Mr ENTSCH: On Saturday night the 2021 Cairns Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards were held.
Since the inception of the awards in 2017, the BEX awards, as they are commonly known, showcase business excellence and the contributions businesses have made to the community of Cairns.
With 10 categories, 200 nominees, 71 finalists and 14 judges, it’s by no means a small event.
Cairns Chamber of Commerce President Sally Mlikota summed it up perfectly when she said:
“After the 18 months we have had, this is a chance for us all to stop and reflect on the challenges and accomplishments and consider those in business and the wider community who have stepped up and not only survived but thrived. These awards are a great platform not only to recognise excellence but also for business owners to use the criteria to review their businesses.”
I’d like to acknowledge each winner of their category.
First of all, Professor Sandra Harding AO was presented with the Cairns Chamber of Commerce Legacy Award for her outstanding contribution to James Cook University.
I personally have witnessed the contributions Professor Harding has made, and this award is well deserved.
Mr Kyle Richardson was presented with the Emerging Leadership Award.
He is a true Cairns resident who has grown FNQ Podiatry & Orthotics into the successful business that it is today.
The People Management Excellence Award went to Wellness Embodied, who offer over 16 services on site in Cairns and in rural areas.
We all know how important it is to get our eight hours of sleep, and Sleep Right Sleep Tight provided their professional advice and took out the Excellence in Customer Service Award.
Duncan Powersports won the Customer Service in Trade and Retail Award.
If you’re looking for fun and adventure on the weekends, head out to see them and their team at Duncan Powersports in Lyons Street, Cairns.
Bad Fishy Jet Boating won the Marketing and Communications Excellence Award.
You can’t miss the big orange boat with massive teeth outside the Cairns Marina.
It’s a must-do for the kids to get out there and enjoy this experience.
Congratulations also to Murrii Quu Couture and their creative and stylistically savvy designs in the Indigenous Business Excellence Award. Again, congratulations for a job absolutely well done.
The Cairns Dental Boutique was awarded the Community Contribution Award for their sustainable growth and investment in staff, training and cutting-edge technology to create the best practice one-stop shop for the community.
Their corporate and social responsibilities are of an exceptionally high standard. Small World Journeys took out the Sustainability and Environment Award.
I have to say that, given the challenges that we’ve had over an extended period with COVID-19 and closed borders, it’s been businesses like Small World Journeys that have really copped it very, very hard because people have not been able to travel.
If they’re not able to use these services, of course it has a massive impact on the bottom line of these businesses.
The team has gone well above and beyond to ensure that the customers were well looked after, and they were able to change their business model so that customers could experience the wonders of our region and learn about the importance of our natural environment.
I particularly congratulate those from Small World Journeys.
Last but not least is congratulations to Gathar, who connects those who love to cook with those who love to entertain.
Gathar won both the Business Technology Award and the Innovation Award, quite an achievement.
In closing, congratulations to Patricia O’Neill, the CEO of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce, Simone, Laura and the board of Cairns Chamber of Commerce on a very successful evening.
I say a big thank you to all those important sponsors that have stepped up and provided a lot of support to make this event happen.
Finally, to all the 200 nominees and 71 finalists I say that every one of you was a winner.
Thank you very much indeed for an outstanding effort.