his commitment to his plan and his investment in his staff – who accompanied him on stage – saw his dream realised with the business now servicing planes and helicopters and now completes more than 350 jobs a year and maintains a customer fleet of more than 80 aircraft.
Security & Technology Services, a fast-expanding provider of security and fire detection equipment for major Territory projects, was named the 2012 Telstra Northern Territory Business of the Year. This wrapped up the evening and what better way to sum up the feeling of all the winners than these words from STS Director Greg Ireland: “This Rocks!”.
It sure did! Well done to all the entrants, finalists and winners.
If you want to follow the Awards as they happen, you can on Twitter under the hash tag: #telstrabizawards
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