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Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 State Business Awards.

The 2021 Business Awards received over 1,000 entries across 12 regions in 14 different categories recognising growth, entrepreneurship, and business success. 

Every industry was forced to pivot and innovate to deal with the fallout from the pandemic. These awards showcase the businesses that excelled in very challenging times.

Thank you to all businesses for taking the time to share your stories and achievements.  

2021 State Winners

The Outstanding Employee Award recognises an inspirational employee who has demonstrated a passion for their role and a commitment to their workplace and community.

2021 Winner

Joanna Treasure, Thring Pastoral Company, Western NSW

Joanna oversees the property at Thring Pastoral Company, as well as working in the family farming business.  She is committed to agriculture, leadership, sustainability and her own personal development. This is shown through her achievements including being the first female director at the Cowra Services Club. Joanna is supporting the younger generation of farmers interested in taking on industry leadership, through speaking engagements at Regional High Schools and creating a project to assist students to raise lambs. This will equip students with a realistic insight into the monetary, ethical and physical cost of animal agriculture. 

The Outstanding Young Business Leader award recognises an inspirational business leader aged 35 or under who demonstrates outstanding entrepreneurial spirit, strategic business direction and innovative ideas.

2021 Winner

Jill Berry, Adatree, Sydney Metro

Jill Berry is a Co-founder and CEO of Adatree, a technology company helping businesses access and leverage data through the Consumer Data Right, a newly regulated data sharing ecosystem.  Jill is the youngest CEO to have achieved being a Data Recipient. This means Adatree meets all technical, security and business requirements to be able to receive data in real-time from all Australian Banks. It is the sixth company in Australia to meet these standards. 

The Outstanding Business Leader award recognises an inspirational business leader aged 36 or over who demonstrates outstanding entrepreneurial spirit, strategic business direction and innovative ideas, whilst providing leadership to the new generation.

2021 Winner

Stephen Hunt, Hunt Hospitality, Hunter

Stephen Hunt is the Managing Director of Hunt Hospitality and blends entrepreneurial spirit with community to create the heart of a good business. Led by Stephen, Hunt Hospitality successfully launched a new operating and training system, Shoeless Jack. The system can answer any industry question with hundreds of internal processes converted into step by step checklists. Shoeless Jack is certifying that the hospitality industry has the foundations it needs to continue creating communities.

The Excellence in Micro Business Award recognises a business that has effectively driven growth and is able to demonstrate the specific strategies implemented to achieve business success and/or resilience.

2021 Winner

Music Lessons Australia, Sydney Metro

Music Lessons Australia is a network of young and enthusiastic Uni students providing the very best in private music lessons. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, the team developed a music teacher training software to tackle the challenges of in-house training including a six-module video course, forum and blog. This has allowed for exponential growth taking their 100 student Sydney based studio to over 550 students Australia wide. Music Lessons Australia hopes to continue this growth with their expansion into a franchise model.

The Excellence in Small Business Award recognises a business that has effectively driven growth and is able to demonstrate the specific strategies implemented to achieve business success and/or resilience.

2021 Winner

Aussie Ark, Hunter

Aussie Ark is a wildlife conservation organisation committed to creating long term futures for Australian threatened wildlife. The COVID-19 lockdowns made Aussie Ark rethink how they provide education and deliver their message. As a result, they implemented an at-home learning program, Animal Tales which was viewed by over 10 million people worldwide. In addition, they also created a campaign, conservation from the couch, which aimed at getting people at home involved with their upcoming projects. These campaigns coupled with targeted marketing on educational merchandise saw Aussie Ark exceed their financial and business growth goals by 42% on average.

The Excellence in Business Award recognises a business that has effectively driven growth and is able to demonstrate the specific strategies implemented to achieve business success and/or resilience.

2021 Winner

Australian Reptile Park, Central Coast

Established in 1958, the Australian Reptile Park is the Central Coast’s premier animal attraction. Being a tourist destination, they took a hit initially during the COVID-19 lockdowns, but the team took this as an opportunity to reinvent how they did business and engaged with their community. The team’s real strength showed in getting back to business through partnering with accommodation providers and other local businesses to create visitor experience packages. This has increased the visitor numbers to the Central Coast, strengthened the local economy and assisted in Australian Reptile Park having their most successful financial year with their targets exceeded on average by 82%. 

The Employer of Choice Award recognises a business that has implemented strategies and initiatives to create stimulating and supportive workplace environments to maximise the full potential of its workforce.

2021 Winner

Hume Community Housing, Hunter

Hume Community Housing provides services and homes to over 9,000 customers across NSW. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, some parts of their business saw increased demand from customers experiencing homelessness and a rise in family domestic violence. Hume Community Housing invested in the health and wellbeing of their employees through introducing two new online and in-app counselling services, providing training in areas such as de-escalation and Domestic violence and creating online special interest groups for employees to connect in a meaningful way. The introduction of the in-app counselling proved successful with 61% of employees having accessed the services compared to the national average access rate of 2-4% for traditional EAP.

The Excellence in Innovation Award recognises a business that has made significant contributions to their industry and/or community, or implemented innovative solutions for new and existing business needs through the introduction or improvement of an idea, method, technology, process or application.

