NEW SOUTH WALES

NSW/ACT Regional Achievement & Community Awards

2019 Finalists

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Crown Land Manager Excellence Award
Dirawong Reserve Land Manager
have turned a degraded site to a pristine condition. The Dirawong Reserve Land Manager Board comprises of four local volunteer community members appointed by the Minister. Volunteers manage the 300-hectare site consistent with the Minister-approved Plan of Management. The Board manages local contractors, provides hands-on involvement in maintenance of the Reserve and directly engages in public education. The Board actively manages tracks, minimises intrusive man-made infrastructure and raises community and visitor interest. They have upgraded walking tracks for easier public access whilst reducing environmental damage. Despite limited funds, they have helped preserve Indigenous history and culture in the region.

Cowra Showground, Racecourse and Paceway Trust has dramatically changed the future of the Reserve, which is a 60-acre site along the river. Users include the Cowra Jockey Club, Cowra Harness Racing Club, Cowra Show Society, Cowra Pony Club and Cowra Campdraft Club. The Trust renovated and refurbished the heritage-listed turnstile gates at the Showground, upgraded the camping area and increased its capacity. They provided a covered meeting place, restored the 1940’s stable block and derelict Caretakers Cottage and employed an onsite caretaker. The improvements have attracted more users and increased participation in major events. The Showground Trust is a member of the Cowra Tourism Corporation, which helps market the site. 

Dooralong Community Reserve Land Manager has undergone extraordinary work for the Reserve. They are a group of local, appointed individuals who are responsible for the overall management of the Crown Reserve. The group handles management of bookings, full maintenance of the Hall and Reserve, liaison with authorities and community groups, finance management, local history and general enquiries. Other initiatives include the first “Dooralong Showcase Countrywise” under the umbrella of the Central Coast Council’s Harvest Festival. Organised by the Reserve Manager from scratch, the event was attended by 3,000 visitors, 45 volunteers and 38 businesses. The event also helped the Reserve Manager reach out to younger people.

Johns River Community Hall & Recreation Reserve hopes to leave a long-lasting legacy for the community. A group of five Land Managers have been involved in the Reserve for a combined total of 125 years. Their main role is to ensure that the 10-acre Community Hall and Recreation Reserve precinct is well cared for, from an infrastructure and financial viability perspective for continued enjoyment of the public. All Land Managers are volunteers coming from different backgrounds. They handle maintenance and repairs, management of various functions, and work with volunteers and community labour to save vital dollars. Their primary source of income is their signature monthly Community Markets.


Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Individual Excellence in Crown Land Management Award

Barry Thomson of Boggabri is ensuring the community benefits from use of the grounds. Barry has been President on and off since 1988 of the Boggabri Showground and Public Recreation Land Manager, which is run by seven volunteers. Barry spends each weekend emptying rubbish at the local tip, repairing broken pipes and dripping taps and shower and mowing the area. He even goes out at all hours of the night if needed. He makes sure organisations and clubs using the grounds have safe areas and have correct insurance cover for events. Barry is also the president of the Boggabri Pony Club, which hires the Showground monthly.

Neil Rose of Norah Head is committed to maintaining the Reserve for current and future generations. Neil has been a Trust and Land Manager Board member for six years at the Norah Head Lighthouse Reserve. As current Board Chairperson, he ensures all areas are maintained and protected according to relevant legislations. He helps manage the finances, coordinates with the Land Manager Board and ensures that the Reserve is safe and available to the public. He also liaises with the Marketing Committee and Reserve Managers on publicity matters and maintains income from tours and event bookings. Neil has been active in community service for over 30 years.

Arthur Hatch of Mullumbimby has been instrumental in turning the Reserve to a flourishing community jewel. The Mullumbimby Showground is managed by a voluntary Board which was dissolved in 2011 due to financial misconduct. Arthur is part of the replacement Board, serving first as Treasurer and now as Chair. He confronted a $30k debt for an inoperable mower, $20k unpaid creditor invoices, no money in the bank and mismanaged land. Arthur prioritised stabilising the financial position of the Showground. He provided physical labour and project and budgetary management services. The Camping Site provides 50% of the Reserve’s annual income and the Showground now has over $300k.

William Kember, OAM of Ganmain is passionate the growth of regional communities. The Ganmain Showground Trust manages the Showground and organisations attached to it, including the Poultry Club, Pony Club and Camping Ground. Will has been an active member for over 45 years and is now Chairman of the Showground Trust. He has been instrumental in gaining funding to develop buildings and infrastructures and encourages various organisations and local horse trainers to be active users of the Showground. He instigated its use as a camping facility, thus encouraging tourism in the area. This injected $50,000 into the Showground and enabled the Trust to build toilets and showers.

Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award
Back Up Charlie of Urana is committed to maximising sheep farming efficiency. It is a flexible dual lane lead up race, designed for sheep handling applications like crutching trailers, jetting plants, weighing boxes and scanning cradles. Invented by sheep and cereal grain farmer Charlie Webb, it is compact and transportable, helping handlers reduce capital expenditure normally spent on multiple sheep handling facilities and features hock bars, which keeps sheep forward facing. Back Up Charlie won the 2016 Henty Machinery Field Days Machine of the Year, the 2017 Australian National Field Days at Orange, The Land Machine of the Year and the NAB Agribusiness Award of Excellence.

Dr Amy Moss of Armidale is striving to improve chicken meat production efficiency. Her research revealed that by replacing some ground grain in chicken feed with whole grain, the chickens’ digestion is improved. Her study found that 30% whole grain improved production efficiency by 7.7%. If implemented globally, this would produce enough chicken to meat protein requirement for 100 million people. This translates to $92 million in feed cost savings and 22.5% less nitrogen excreted into the environment. Amy received a grant to support the Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition; an animal nutrition conference focusing on the incorporation of new ideas and technology to Australian agriculture.

