Category details

Businesses who enter the awards are provided with the opportunity to:

  • Gain recognition at a local, regional and state level
  • Build a reputation for excellence within their industry, customer and client base and the wider community
  • Set the yearly benchmark for their business and their industry within their local community
  • Improve employee engagement in the business through involving employees in the entry event and recognition process
  • Boost staff morale and teamwork through recognising and recounting the success of their business

Outstanding Employee

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

Entry criteria

Entrants are required to demonstrate their commitment over the past 12 months to their workplace, the community and to be an outstanding employee. To be eligible to enter this category, the individual must have been employed by their current employer for a minimum of 18 months.  

Additional T&C’s

In addition to the general terms and conditions, the following apply to this category:

  • Should the entrant leave the organisation before the Lake Macquarie, Regional or State Gala event, they will not be eligible to receive an award. 
  • The entrant must have been employed by my current employer for at least 18 months at the time of entry.  
  • The entrant is not an employee, Regional President, State Councillor or Board Member of NSW Business Chamber Limited or Lake Macquarie City Council.  
  • The entrant's workplace is based in Lake Macquarie.

Questions

  1. Provide a brief profile, including your current role and scope of responsibilities.  Maximum word count: 200 
  2. Outline your employment background, including measurable career achievements and key milestones.  Maximum word count: 300  
  3. Provide an overview of your five-year goals and how you are working towards achieving them.  Maximum word count: 300 
  4. Detail the specific activities and initiatives you have undertaken that have demonstrated a passion for your role and a commitment to your workplace and the community.  Maximum word count: 400
  5. Outline the reasons why you are an outstanding employee.  Maximum word count: 400  

 Apply now

Outstanding Young Business Leader (under 35 years)

This award recognises an inspirational young person aged 35 years or under who has demonstrated a commitment to their workplace, industry and the community through leadership.

Entry criteria

Entrants are required to demonstrate their commitment over the past 12 months to creating a smarter and more inclusive future and to being an outstanding business leader. To be eligible to enter this category, the individual must have held a management position within their organisation for a minimum of 18 months at the time of entry.

Additional T&C’s

In addition to the general terms and conditions, the following apply to this category:

  • The entrant must be aged 35 years or under at the time of entry.
  • The entrant is not an employee, Regional President, State Councillor or Board Member of NSW Business Chamber Limited or Lake Macquarie City Council.  
  • The entrant's workplace is based in Lake Macquarie.

Questions

  1. Provide a brief profile, including your current role and scope of responsibilities. Maximum word count: 300
  2. Detail the specific activities and initiatives you have undertaken to reshape your workplace, business, industry or the community to create a smarter and more inclusive future, with examples of how you have used your leadership skills. Maximum word count: 400
  3. Describe the key challenges you have faced as a young business leader and how you overcame them. Maximum word count: 400
  4. Provide an overview of your five-year goals and strategies for future growth, detailing how you are working towards achieving them. Maximum word count: 400
  5. Outline the reasons why you are an outstanding young business leader. Maximum word count: 400

 Apply now

Outstanding Business Leader

This award recognises an inspirational business leader aged 36 years or over who has demonstrated a commitment to their workplace, industry and the community through leadership, whilst providing mentorship to others.

 

Entry criteria

Entrants are required to demonstrate their commitment over the past 12 months to creating a smarter and more inclusive future and to being an outstanding mentor and business leader.  To be eligible to enter this category, the individual must have held senior management or executive level position within their organisation for a minimum of 18 months at the time of entry. 

 

Additional T&C’s

In addition to the general terms and conditions, the following apply to this category:

  • The entrant must be aged 36 years or over at the time of entry.
  • The entrant is not an employee, Regional President, State Councillor or Board Member of NSW Business Chamber Limited or Lake Macquarie City Council.  
  • The entrant's workplace is based in Lake Macquarie.