2021 Winner

Osana: A new GP model for Australia, Sydney Metro

Osana is a medical service focused on preventative care and currently leads the industry in keeping people healthy, happy and away from the hospital system. In Australia, GPs are paid on commission for the consultations and Hospitals for admissions. Osana’s approach is uniquely different, they salary GPs so there is less incentive towards driving volume and pay a bonus for improving health outcomes. The results speak for themselves with hospital admissions reduced by 51%, a reduction in mental health symptoms by 24% and an increase in exercise meeting national guidelines by 45%. Osana have proved their model of prevention is better than cure and has a model that aligns with customer preferences with a more sustainable health system.

The Excellence in Sustainability Award recognises a business that has demonstrated its commitment to sustainable business practices and is working to reduce the impact of its operations on the environment.

2021 Winner

Blue Eco Homes, Western Sydney

Blue Eco Homes build environmentally sustainable, low energy use homes with a focus on a healthy and contemporary lifestyle for their clients. Their Sapphire home design is leading the way for modern sustainable living with improved fresh indoor air 24/7 through a ventilation system, carbon zero status and low toxin living with reduced exposure to mould and other toxins. Blue Eco Homes is also a carbon-neutral business, recycle 100% of the water used in their office and recycle 94% of their construction waste which is well above the national average of 55%.

The Outstanding Community Organisation Award recognises an organisation that works to improve the social, cultural or environmental wellbeing of the community.

2021 Winner

The Glen Centre, Central Coast

The Glen Centre is a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation program with the purpose of keeping men out of the criminal justice system and in treatment for the drug and alcohol addiction that led to their offending behaviours. Their program is designed to address clients’ issues by treating them in a holistic manner and empowering them to take control of their lives. Recently, The Glen Centre successfully lobbied, campaigned and received $9 million of Federal government funding to establish NSWs first Aboriginal drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation centre for women. The build will engage local subcontractors and create jobs for young people, including Glen Centre clients.

This Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion award recognises businesses that address the needs of a diverse community, including older people seniors, people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds, women, young people, and people with disability. An inclusive business facilitates the needs of all its employees and customers.

2021 Winner

St Vincent's Hospital Stay’n Deadly & Stay’n In Project, Sydney City

St Vincent’s Hospital is one of Australia’s most highly regarded Hospitals. The Stay’n Deadly & Stay’n In project was created with the aim to improve the quality of care of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and decrease the rate of Aboriginal patients who did not wait for treatment or, left at their own risk. In the ten months since its introduction, the quality and equity of access to medical care at St Vincent’s Hospital Emergency has significantly improved. Incomplete treatment rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients has fallen from 19.5% to 4.5% of presentations. Well below the national average and comparable with the rate for Non- Aboriginal patients.

The Excellence in Export Award recognises a business that exports its products or services internationally and are building a strong reputation for Australian products and services in international markets.

2021 Winner

HIVERY, Sydney City

HIVERY is a pioneer of hyper-local retailing and offers simulation & optimisation solutions to a growing number of retail and CPG clients globally. HIVERY was founded on the vision that ‘data has a better idea’ and are working together with their clients to uncover its full potential. Through data and their technology, HIVERY can generate store-level assortment & space recommendations for retailers and CPGs in minutes instead of months. HIVERY is a true disruptor in this space and helps their clients save time, reduce costs and optimise revenue. 

The Outstanding Start-up Award recognises a start-up business that has effectively driven growth and is able to demonstrate the potential to achieve future success.

2021 Winner

Lactamo, Sydney Metro

Lactamo is a first to market product for breastfeeding mothers and addresses the common breastfeeding problems. Rates of breastfeeding worldwide are lower than ever, and UNICEF reported that no country in the world currently meets the recommended standards for breastfeeding. Lactamo set out to change this and developed a massage ball that addresses the key issues which prevent optimal breastfeeding, facilitated by the three critical components temperature, movement and compression. Through trials of this product, 100% of participants said they would recommend Lactamo to other mothers. The launch has proved to be equally successful with enough capital now raised to create a more premium product and expansion into the US, India, Europe and China in 2022.

The Outstanding Local Chamber Award recognises the achievements of a Local Chamber of Commerce in supporting its members to maximise their business potential through advocacy, education and promotion.

2021 Winner

Tumut Regional Chamber of Commerce, Murray-Riverina

Tumut Regional Chamber of Commerce aims to represent the interests of the business community of Tumut and surrounds by providing independent support and advocacy. The devastating bushfires of 2019 had a huge ongoing impact on their community and Tumut Regional Chamber worked hard to support local businesses through establishing a gift card program in partnership with the Tumut Community Foundation to distribute the funds from Bushfire Appeals. This ensured that the funds raised remain in the community and rebuilt the local economy. Tumut Regional Chamber also advocated for displaced forestry workers to be re-engaged in other industries including the Snowy 2.0 Hydro project. This has resulted in workers & families not leaving their region in search of employment. 

The Business of the Year is selected from the highest score across all business categories.

Congratulations to the 2021 Business of the Year

Australian Reptile Park