John Ive of Hall has a passion for environmental improvements. For four decades, John has been co-managing their family farm, Talaheni, in the Yass Valley. His innovative on-ground activities have addressed dryland salinity, biodiversity, carbon sequestration and soil moisture improvement, which resulted in enhanced sustainability and production gains, particularly ultra-fine wool. His latest innovation is the sequestration of eleven times more carbon than total livestock. John believes in constant monitoring, regularly adjusting his practices as monitoring indicates. He is an active member of the Yass Valley Revegetation and Murrumbateman Landcare and has been named one of 36 influential Australian farmers selected as a Climate Champion.

Lorraine Gordon of Lismore has created Australia’s largest community of primary producers keen to boost their margins by forming collaborations. Through Southern Cross University, Lorraine and her team implemented the “Farming Together Program,” which established agricultural co-operatives as key strategy for growing the sustainability of smaller, family-owned agricultural operations in Australia. Farming Together works with farmers to identify business needs, pair expertise and fund business expansion projects. It has so far created a pool of over 200 specialist advisers, reached 28,500 primary producers and supported 730 producer groups. Lorraine has been made Director of Strategic Projects at SCU and also runs two rural businesses.

Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award
Eagle View Escape of Rydal is passionate about hosting guests and exceeding expectations. For over 20 years, Eagle View Escape is a 100-acre property located west of the Blue Mountains has offered boutique accommodation. They take pride in their excellent staff management which contributes to their successful guest service approach. To benchmark services, they utilise TripAdvisor’s analytics suite to gain insights into specific “competitor sets” for benchmarking. They also engage an external company to conduct an independent customer service analysis on their behalf. They won the Australian Achieve Awards for Travel, Tourism & Accommodation Services category in 2017 and 2018 and the Customer Services Excellence category in 2019.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Orange is devoted to giving families the gift of togetherness during tough times. After ten years of fundraising, the House opened in 2015 and has since accommodated at no cost, over 590 families across five health districts. They provide accommodation for families with sick child in hospital and for high risk pregnancy mums. The House is run by two staff, supported by 111 dedicated volunteers. Staff and volunteers undergo significant training relative to their roles such as safeguarding of children, first aid, and mental health training. To ensure quality service, families are asked to complete a survey after their stay.

Mountain Whispers of Blue Mountains is dedicated to offering access to nature on a grand scale. Mountain Whispers comprises five historic guest homes situated in the boutique Blue Mountains towns of Leura and Katoomba. They aim to fill a unique niche in the region by combining the intimacy of a bed-and-breakfast with the polish and attention of a five-star luxury hotel. They offer bespoke service and allow personal contact with owner and historic restorer, Lorraine Allanson, who is available 24 hours a day. They achieve customer service excellence by meticulously attending to details that matter most to guests such as ease of booking, to uncompromising hygiene standards.

Botanical Art of Lawson highlights an authentic approach to personal care and connection. Botanical Art, a family-owned and operated florist business servicing the Blue Mountains and beyond. Owners Brendon and Elizabeth Cannon are responsible for daily deliveries and flower arrangements, respectively. They share equal responsibility in providing excellent customer service. Brendon presents the business to potential new customers whilst Elizabeth is first point of contact for visiting or calling customers. Their personal approach includes taking time to educate customers on plant care and remembering customers’ names and their likes and dislikes. Botanical Art won the Best Retail Business Award at the 2018 Blue Mountains Business Awards.

Wholistic Financial Solutions Small Business Achievement Award
Clarke Keller Architects of Barton are passionate about producing high quality designs. Clarke Keller is a Canberra-based firm that applies national expertise at a local level. Their practice typically encompasses regional community projects and they specialise in innovative learning, sustainable living and human-focused work environments. Over the last four years, the business has grown to 25 staff and has added interior design services. In 2019, one of its many projects, the ANU Hann Neumann Building by Clarke Keller, received two Australian Industry of Building Awards, a Master Builders of Australia Award, and three ACT Architecture Awards, presented by the Australian Institute of Architects.

Meralli Solar of Armidale has a passion for powering regional communities. Established in 2017, Meralli Solar redefines smaller utility-scale solar farming in Australia by delivering quick installation, low-cost high-return solar farms, to regional areas. They have delivered four privately funded projects and with completion of the Kanowna project, will have reduced CO2 emissions by 39,000 metric tonnes per year. They have 11 employees and make conscious efforts to source significant labour and materials from communities where projects are located. Meralli Solar works closely with every community it operates and sponsors local organisations like the Armidale Women’s Networking Group and the Northern Nations Indigenous Football Team.

Wollongong Emergency Family Housing aims to provide a voice for the vulnerable. They are a not-for-profit charity working under a community management model to support families and individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. They work to keep existing accommodation or attain new tenancies through early intervention, case management, referral and advocacy. The Wollongong Homeless Hub in particular, is a specialist homelessness service that operates as a drop-in centre. They cater to a diverse client base, including non-English speaking refugees, youth and Indigenous people. WEFH has collaborative involvement with other homelessness services and non-government and government organisations. In 2017, it successfully supported 1,900 clients.

Accelerate Physiotherapy of Garran is passionate about giving back. Established in 2017, Accelerate Physiotherapy treated 3,068 patients in their first six months of trade. Their net revenue has increased by 25% in the last 12 months and they continue to see an average of 100 new patients per month. Services include workplace injuries and ergonomic advice, spinal injuries, post-operative rehabilitation and general health management, serving the Canberra and Queanbeyan region. They proudly service the Easts Rugby Union Club and Queanbeyan Blues Rugby League Club. Accelerate Physiotherapy currently has 11 staff which includes 5 full-time physios. Staff are encouraged to get involved in the community.

Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award
Peninsula Villages of Umina strives to be a leader in staff relations. Incorporated in 1980, Peninsula Villages is a not-for-profit residential aged care provider in the Central Coast catering to over 350 residents. They offer supported living, ageing in place, dementia-specific and palliative care and holistic care. They have 317 full-time, causal and permanent staff. In 2017, Peninsula Villages rolled out a multiskilling staff training program. In 2019, they introduced a new team wellbeing program, focusing on group personal sessions, a Fitbit challenge, free breast screens and quit smoking hydrotherapy. They offer extensive Learning and Development programs and numerous career pathways to ensure staff satisfaction.

Cowra Retirement Village commits to become the region’s employer of choice. Founded in 1988, the Village is a community-owned, not-for-profit retirement village with 82 residential aged care beds and are currently delivering 30 home care packages. With 120 employees, they are the largest employers in the Cowra community. They offer a range of employment types, flexible rostering and family friendly hours and deliver online training in a range of subjects. They instituted a staff welfare program for staff and their families and introduced a Staff Excellence Awards program. In 2019, the Village were finalists in the Cowra Business Chamber Awards Employer of Choice category.

Koonambil Aged Care Ltd of Coonamble is dedicated to staff development. Koonambil Aged Care Limited is a community-owned, mission-based organisation in Coonamble and the only provider of residential aged care in the local area. They currently have 30 beds that allow ageing in place and respite and eight independent living units. With 30 local staff, Koonambil is the largest non-government employer in the region. As part of its continuous improvement strategy, they regularly undertake anonymous Staff Opinion Surveys. All employees have access to further training, education and qualifications for their role. The Koonambil Enterprise Agreement provides all staff with above award wages and conditions.

Crowley Care of Ballina promotes a unique staff-driven culture.
Established in 1979, Crowley Care is a not-for-profit organisation offering dynamic aged care in Ballina and the Far North Coast. Some services include independent living, home care, private care, transitional care and residential aged care. Their 250 mostly local staff enjoy benefits such as the Employee Assistance Program, offering access to confidential counselling sessions. They provide onsite paid training sessions and external culture training sessions. A Leadership Development Program has commenced for future leaders or influencers. Crowley won the 2019 Aged and Community Services Australia award for Regional, Rural and Remote Provider of the Year.

TransGrid Leadership Award
Yenn Purkis of Mawson is an advocate of positive change. Yenn is an autistic and non-binary author, presenter and community leader and has been active in the disability community in Australia and internationally since 2005. Yenn was a victim of bullying and violence, unemployed for years, locked in prison and psychiatric wards but has used their difficult past to drive their passion for making change and become the leader they are today. Yenn is now part of the ACT Government Disability Justice Strategy reference group, has facilitated the Canberra Autism Women’s Group since 2011 and won the 2016 ACT Volunteer of the Year award.

John Southon of Trundle is the principal of Trundle Central School and has shown selfless dedication for the community. He has managed to coordinate multiple individuals and agencies to deliver sustained drought relief to the Trundle community. Under John’s leadership, students have been empowered to help their families in times of significant rural need. Their mental health has also been improved. The School was featured on BBC, China News and Seven Network’s Sunrise, leading to visits by rural aid, rotary clubs, government and other organisations. In the last 12 months, they have secured 250 food and toiletry packages and have injected $70,000 into the Trundle economy.

Jillian Critchley of Engadine has made significant impact on the lives of disabled youth. Both her daughters and husband Peter have CMT, a physical disability and Jill has been a committee member of the CMT Association of Australia for 10 years. Jill is the founder of the Charcot Marie Tooth Aussie Kids Program and also designed the CMTAK Mentor Program. She helps organise annual conferences where medical and health professionals and people with CMT from rural and regional areas can discuss treatment and support. She was an NSW/ACT finalist in the Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards 2017, Early Childhood Educator of the Year category.

Sarah-Jane Dunford of Morpeth has profound drive for improving safety. Sarah-Jane founded the Hunter Safety Awards and the NSW Regional Safety Conference and Expo. She volunteers as Chair of the Women in Safety committee, the Australian Safety Awards and the Hunter Valley Branch of the Safety Institute of Australia. She donated over $200.000 in pro bono safety consulting to small regional businesses in NSW and has donated over 70 photorealism paintings to charities to raise money. She founded the Share-a-Paddock campaign to promote green pastures to farmers in drought and donated three-fourths of her bison farm to a beef cattle farmer for free for 12 months.

Awards Australia Connecting Communities Award
Soul Café of Newcastle hopes to help the vulnerable reengage with the community. Soul Café has been providing free, healthy meals and support services to the homeless, financially disadvantaged and socially isolated since 2003, offering five breakfast services and five lunch services weekly. In 2018, they provided 33,400 meals, takeaways and food care packs. A registered charity, they are community-backed and funded and receive no government funding. Soul Café has 150 volunteers who contribute more than 360 hours weekly with a long-term goal of elevating the circumstances of vulnerable people. Soul Café was a runner up community organisation in the 2018 Australia Day Awards.

Theresa Mitchell of Tweed Heads South is devoted to helping the homeless. Theresa founded Agape Outreach Inc. in 2009 after seeing many hungry homeless people in the local park. Since then, the charity has helped over 10,000 people yearly. Theresa also runs a food rescue program that collects two tonnes of food per week from supermarkets, farms and bakeries that would otherwise end up in landfill and donates these to those struggling to put food on the table. An Op-Shop attached to Agape Outreach sells inexpensive clothing and free blankets and warm clothes to those in need. Theresa also accompanies the homeless to medical appointments and Court.

