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Special Interest Matter - Launceston Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards 2022

Tuesday 22 March 2022

[11.25 a.m.]

Ms ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Mr President, before I start, I would like to thank the member for Rosevears for that very moving story about Cath Baker.

As you may be aware, the Launceston Chamber of Commerce celebrated its annual Business Excellence Awards this past Saturday. After a couple of disrupted years, the chamber roared back into action with some major sponsors including; Spirit Super - who had naming rights - the University of Tasmania, Bell Bay Aluminium, TasPorts, Country Club Tasmania, NRM North, Fortescue Future Industries, Port of Melbourne, Cityprom, the Tasmanian Government and the City of Launceston.

Whilst my husband and I had purchased tickets to head along, unfortunately we were in quarantine until midnight on Saturday and were unable to attend, but I am reliably informed the night was spectacular and a true celebration of commerce and community in Northern Tasmania. This Business Excellence Awards event is a special celebration, particularly in light of all the hard work that David Peach - the immediate past executive officer of the chamber - put into the event. David commenced with the chamber in this role in early 2021 and passed away towards the end of the year after a short illness. I acknowledge the strong mark he left on the chamber, even after such a short period in the role.

The Business Excellence Awards celebrate a broad array of categories. The 2022 theme was "to the future," a very apt theme as after the events of the past two years we are all very keen to move onward and upward. The categories of the awards range from environmental excellence to building exceptional communities, workplaces, community service, health, export, start-up, retail, and manufacturing and marketing, with many more types of achievements to be celebrated. Special individuals are also celebrated, including a young professional of the year, a hall of fame recipient and in some years, a life member inductee.

This year, Bob Ruddick, a founding partner of Ruddicks Chartered Accountants - a Launceston institution - received the hall of fame award, a much deserved recognition of many years of excellence in the field of accounting. Caitlyn Horder received the young professional of the year award. Caitlyn is the owner and managing director of Spark Property Management. With a decade of real estate experience, Caitlyn saw an opportunity to do property management a little differently, to create something special for northern Tasmania. Another very well deserved acknowledgement for an extraordinary young professional. Also announced at the event is the business of the year, a special category that embodies all the qualities the chamber sees as being truly excellent. This year, the Great Regional City Challenge Incorporated was announced as the winner.

The Great Regional City Challenge under the stewardship of president Owen Tilbury annually raised $100 000 to donate to projects the community votes as the most likely to make Launceston one of the great regional cities of the world. Some higher profile projects the GRCC has sponsored are the successful bid to make Launceston the UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, Greening Launceston, Fix the Tamar, and the No-plastic No-tinsel Christmas Decoration Project. The fabulous winners of the other Business Excellence Awards categories include; Harvest Launceston Community Farmers Market for environmental excellence; Casalinga Gourmet Meats for excellence in agribusiness, Enabled Ag for excellence in a start-up; the Launceston City Mission, Mission Health for community service; Geronimo Aperitivo Bar and Restaurant for hospitality; Commercial Dive Academy for export; Healthy Tasmania for health; Ms B's Student Services for innovation and technology; Emerson Health for excellence in health; Launceston Precision Jewellers for manufacturing; Property Wise Launceston for marketing; North Festival for exceptional event: Royal Flying Doctor Service for professional services excellence; Find Your Feet Australia for retail; and Overland Track Transport for exceptional user experience.

These organisations have proved themselves to demonstrate and practise excellence based on the opinions of an independent panel of judges, including expert judges. I also acknowledge the efforts of some of the fabulous finalists whose achievements are no less spectacular, including the Migrant Resource Centre, Paint the Town Red, Tasmanian Hand Sanitiser, Elphin Motel and Service Apartments, the Metz, Theatre North, Property Wise Launceston, Key2 Property, Definium Technologies and Encore Theatre Company.

I would finally congratulate Will Cassidy, who has been named as the new executive officer of the chamber and I extend my warmest wishes and congratulations to the Chamber of Commerce board for another fantastic awards event.


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