Questions

  1. Provide a current profile of yourself, including your current role and scope of responsibilities. Maximum word count: 200
  2. Detail the specific activities and initiatives you have undertaken to reshape your workplace, industry or community to create a smarter and more inclusive future, with examples of how you have used your leadership skills.  Maximum word count: 400
  3. Describe the key challenges you have faced as a business leader and how you overcame them. Maximum word count: 300
  4. Provide an overview of your five-year goals and strategies for future business growth, detailing how you are working towards achieving them. Maximum word count: 300
  5. Outline the reasons why you are an outstanding business leader, including the ways in which you provide mentorship to others. Maximum word count: 400

 Apply now

Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality*

This award recognises a business that has achieved significant growth (market share, sales volume, turnover, profitability) and is able to demonstrate the specific strategies and plans implemented to achieve sustainable growth in the previous financial year.

Entry criteria

  • Entrants are required to demonstrate their achievements over the past 12 months across the key areas of tourism or hospitality
  • This business has been trading for a continuous period of two years or more, is not bankrupt or trading insolvent at the time of entry.  

Questions

  1. Provide an overview of the key features of your business plan including goals, strategies and outcomes. Maximum word count: 400
  2. Define your businesses product and/or service including how they meet the needs of your target market/s and what makes it stand out from your competitors. Maximum word count: 400
  3. What were the strategies and plans you initiated to achieve your business goals and key milestones over the previous financial year? Maximum word count: 300
  4. Demonstrate how your business contributes to the local economy in your City. For example employing local people, local purchasing etc). Maximum word count: 300
  5. Describe the key challenges your business or industry may face in the future and what strategies or plans you have in place to overcome them. Maximum word count: 300  

*this category is unique to Lake Macquarie City and does not feed into the regional or state awards

 Apply now

Employer of Choice

This award recognises a business that has implemented strategies and initiatives to create stimulating and supportive workplace environments for its employees. 

Entry criteria

  • Entrants are required to demonstrate their achievements over the past 12 months across the key areas of employee recruitment, engagement and retention. Category criteria are based on initiatives that have had a positive impact on both employees and the business. 

  • The business has been trading for a continuous period of two years or more and is not bankrupt or trading insolvent at the time of entry.

Questions

  1. What are the initiatives you have undertaken to develop a positive workplace culture within your business? Maximum word count: 300 
  2. Describe how your business adopts inclusive practices and recognises the needs of a diverse workforce, including examples. Maximum word count: 400
  3. Excluding business growth or expansion, what percentage of staff turnover has there been in your business in the previous 12 months and what are the reasons for this turnover? Maximum word count: 300
  4. How does your business empower its workforce to develop their skills, contribute to a positive workplace culture and deepen their engagement with the business and the community? Maximum word count: 300 
  5. Detail measurable evidence outlining how these initiatives make you an employer of choice. Maximum word count: 400

 Apply now

Excellence in Innovation

This Award recognises a business that has implemented innovative solutions for new and existing business needs through the introduction or improvement of an idea, product, method, technology, process or application.

Entry criteria

  • Entrants are required to demonstrate their achievements over the past 12 months across the key area of innovation.
  • The business has been trading for a continuous period of two or more years and is not bankrupt or trading insolvent at the time of entry. 

Questions

  1. Outline the innovation implemented in your business and how it has addressed a new or existing business need. Maximum word count: 200
  2. Describe why the innovation is unique within your industry and how it differentiates your business from its competitors. Maximum word count: 300
  3. Describe how the innovation was received by the market, your workforce and external stakeholders. Maximum word count: 300
  4. Demonstrate how the innovation has or is likely to have a positive impact beyond your business, such as in your industry or community. Maximum word count: 400
  5. Provide measurable evidence of how the innovation has improved business operations, driven growth and contributed to the success of your business. Maximum word count: 400

 Apply now

Excellence in Sustainability

This 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. 

Entry criteria

  • Entrants are required to demonstrate their achievements over the past 12 months across the key area of environmental sustainability. Category criteria are based on initiatives and projects executed within the business not related to its core offering.
  • The business has been trading for a continuous period of two years or more and is not bankrupt or trading insolvent at the time of entry.
  • Sustainability cannot be your core business 

Questions

  1. Outline your business sustainability goals and objectives including measurable targets. Maximum word count: 300
  2. Outline the initiatives you have implemented to achieve sustainable practices within your business.  Maximum word count: 300 
  3. Describe your sustainability achievements over the past 12 months including environmental outcomes.  Maximum word count: 300 
  4. Describe how you involve your workforce and external stakeholders in your sustainability initiatives.  Maximum word count: 400 
  5. Detail measurable evidence explaining how your business sustainability practices have improved business operations, driven growth and contributed to the success of your business.  Maximum word count: 400 

 Apply now

Outstanding Community Organisation

This award recognises an organisation that works to improve the social, cultural or environmental wellbeing of the community. 