Outback Theatre for Young People of Deniliquin promotes sustained engagement with communities. OTYP is an art company that provides remote, rural and regional young people access to professional arts experiences that are developed in their communities, for their communities. They provide opportunities to share their creative ideas and dreams and experience arts careers whilst using their voices and feeling more part of their towns. They produce theatre, dance, music and film. OTYP participants include those who face isolation, poverty and struggle with literacy. Their projects are delivered for two to three years and are fully embedded into the community through a unique and tailored Artistic and Operational Framework.

Police Citizens Youth Clubs NSW empowers young people to reach their potential. PCYC established the PCYC “Fit for Work” program in 2017 in partnership with the NSW Police Youth & Crime Prevention Command and in cooperation with local businesses and agencies. PCYC works with youth at risk to break the cycle of disadvantage through crime prevention, vocational education, youth capacity building and social responsibility. Participants attend the 10-week Program which comprises of fitness challenges, classroom training, presentations and excursions. They work to obtain certificates in Retail, White Card, First Aid and Barista. The Program concludes with at least a week of work experience and a graduation ceremony.

 

2018 Finalists

NSW Department of Industry – Lands & Water Crown Reserve Corporate Manager Award
Byron Youth Service work with their local community to enhance and develop the Youth Activity Centre for use by young people and families. The grassed natural outdoor amphitheater with insulated undercover stage area provides a central focus point for youth- based activities and is a safe drug & alcohol-free venue. Access to free education programs, social services and support for young people is provided. Staff and volunteers help manage and improve facilities.

Orange Waratah Sports Club manages the Crown Reserve Trust provides local quality sporting and recreational opportunities particularly through its playing fields and facilities. The majority of activity is funded by the Sports Club members and users of the grounds and facilities, ensuring that the commitment to the community is both financially beneficial and sustainable. It is conservatively estimated that the Sports Club’s Crown Land grounds are accessed by more than 100,000 visitors annually.

Tarlo/Middle Arm Landcare was established in 2004 by a group of neighbours from the Tarlo and Middle Arm Rural Fire Brigade areas North West of Goulburn. The Landcare Group increases the biodiversity and catchment water quality on three Crown reserves. Their main focus has been to reduce weed density, increase biodiversity, and demonstrate and practice management methodologies. They plant native seedlings and have established a Native Plant Nursery at the Middle Arm Hall.

 

NSW Department of Industry – Lands & Water Crown Reserve Community Manager Award

Coolatai Sportsground Reserve Management Committee is a highly functioning, cohesive working group. They deliver a working operational plan, based on community needs and focus on funding viable projects and asset renewal plans. Under the management of the Trust Committee, the Coolatai Reserve has become a hub for the regions social, community, cultural and sporting events. The committee is inclusive of all members and user groups and maintains a collaborative approach to grow the reserves capacity.

Eulah Creek Recreation Reserve Land Manager was formed from a group of local volunteers who maintain the reserve and organise community fundraising events. The trust has made considerable improvements to the reserve and its infrastructure including a new kitchen, outdoor BBQ's and extensive electrical work. The Annual Vintage Machinery Day has been running for over 15 years. Over 500 spectators visit to watch the vintage machinery displays, working draught horses, working antique tractors and much more.

Norah Head Lighthouse Land Manager oversees the reserve maintenance, marketing and operations with volunteers and the Board. The facilities are a working example of essential maritime infrastructure visitors have the opportunity to see a historic lighthouse in operation. There is accommodation in the original Lightkeeper’s quarters and it’s a popular venue for weddings. In 2017, the 29 volunteer tour guides worked a total of 7,305 hours allowing the lighthouse to be open 363 days.


Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award

Len Waters Culture Tours of Daruka is a two-year old business that delivers Aboriginal cultural programs and local tours. They also visit many schools in the region, delivering Aboriginal cultural education, language and take groups out on Country. They have provided education to over 5,000 local school children, community groups, government agencies, domestic and international visitors. Len employs a range of local people to assist him share his passion of culture, including Aboriginal musicians and dancers… Congratulations Len Waters Culture Tours

Joyland Carers Retreat of Coffs Harbour is a person-centered facility focusing on the carer to enhance their enjoyment and relaxation in a welcoming holistic environment. Joyland Carers Retreat has adopted a quality improvement process that consists of both systematic and continuous actions that has lead to measurable improvement for carer’s individual needs. Joyland Carers Retreat improves the health and wellbeing of unpaid carers by providing a holistic approach for the carer’s mind, body and spirit.

Orange Visitor Information Centre is the inspirational gateway for visitors to the Orange Region, showcasing villages, dining and accommodation options. The Information Centre directly connects the region's attractions, events and experiences with over 200,000 visitors per year. They work with more than 400 local attractions, accommodation providers, retailers, dining outlets, touring companies and government entities. They also participated in collaborative marketing campaigns with leading regional events operators to increase visitation to the region.


Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award

John Ive of Yass Valley has over 40 years added 200,000 trees with strategic regenerative land management and excluded domestic stock from over 30 percent to his property. John has implemented soil salinity and acidity monitoring, soil and vegetation carbon sequestration, and soil moisture retention. These fundamental ecosystem changes has resulted in increased farm productivity and attracted farming recognition. John receives numerous requests to host on-farm field days and invitations for conference presentations.

Anika Molesworth of Broken Hill has developed creative and critical perspectives on sustainability, focusing her work on innovative ways of enhancing agriculture for the long term. She is a highly sought after speaker and educator on how to produce more food for a growing global population with reduced environmental footprint. Her expertise lies in the three key domains of sustainability: agricultural and natural systems, agribusiness, and the humanities. Anika has been nominated and won countless awards.

