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Local businesses shine at awards night

Business Excellence Awards
Bundaberg businesses were on show at the recent Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

More than 230 locals came together for a night of festivities and celebrations at the weekend's Business Excellence Awards.

The Chamber of Commerce event was held at Brothers Sports Club on Saturday evening with 15 businesses and entrepreneurs awarded for their innovations, successes and growth within the community and beyond.

Chamber of Commerce president Tim Sayer said businesses of all sizes were showcased at the annual event.

“We wanted to make sure the night was a real celebration because we have such a wide range of businesses that are all so richly deserving of accolades,” he said.

“Even those who didn't walk away with an award are still winners because of all of the fantastic things they are achieving.

“Business is never easy; it is a hard slog but we get up and do it each and every day because there is a spark and a passion in our local community that drives us to want to succeed.”

Business Excellence Awards
Lady Musgrave Island were awarded for multiple categories, including the joint Business of the Year Award alongside Macadamias Australia.

Major accolades for Lady Musgrave Experience

Lady Musgrave Experience took home a raft of Business Excellence Awards on the night, including Accommodation Business of the Year, Visitor Attraction Business of the Year and Business of the Year.

“Our whole team are grateful to receive these awards as it means we have received recognition and respect for our hard work from the judges and local community,” Founder Brett Lakey said.

“It also encourages us to continue that journey forward in providing a hero experience to Bundaberg.”

Mr Lakey said the past year had seen major growth within his company.

“It's been an incredible first year welcoming guests onboard Lady Musgrave HQ pontoon,” he said.

“Having the pontoon out there allows seamless access to our day tour activities but also means we have been able to create unique overnight experiences that provide a wow factor for our guests; such as turtle tours, diving packages, wellness and yoga retreats, and photography masterclasses for a one-of-a-kind, sleep on the reef experience.

“We’ve been able to use the pontoon for sole-use groups such as this year’s Ocean Sounds Milbi Festival, and have also welcomed school groups, dive groups and corporate Christmas parties.

“As well as maintaining our Advanced Eco Certification, this year we also gained Climate Action Certification and Respecting our Culture Certification which makes us one of only 21 operators to hold all three.”

Macadamias Australia receives Business Excellence Awards for innovation

The team at Macadamias Australia came home with a slew of awards on the night, including Agribusiness of the Year, Tourism Culinary and Hospitality Business of the Year and Business of the Year (shared with Lady Musgrave Experience).

Director Janelle Gerry said she was blown away by the support and recognition received from the community.

“Our family has been farming in Bundaberg for over 60 years, but the Agri-tourism aspect of the business has gone from strength to strength after opening to the public just over 12 months ago,” she said.

“To win not one, but two of our nominated categories is an honour in itself.

“To also be co-awarded with Business of the Year is a credit to every member of our team that has striven for the excellence it takes to reach this level.”

Janelle said in the past year Macadamia's Australia had experienced many highlights.

“We celebrated the Visitor Experience’s first year anniversary in September, which also fell on International Macadamia Nut Day,” she said.

“It was an opportunity for us to really appreciate how far Macadamias Australia has come in such a short time, our customers, as well as celebrate our thriving industry and the native nut itself, whose origins are in Queensland.

“It has been heart-warming to watch people from Australia and overseas enjoy the true tree to table experience with us and explore our beautiful region.”

Business Excellence Awards
Macadamias Australia's Charlie Irvine (Visitor Experience and Events Officer) and Kiri Braid (Agri-Tourism Manager) at the Business Excellence Awards.

Business Excellence Awards winners:

  • New Business of the Year – Green Solutions Wide Bay
  • Micro / Home Based Business – Connections Play Therapy and Consultancy
  • Medical and Allied HealBusiness of the Year – Hinkler Podiatry
  • Personal Services Business of the Year – The Place Hairdressing Bundaberg
  • Professional Services Business of the Year – EKM Services
  • Community Organisation of the Year – Community Access Care
  • Trade, Industrial and Manufacturing Business of the Year – Arcon Metals Recycling
  • Retail Business of the Year – Bundaberg Health Foods
  • Agribusiness of the Year – Macadamias Australia
  • Crush Community Spirit Award – RealWay Property Consultants
  • People’s Choice Award – The Place Hairdressing
  • Tourism Visitor Attractions Business of the Year – Lady Musgrave Experience
  • Tourism Accommodation Business of the Year – Lady Musgrave Experience
  • Tourism Culinary and Hospitality Business of the Year –Macadamias Australia
  • Childers Business of the Year – Childers Physio and Allied Health
  • Childers New Business of the Year – Café Deldora
  • Bundaberg President’s Award – Ingrid Barham, Bundaberg Today
  • Business of the Year – Lady Musgrave Experience and Macadamias Australia