The Launceston Chamber of Commerce welcomed 100 guests to the TasNewtorks Bell Bay Aluminium Business Excellence Awards Launch on Thursday 11 June in Launceston at the S Group Offices in the old Crown Mill. 

The event was an opportunity to announce changes to the categories for 2015, encourage businesses to enter this year before the entries close on 31 July, and to hear from two excellent speakers that addressed the main theme for the year ‘Çollaboration and Growth’.

 The number of categories for businesses to enter has reduced from 17 to 15 in the interests of ensuring the process is as simple and relevant as possible after feedback from the judges last year.

 The category of Business Mentoring and Renewal has been absorbed as part of the ‘Exceptional Workplace’, and the Large and Small Hospitality Awards have been merged into ‘Excellence in Hospitality’. The judges have advised they are happy to consider the size and scale of the hospitality business when judging the entries.

 Entering the Awards is free to any business or organisation in the 63 or 67 phone region which covers most of Northern Tasmania.  Entry is on line on the Chamber’s website.

 The benefits business can gain from entering the awards are as follows:

  • It is an opportunity to reflect on the business – rather than working in the business.
  • It is a morale raiser for the staff in the business – especially if the whole organisation is involved in contributing to the process.
  • Finalists are recognised in The Examiner prior to the awards being announced
  • Then winners are announced in an 8 page feature with the Examiner (plus editorial on the winners post the event); and winner announcements on LAFM and Southern Cross TV.

 The theme this year is ‘Collaboration and Growth’ based around some key outcomes of research undertaken in the manufacturing sector in the North West of Tasmania, and similar work being undertaken in the North which indicates more collaboration (where appropriate) is required to win larger contracts and learn from each other as part of a journey of continuous improvement to remain globally competitive.

 Ms Tetlow, the Executive officer at the Launceston Chamber of Commerce said that “recent research in the manufacturing sector in the North West and work currently being undertaken in the North indicates we can benefit through sharing knowledge, training, and collaborating on major new business to the benefit of the region”.

 Two speakers provided insights to the theme:

 Lee Whiteley - Managing Director of Southern Prospect. Lee established the business with Dale Elphinstone in 2007 to manufacture portable power generation equipment for the rental market and is a major supplier of electrical systems to Caterpillar Underground Mining in Burnie and Thailand. Lee is passionate about continuous improvement in business, education and skills, and building resilience in the manufacturing sector in North West Tasmania.

 Lee provided insights to the North West manufacturing experience, and how the region has been preparing in readiness for changes to some of Caterpillar’s operations moving to Thailand, as well as the importance of continuous improvement to remain competitive in our global economy.

 Ray Mostogl- General Manager Operations for Bell Bay Aluminium (BBA). Ray is the leader for the smelter's operations in Tasmania. Ray has been active in advocating for a sustainable business environment, and building partnerships to the benefit of BBA and Northern Tasmania. Ray was also awarded CEO Magazines Manufacturing Executive of the Year last year.

 Ray spoke on how Bell Bay Aluminium has evolved and worked with other businesses in the region to the benefit of the State, and he challenged the business community to use the awards process to recognise employees and to share ideas to make this business community even stronger.

 Winner of the Awards will be announced at a Gala Presentation Dinner at the Hotel Grand Chancellor on Saturday 31  October 2015.  

Details of the Award Categories and Sponsors are as follows:


  1. Best Environmental Practice – sponsored by NRM North
  2. Building Communities – sponsored by Foot and Playsted and RDA Tasmania
  3. Community Service - sponsored by UTAS
  4. Exceptional Workplaces – sponsored by SRA Corporate Change
  5. Excellence in Customer Service – sponsored by B&E Personal Banking
  6.  Innovation– is sponsored by Telstra Business Centre
  7. Excellence in Hospitality – sponsored by Tourism Northern Tasmania
  8. Excellence in Marketing – sponsored by Southern Cross Austereo
  9. Outstanding Event – sponsored by City of Launceston
  10. Outstanding Visitor Experience – sponsored by Bridestowe Estate
  11. Professional Services – sponsored by UTAS Tasmanian School of Business)
  12. Successful Start-Up – sponsored by Stornoway
  13. Excellence in Manufacturing – also sponsored by Bell Bay Aluminium 
  14. Export - sponsored by Tasrail 
  15. Young Professional of the Year Award –sponsored by Country Club Tasmania
  16. Hall of Fame Award –sponsored by the Launceston Chamber of Commerce – and not open for entry
  17. Business of the Year Award - sponsored by TasNetworks and BBA and not open for entries.