 

Entry criteria

  • Entrants are required to demonstrate their commitment over the past 12 months to being an outstanding community organisation.  This category is open to social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations that have been trading for a period of over 24 months.
  • The organisation has been trading for a continuous period of two or more years and is not bankrupt or trading insolvent at the time of entry.
  • The organisation has not entered the categories of Outstanding Start-up, Excellence in Micro Business, Excellence in Small Business or Excellence in Business  

Questions 

  1. Explain the social purpose of your business and how this contributes to the social, cultural or environmental wellbeing of the community.  Maximum word count: 300
  2. Provide an overview of your organisation, including the product or service you deliver within the community. Maximum word count: 200
  3. Provide an overview of the key features of your business development strategy and projected outcomes for the future. Maximum word count: 300
  4. Demonstrate how your organisation contributes to the local economy in your city and region.  Maximum word count: 400 
  5. Outline the key challenges your organisation has faced over the past 12 months and explain how you have managed the impact of these challenges. Maximum word count: 400

 Apply now

Outstanding Start-up

This category recognises a start-up business that has effectively driven growth and is able to demonstrate the potential to achieve future success.

Entry criteria

  • Entrants are required to demonstrate their commitment over the past 12 months to being an outstanding start-up.  This category is open to new businesses trading for a period of less than 24 months. 

  • This business has been trading for a period less than two years and is not bankrupt or trading insolvent at the time of entry.

  • This business has not been purchased or acquired and is not part of a franchise.
  • The business has not entered the categories of Community Organisations of the Year, Excellence in Micro Business, Excellence in Small Business or Excellence in Business  

Questions

  1. Provide an overview of your start-up business including the product or service delivered to market, how you identified it as a market need and who your target customer is. Maximum word count: 200
  2. Provide an overview of the key features of your business development strategy and projected outcomes for the future. Maximum word count: 300
  3. Describe why your product or service offering is unique within your industry and differentiates your business from competitors. Maximum word count: 300
  4. Detail the measurable growth and key milestones you have achieved since launching your business. Maximum word count: 400
  5. Describe the key challenges your business has faced as a start-up and how you overcame them. Maximum word count: 400

 Apply now

Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion

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

 

Entry Criteria

  • Entrants are required to demonstrate their commitment over the past 12 months to address the needs of a diverse community. This category is open to businesses that have been trading for a continuous period of two or more years.  
  • The organisation has been trading for a continuous period of two or more years and is not bankrupt or trading insolvent at the time of entry.

Questions  

  1. Outline your current staff level and diversity – including employees with disability, older people (over 55), women, young people (18-24 years), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people from CALD backgrounds. Maximum word count: 200
  2. Identify and describe your positive and/or proactive inclusive practices within the business that go beyond regulatory compliance. Maximum word count: 350  
  3. Describe your HR and employment hiring practices that demonstrate your commitment to being an inclusive employer. Maximum word count: 350  
  4. Identify and describe how your business has created an accessible and inclusive environment that is welcoming for customers with a disability, seniors and people from CALD backgrounds. Maximum word count: 400  
  5. Explain why your business embarked on being more accessible and inclusive and describe what further actions you will take in the future to become more accessible and inclusive to employees and customers. Maximum word count: 400 

 Apply now

Excellence in Micro Business

This category recognises a business that has effectively driven growth and is able to demonstrate the specific strategies implemented to achieve business success and/or resilience. 

Entry criteria

  • Entrants are required to demonstrate their achievements over the past 12 months across the key area of business excellence.  This category is open to businesses with less than 5 employees at the time of entry, who have been trading for a period of over 24 months. 

  • This business has less than 5 employees on the payroll in Australia at the time of entry.
  • This business has been trading for continuous period of two years or more, is not bankrupt or trading insolvent at the time of entry.
  • This business has not entered the categories of Outstanding Community Organisation, Outstanding Start-up, Excellence in Small Business or Excellence in Business.  