SmartShepherd of Armidale designed, developed and are now producing a revolutionary means for determining maternal pedigrees for the Australian sheep industry. The lamb/ewe mothering system based around electronic collars, records interactions between lambs and ewes and can determine the relationships between them. The main beneficiary of the SmartShepherd system will be sheep studs, although commercial sheep enterprises have expressed a high level of interest in improving their maternal genetic selection using SmartShepherd.

TransGrid Leadership Award

Dr Kate Grarock of Cook is a Woodlands and Wetlands Trust Ambassador, 2018 Eureka Prize finalist and Ecologist at Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary in Canberra. I work on research and restoration of critically endangered grassy woodlands and the reintroducing of locally extinct species, such as the Eastern Bettong and Eastern Quoll. Kate developed an education and outreach program, taking threatened species such as Bettongs into schools to inspire the students to care about conservation.

Big John Young OAM of Lambton established Bikers for Kids and the Newcastle Toy Run and since 1990 has poured his heart and soul into the charities. The Newcastle Toy Run is the oldest and biggest annual event of its kind in Australia. The Toy Run has grown from 20 motorcycles to the over 5,000 participants in their 40th anniversary last year! In 2015 Big John received the Medal of the Order of Australia.

Steve Semmens of Bathurst founded ‘The Persuader’ 14 years ago. The Persuader provides Business Coaching services. He has consistently grown his loyal client base, by word of mouth referrals and networking activities. Over the past 25 years, Steve has actively contributed to many community organisations donating his time, business knowledge, and utilising his contacts to raise funds. The encourages all he interacts with, to give back to the community, buy local, and working together.

Dr Daisy William of Armidale is the Director of the Armidale Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place which was on the verge of closing down when she was appointed. Daisy overhauled systems and processes and successfully applied for grants. The centre is now at capacity providing Aboriginal programs, a gallery, café, gift shop, an artists’ boutique and more. Daisy helps Aboriginal artists create an income through their art and trains and employs Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth.

Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award

Mackellar Care Services, Gunnedah operates 120 aged care places over two residential care campuses, a 48 villa Retirement Village, a home care service, and the local GP Super Clinic. They are committed to clinical excellence and implementing innovation solutions to benefit both residents and staff members. Mackellar Care Services has a training and development culture, starting at a Board level. This ensures it can attract, upskill and retain staff members to provide quality services.

Adssi HomeLiving Australia, Tuggerah has been a not-for-profit home and community care provider for over 30 years. They support over 12,000 clients each year, enabling them to remain living at home and connected to their community. The annual staff and volunteer conference provides training and networking opportunities and a robust induction program was designed for Community Support Workers. Staff and volunteers collaborated to unanimously agree on their values: Professional; Respectful; Integrity; Client Focussed; Excellence.

United Protestants Association, Riverina-Murray has aged care facilities in eight locations. Their philosophy of care aims to provide quality of service and care and that dignity, respect and security should not diminish with age. They provide equitable staff training and development opportunities and provide financial support for relatable courses. Roster are created to balance work, home and leisure activities. The staff actively support their community and this year raised almost $10,000 for cancer charities.

G.J. Gardner Homes Women Creating Change Award

Elizabeth Svoboda of Cammeray has, as CEO of NSW Police Legacy for five years, led a dynamic team in supporting and caring for the personal needs of over 1,000 police widows and children of deceased police officers. She has provided policies and operating processes focused on the social, mental and well-being needs of police widows, widowers and children. This includes running of camps and Kokoda Track visits and a student education scholarship.

The Big Green Cup Café of Bungendore provides meaningful training and employment for people with a disability. The café currently employs five people with a disability. There has been a real shift in confidence for these employees, who start out washing dishes and then move on to serving tables, making coffee and using the till. The Café also ‘The Coffee Collaborative’ group for local business women who meet monthly to have a cup of coffee and network.

Sandra Holden of Lake Wyangan has led a team of Australian volunteers to Nepal four times. They provide free medical aid to young Nepalese girls, especially the Badi caste who are used for sex slavery. They set up nine medical camps, checked over 1,000 girls and provided health education sessions. Sandra’s is training the girls to undertake simple health checks, providing an alternative income. She is building a Friends of Badi clinic, which the girls will operate.

Awards Australia Business Achievement Award

Beaumont People of Byron Bay
is a boutique Recruitment Agency, specialising in business support, people and culture, sales and marketing, education, health and charities. Their not-for-profit division is proud to have saved over $14 million in recruitment fees to over 250 charities. Beaumont People’s Northern Rivers team has grown from a one-man band to a team of five. They have placed over 200 people in roles and serviced over 100 businesses across the Northern Rivers.

Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council is the largest private landholder on the Central Coast, with almost 6,000 hectares and 9,000 hectares under claim. Darkinjung has assisted in identifying over 7,000 registered sites of Aboriginal significance. They employ 21 staff and provide social housing, funeral fund assistance and cultural preservation. Their services are designed to empower the Aboriginal community socially, culturally and financially. Opportunities for economic development are created through strong investment and effective management of assets.

Wollongong Emergency Family Housing is a voice for people experiencing or at imminent risk of homelessness. In 201 7they supported 1,900 clients, these included people from non-English speaking backgrounds, youth and Indigenous people. During the ‘Wrap up Homelessness’ campaign, Wollongong Emergency Family Housing hosted a challenge, inviting community leaders to ‘Walk in my shoes’ and be homeless for 24 hours. Their mobile Outreach Service truck makes available information, support assistance, clothes, toiletries and food.

