Local businesses celebrated

Don Smallgoods David Harris is pictured with ‘Business of the Year’ representative Brendan Hales of Fumina Projects. Photo: Penny Ryan Photography.

Castlemaine’s Theatre Royal was packed on Wednesday evening with more than 130 business representatives from across the shire gathering for the 2023 Mount Alexander Business Awards.

The biennial awards celebrate business excellence and innovation and the vital role that our small businesses play employing and training local community members and offering a myriad of wonderful goods and services which make the Mount Alexander Shire such a special place to live.

The crowd was welcomed by Mayor Cr Rosie Annear who said the variety of businesses that we have in our small shire is nothing short of impressive.

“We’ve got it all from retail, hospitality and tourism, to manufacturing and IT, and health and wellbeing services, we don’t need to go anywhere else.

“Winner or not, you are an incredible bunch of generous people who enrich our community in so many ways,” Mayor Annear said.

This year’s award categories were ‘reimagined’ to create greater diversity and two new awards were added the Lifetime Achievement Award and the People’s Choice Award.

Congratulations to the category winners of the 2023 Mount Alexander Business Awards which were:

Community Focused – Castlemaine Institute

Creative Marketing – Warral Maldon

Diverse and Inclusive – Trace Balla

Environmental Impact – Fumina Projects

Innovative Service or Product – BIG4 Castlemaine Gardens Holiday Park

New Business – Maldon Bakery

Young Achiever – Matthew Thompson from Sandy Creek Clydesdales

The winners were chosen by an independent judging panel who considered the 21 finalists chosen from an initial 63 entries. 

There were more than 500 public votes for the People’s Choice category which was taken out by Sandy Creek Clydesdales.

Respected local businessman, co-founder of Graffiti Publications and Castlemaine Hot Rod Centre chairman Larry O’Toole was recognised posthumously with the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Larry’s longtime friends Rod and Carol Hadfield shared a beautiful tribute to the late businessman before presenting the award to Larry’s wife Mary and their children.

The award acknowledges Larry as a local business leader who made a significant impact on the business community through his work promoting the hot rod industry across the shire.

Finally the ‘2023 Business of the Year’ award and $3000 major prize was presented to Fumina Projects – the team behind The Hub and The Paddock Eco Village – and proudly accepted by Brendan Hales on behalf of the driving forces behind this inspiring local project Neil and Heather Barrett.

The Mount Alexander Business Awards are run by Mount Alexander Shire Council with the support of many wonderful sponsors and partners.

Gold Sponsors include Don Smallgoods, along with Gold Media Partner Midland Express and Castlemaine Mail.

Silver Sponsors include Workspace Australia, Maldon and District Community Bank, Lascorp, RMG and Castlemaine Rotary Club, along with Silver Media Partner Tarrangower Times.

Bronze Sponsors include Westvic Staffing Solutions and nbn Local, along with valued partners Castlemaine Hot Rod Centre, Business Mount Alexander and Maldon Inc.

For more information about the Mount Alexander Business Award winners and finalists visit www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/BusinessAwards2023.

Castlemaine Mail
Your source of independent local news in the Mount Alexander Shire.