Questions

  1. Detail what your business goals and key milestones were for the previous 12 months and how you achieved all or part of them.  Maximum word count: 300
  2. Provide an overview of the key features of your business plan including goals, strategies and projected outcomes for the future.  Maximum word count: 300 
  3. Describe why your product or service offering is unique within your industry and how it differentiates your business from its competitors.  Maximum word count: 400 
  4. Demonstrate how your business contributes to the local economy in your city and region. Maximum word count: 400
  5. Outline the key challenges your business has faced over the past 12 months and explain how you have managed the impact of these challenges on your workforce and external stakeholders, as well as the impact they have had on your strategic direction.  Maximum word count: 400 

 Apply now

Excellence in Small Business

This category recognises a business that has effectively driven growth and is able to demonstrate the specific strategies implemented to achieve business success and/or resilience.

 

Entry criteria

  • Entrants are required to demonstrate their achievements over the past 12 months across the key area of business excellence.  This category is open to businesses with 5 to 20 employees at the time of entry, who have been trading for a period of over 24 months. 
  • This business has been trading for a continuous period of two years or more and is not bankrupt or trading insolvent at the time of entry. 
  • This business has 5 to 20 employees on the payroll in Australia at the time of entry. 
  • This business has not entered the categories of Outstanding Community Organisation, Outstanding Start-up, Excellence in Micro Business or Excellence in Business.

Questions

  1. Detail what your business goals and key milestones were for the previous 12 months and how you achieved all or part of them.  Maximum word count: 300 
  2. Provide an overview of the key features of your business plan including goals, strategies and projected outcomes for the future.  Maximum word count: 300 
  3. Describe why your product or service offering is unique within your industry and differentiates your business from competitors.  Maximum word count: 400 
  4. Demonstrate how your business contributes to the local economy in your city and region. Maximum word count: 400
  5. Outline the key challenges your business has faced over the past 12 months and explain how you have managed the impact of these challenges on your workforce and external stakeholders, as well as the impact they have had on your strategic direction.  Maximum word count: 400 

 Apply now

Excellence in Large Business

This category recognises a business that has effectively driven growth and is able to demonstrate the specific strategies implemented to achieve business success and/or resilience. 

Entry criteria

  • Entrants are required to demonstrate their achievements over the past 12 months across the key area of business excellence.  This category is open to businesses with 21 or more employees at the time of entry, who have been trading for a period of over 24 months. 
  • This business has been trading for a continuous period of two years or more and is not bankrupt or trading insolvent at the time of entry. 
  • This business has 21 or more employees on the payroll in Australia at the time of entry. 
  • This business has not entered the categories of Outstanding Community Organisation, Outstanding Start-up, Excellence in Micro Business or Excellence in Small Business.  

Questions

  1. Detail what your business goals and key milestones were for the previous 12 months and how you achieved all or part of them.  Maximum word count: 300 
  2. Provide an overview of the key features of your business plan including goals, strategies and projected outcomes for the future.  Maximum word count: 300 
  3. Describe why your product or service offering is unique within your industry and differentiates your business from competitors.  Maximum word count: 400 
  4. Demonstrate how your business contributes to the local economy in your city and region.  Maximum word count: 400 
  5. Outline the key challenges your business has faced over the past 12 months and explain how you have managed the impact of these challenges on your workforce and external stakeholders, as well as the impact they have had on your strategic direction.  Maximum word count: 400 

 Apply now

Business of the Year ^

This award is chosen by the judging panel and will be selected from all winners of the business categories. It recognises an organisation that demonstrates overall excellence in their field and across all categories.

The judging panel will assess the organisation’s achievements over the past 12 months across all areas of business excellence and will take into consideration areas such as: community support; staff retention and training; sustainability; contribution to the city; community engagement; innovation; etc.

Eligibility criteria

  • Winners of the business categories will automatically be entered into this category. 
  • This business has been trading for a continuous period of two years or more and is not bankrupt or trading insolvent at the time of entry. 
  • This business is a winner of one of the following categories: Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality, Employer of Choice, Excellence in Innovation, Excellence in Sustainability, Outstanding Community Organisation, Outstanding Start Up, Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion, Excellence in Micro Business, Excellence in Small Business, Excellence in Large Business.

^ This category cannot be applied for

Full eligibility criteria are outlined in the terms and condition(PDF, 140KB)s.