Southern Cotton of Whitton is an independently owned ginning facility. They employ 18 fulltime and up to 50 seasonal workers and have provided cotton ginning and related services to the Southern Valley’s growers for seven years. In 2017, they reached the milestone of processing one million bales. Southern Cotton's purpose-built ginning program, state-of-the-art facility and focus on innovation is giving growers a better yield. They won the 2015 Telstra Australian Regional Business of the Year.

 

icare Connecting Communities Award

Matthew Priestley of Moree is a proud Mehi Murri man. A Senior Leader at Moree East Public School, he is creates and conducts Indigenous Language and Culture classes. Matthew is on several Aboriginal Education committees and groups and is Chair of the Language & Culture Nest. Matthew works with elders, young people, community leaders and local service providers to ensure programs are relevant, engaging and appropriate to the needs of the community and local people.

The Write Road of Byron Bay is a wellbeing initiative for rural and remote Australians. Founded in 2014 by award-winning journalist and author Stephanie Dale, the Write Road is a building a nation of emerging writers. More than 1,500 people have attended The Write Road’s writing and communications workshops and training over the past four years. The Write Road has inspired some to become published authors, and everyone to use writing as a pathway to wellbeing.

Orange Sky Laundry of Newcastle has been operational since August 1, 2017 and has nine locations which are serviced on a regular weekly basis. The Newcastle operation is part of Orange Sky Laundry, Australia's first mobile laundry service for those experiencing homelessness. In the last 12 months they have achieved 1,130 laundry washes and 2,925 hours of positive conversations. They have 73 volunteers who combined, have completed 291 shifts with the laundry van.

  

2017 Finalists

NSW Department of Industry, Lands, Crown Reserve Trust Corporate Manager's Award
• Armidale Tree Group Inc.
• Tilligerry Habitat Association Inc, Tanilba Bay
• The Rick Farley Soil Conservation Reserve, Birdwoodton

NSW Department of Industry, Lands, Crown Reserve Trust Community Manager's Award
• Coolatai Sportground Reserve Management Committee
• Norah Head Lighthouse Reserve Trust 
• The Ulladulla Native Flora and Fauna Reserve Trust

1st Choice Rentals Volunteering Award
• Dr Saba Nabi, Wagga Wagga
• Carmel (Fudge) Kaczmar, East Maitland
• Jeanette Purkis, Mawson

Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award
• Fitness in The Park, Goulburn
• North Coast Holiday Parks Red Rock
• Jim's Bean Machine, Goulburn

Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award
• Caernarvon Cherry Co, Orange
• McGregor Gourlay, Moree
• Botanical Innovations, Molong
• Drape Net, Nashdale

Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award
• BaptistCare Maranoa Alstonville
• Gummun Place Hostel, Merriwa
• BlueWave Living, Woy Woy

Awards Australia Community Group of the Year Award
• The Flagstaff Group Ltd, Unanderra
• Lismore Helping Hands
• Hope Centre – Illawarra Food Hub 
• Moree Mobile Neighbourhood Watch

 

2016 Finalists

NSW Department of Industry, Lands, Crown Reserve Trust, Corporate Manager's Award

Tilligerry Habitat Association Inc 
Coffs Harbour City Council-Coffs Coast State Park 
The Ethnic Communities Council of Newcastle
Nambucca Shire Council, Business Development 


NSW Department of Industry, Lands, Crown Reserve Trust, Community Manager's Award

Belmont Wetlands State Park Trust of Rankin Park 
Borah Greek Reserve Trust for Public Hall 66806
Trundle Showground Trust 

Prime Super Community of the Year - Population Under 15,000 Award

BEST Food Garden of Inverell 
Nundle, New South Wales 
The Cad Factory of Sandigo 

Prime Super Community of the Year - Population Over 15,000 Award

The Cancer Support Group ACT Eden Monaro's Own of Queanbeyan 
Flagstaff Group of Unanderra 
Broken Hill Regional Events Centre Reserve Trust 

MOA Benchmarking Community Service in Aged Care Award

Kamini Morris of Long Jetty 
Suzanne Duggan 
Toni Shutt of Henty 
Trevor Russell of Boambee East 

1st Choice Rentals Volunteering Award

Carmel (Fudge) Kaczmar of East Maitland 
Hannah McInerney of Kiama 
Jennifer Cowley of Dubbo 
Paul Boultwood of Tarrawanna 

Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award

Weeroona Aged Care Residence of Cowra
Accessible Living Options of Bathurst 
Mareeba Aged Care of Maclean 

Dobija Print World Events and Tourism Award

Tamworth Country Music Festival 
Bluesfest of Byron Bay 
Parkes Elvis Festival 
Deni Ute Muste of Deniliquin 

 

2015 Finalists


CRT Agricultural Community Achiever Award

Brad Adams of Wauchope
Heath Rowe of HRFT Transport Mungindi
Kiama Farmers Market

Department of Primary Industries Crown Reserve Trust - Community Manager's Award 

Bungonia Park Trust
Ben Lomond War Memorial Hall Reseve Trust

 

Department of Primary Industries Crown Reserve Trust - Corporate Manager's Award

Bendemeer Preschool Incorporated Committee
The Ethnic Communities Council of Newcastle
Camden Head Pilot Station


Dobija Print World Events and Tourism Award

LightnUp Incorporated of Lismore
Boggabri Drovers Campfire 
Batlow CiderFest


MOA Benchmarking Community Service in Aged Care Award

Neil Pitt of Elemore Valley
Sarah Marciano of Byron Bay
Paws Pet Therapy of Thirlmere

Peabody Energy Environment & Landcare Award

Friends of the Colo of Wentworth Falls
Fingal Head Coastcare Inc. 
Coal Point Progress Association


Prime Super Community of the Year - Population Over 15,000 Award

Tidy Up Taree
Cancer Care Western NSW
Co-Care Incorporated of Tamworth


Prime Super Community of the Year - Population Under 15,000 Award

Local Health Medical Trust of Barham
Tumut District Community Transport
BEST Food Garden of Inverell


Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award

BaptistCare Maranoa Alstonville Residental Aged Care
BlueWave Living of Woy Woy
Charles O'Neill Hostel - Catholic Healthcare Mayfield
Feros Care of Byron Bay

 

2014 Finalists

The Crown Lands Crown Reserve Trust - Corporate Managers Award
• Byron Bay Communitu Association Incorporated - Byron Bay
• Lake Menindee Plantation Reserve Trust
• NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust - Urunga Heads Holiday Park Morgo St Reserve

The Crown Lands Crown Reserve Trust - Community Managers Award
• Bega Showground Trust - Bega
• Tamworth Public Recreation Reserve Trust - Tamworth
• Mount Arthur Reserve Trust - Wellington

The Peabody Environment and Landcare Award
• Fingal Head Coastcare Inc - Fingal Head
• Illawarra Youth Landcare - Illawarra
• Ray Thompson - Nyngan

The Prime Super Community of the Year Population Under 15,000 Award
• Nimbin Neighbourhood & Information Centre Inc
• Tathra Mountain Bike Club
• Warrae Wanni - Muswellbrook South Public School

The Prime Super Community of the Year Population Over 15,000 Award
• Byron Bay Community Association Incorporated
• Committee 4 Wagga
• Friends of the Regal Incorporated - Newcastle

The Elite Coatings Regional Service Award
• Alf Cantrell - Yeoval
• Dianne O'Brien - Umina Beach
• William Murray - Bulli

The Dobija Print World Events and Tourism Award
• Batlow Ciderfest
• Brunswick Heads Old & Gold Festival
• Canowindra Balloon Challenge Inc

2013 Finalists
The Crown Lands Crown Reserve Trust - Corporate Managers Award
• Central Coast Holiday Parks - Wyong Shire Council
• Wollongong City Council - The Blue Mile

The Crown Lands Crown Reserve Trust - Community Managers Award
• Bulahdelah War Memorial Reserve Trust
• Tuggerah Lakes Reserve Trust

The Fantastic Furniture Indigenous Achievement Award
• Peak Hill Aboriginal Landcare Group
• William O'Brien

The Fantastic Furniture Youth Leadership Award
• Jayla Nix
• Saul Brady

The Prime Super Community of the Year - Population Under 15,000 Award
• Deniliquin Business Chamber
• Lower Lachlan Community Services

The Prime Super Community of the Year - Population Over 15,000 Award
• Catholic Community Services - Orana Division
• Our House

The Peabody Environment and Landcare Award
• Corowa District Landcare
•Ray Thompson

The Essential Energy Regional Service Award
• Alf Cantrell
• William Lawson

The Speciality Press Events and Tourism Award
• Canowindra Challenge Inc
• The Legendary Pacific Coast

The University of Newcastle Business Achievement Award
• Central Coast Group Training
• Milspec Manufacturing Pty Ltd

2012 Finalists
The Crown Lands Crown Reserve Trust – Corporate Managers Award
• Byron Youth Services of Byron Bay
• Bellinger Heads Holiday Park

The Crown Lands Crown Reserve Trust – Community Managers Award
• Cowra Showground Racecourse & Paceway Trust
• Mount Arthur Reserve Trust of Wellington

The NSW Trade & Investment - Business Development Organisation Award
• Hunter Region Business Enterprise Centre
• Johns River Progress Association of Morrland

The NSW Department Trade and Investment - Events & Tourism Award
• Boggabri Drovers Campfire
• The Legendary Pacific Coast of Port Macquarie

The Salvation Army Employment Plus - Business & Employment Award
• Landsavers Pty Ltd - Red Head
• Lithgow Bizzi Paws - Lithgow

The Peabody - Environment and Landcare Award
• Gunnedah Urban Landcare Group
• Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association of Dubbo

The Prime Super - Regional & Rural Development Award
• Australian Vermiculture Pty Ltd - Broken Hill
• Glenwarrie Partnership - Tamworth

The Essential Energy - Regional Service Award
• Ted Bickford - Tuncurry
• Elsie Gordon - DUbbo

The NSW Department of Primary Industries - Community of the Year Award (population under 15,000)
• Dungog & District Neighbourcare Inc
• Unitincare Casino Transport Team

The NSW Department of Primary Industries - Community of the Year Award (population over 15,000)
• East Ballina Lions Club Inc.
• Windale Mens Shed

2011 Finalists
The Crown Lands Crown Reserve Trust – Corporate Managers Award
• Bendemeer Preschool Inc - Bendemeer
• Coffs Harbour Showground & Public Recreation Trust - Coffs Harbour

The Crown Lands Crown Reserve Trust – Community Trust Award
• Mount Arthur Reserve Trust - Wellington
• Yarrie Lake Flora, Fauna & Recreation Reserve Trust - Wee Waa

The NSW Trade & Investment - Business Development Organisation Award
• Ariah Park Community
• Cobar Enterprise Facilitation - Cobar

The NSW Trade & Investment - Events & Tourism Award
• Canowindra Challenge Inc - Canowindra
• The Long Paddock - Hay

The Salvation Army Employment Plus - Business & Employment Award
• Chill at Evans Cafe - Evans Head
• Mai-Wel Group - Maitland

The Peabody - Environment and Landcare Award
• Australian Ecosystem Foundation - Lithgow
• Robert Quirk - Murwillumbah

The Prime Super - Regional & Rural Development Award
• C02 Australia - Wagga Wagga
• Outback Beds - Walgett

The Essential Energy - Regional Service Award
• Allison Hammett - Stockton
• George McCormick - Walgett Shire

The Crown Lands - Community of the Year Award (population under 15,000)
• Deniliquin Ute Muster Volunteers
• Morundah Community

The Crown Lands - Community of the Year Award (population over 15,000)
• Byron Bay Community Association Inc
• East Ballina Lions Club Inc

2010 Finalists
The NSW Industry & Investment Business Enterprise Award
• Cumnock Progress Association
• Milthorpe Business Committee

The NSW Industry & Investment Events and Tourism Award
• Booderee National Park - Jervis Bay
• Spirit of the Land - Lockhart
• The Long Paddock - Hay

The Salvation Army Employment Plus Employment and Training Award
• Break Thru People Solutions NSW Western Region - Dubbo
• Illawarra Industry Apprenticeship Project - Wollongong
• The Eurobodalla Adult Education Centre Inc - Batemans Bay

The Peabody Environment and Landcare Award
• Little River Landcare Group Inc - Yeoval
• Declan Clausen - Wallsend
• Martin Royds - Braidwood

The NSW Land & Property Management Authority Crown Reserve Trust - Corporate Managers Award
• The Four Post Youth Camp Trust - Mathoura
• Silverton Village Community Reserve Trust - Silverton
• Victoria Park Recreation Reserve Trust - Dubbo

The NSW Land & Property Management Authority Crown Reserve Trust - Community Trust Award
• Banjo Paterson Park Trust - Yeoval
• Gooloogong War Memorial Hall Trust - Gooloogong
• Yarrie Lake Flora & Fauna Recreation Reserve Trust - Wee Waa

The NSW Land & Property Management Authority Community of the Year Award (population under 15,000)
• Age of Fishes Museum - Canowindra
• Brunswick Heads Chamber of Commerce Inc - Brunswick Heads
• Cumnock & District Progress Association - Cumnock

The NSW Land & Property Management Authority - Community of the Year Award (population over 15,000)
• Broken Hill Volunteer Community - Broken Hill
• Disability Trust - Fairy Meadow
• Tweed Palliative Support Inc - Murwillumbah

2009 Finalists
The Department of Industry & Investment Business Enterprise Award
• Ballina Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc - Ballina
• Brunswick Heads Chamber of Commerce Inc - Brunswick Heads
• Cumnock Progress Association - Cumnock

The Department of Industry & Investment Events and Tourism Award
Grand Pacific Drive - Wollongong

• Mungindi Music Festival Committee - Mungindi
• Yeoval Mulga Bill Festival - Yeoval
The Integral Energy Regional Service Award
• Juan Alvarez - Cambewarra
• John Blunt - Orange
• George McCormick - Walgett

The Kleenheat Gas Environment and Landcare Award
• Environmental Champions Program Caldwell Cluster Group - Barham
• Little River Landcare Group Inc - Yeoval
• Mid Coast Dairy Advancement Group Inc - Taree

The Land & Property Management Authority Crown Reserve - Trust Managers Award

• Coffs Harbour Showground & Public Recreation Trust - Coffs Harbour
• Lady Denman Management Committee - Huskisson
• Newcastle Historic Reserve Trust - Newcastle

The Land & Property Management Authority Crown Reserve - Trust Community Award
• Alumy Creek Reserve Trust - Grafton
• Broken Hill Regional Events Centre Reserve Trust - Broken Hill
• Montreal Goldfield Management Committee - Bermagui

The Land & Property Management Authority - Community of the Year Award (population under 15,000)
• Brunswick Heads Chamber of Commerce Inc - Brunswick Heads
• Premer Community - Premer
• Rural Care Link Drought Relief Team - Jindera

The Land & Property Management Authority - Community of the Year Award (population over 15,000)
• Caringa Enterprises Ltd - South Grafton
• Power of Choice - Port Macquarie

2008 Finalists
The Department of State & Regional Development Business Enterprise Award
• Hunternet Cooperative Ltd - Newcastle
• Regional Media Networks Pty Ltd - Bowral
• Totaltravel.com - Byron Bay

The Department of State & Regional Development Events and Tourism Award
• Brunswick Heads Old & Gold Festival - Brunswick Heads
• Elvis Revival Inc - Parkes
• Mungindi Music Festival - Mungindi

The Integral Energy Regional Service Award
• Peter “Jack” Barnes - Eugowra
• Tania Hartigan - Wallabadah
• Steven Lucas - Armidale

The Kleenheat Gas Environment and Landcare Award
• Canberra Girls Grammar School - Deakin
• Clean Energy for Eternity - Bega
• Little River Landcare Group - Yeoval

The Department of Lands Crown Reserve Trust Administrators Award
• Conargo Shire Council - Conargo
• Dubbo City Council - Dubbo
• Newcastle Historic Reserve Trust - Newcastle

The Department of Lands Crown Reserve Trust Community Award
• Ashby Community Centre & Recreation Reserve - Ashby
• Killalea State Park Trust - Shellharbour
• Wanganella Tidy Towns Committee - Wanganella

The Department of Lands Community of the Year Award (population under 15,000)
• Coomba District Progress Association - Coomba
• The Drought Relief Team, Rural Care Inc - Jindera
• Tullamore Inc - Tullamore

The Department of Lands Community of the Year Award (population over 15,000)
• Hunter Youth Challenge - Singleton
• Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol - Port Stephens Nelson Bay
• Marymead Child & Family Centre - Narrabundah