Countdown to gala business awards night

Published 5:00am 10 August 2022

Countdown to gala business awards night
Words by Kylie Knight

Nominations have closed, judging is in full swing and excitement is building for the gala Moreton Bay Business and Innovation Awards night which will add new categories, induct the region’s first Hall of Famer and pay tribute to a community champion.

The gala awards evening will be held on Friday, October 21 at the Eatons Hill Hotel grand ballroom. Tickets go on sale on September 5.

Nominations closed last month and finalists will be announced during the week commencing August 29.

There are 15 categories, plus the Moreton Bay Regional Council Business of the Year Award.

The Moreton Bay Business and Innovation Awards are brought to you by Moreton Bay Region Industry and Tourism (MBRIT) and partnered with Moreton Bay Regional Council.

MBRIT CEO and Founder Shane Newcombe says his team has been delighted by the uptake and interest from the business community in three new categories - Bishopp Award for Marketing Excellence, EPIC Assist Award for Accessibility and Inclusiveness Excellence, Award for Corporate Social Responsibility Excellence.

“The new categories align with the region’s strategic focus to continue to be a destination of choice – a region that is a desirable location where people want to live, work, invest and play,” Mr Newcombe says.

Countdown to gala business awards night
Solar Bollard Lighting's Mike Arieni

New honour for top performer

During this year’s awards ceremony, the region will induct a business into the Hall of Fame for the first time.

The honour will go to Brendale’s Solar Bollard Lighting, which has won the Export Excellence Category three times in the past five years.

“MBRIT looks forward to growing the Hall of Fame cohort in the coming years, recognising and acknowledging consistent achievers within our business community,” Mr Newcombe says.

“Solar Bollard Lighting is unable to enter the Export Excellence category for the next three years and given owner Mike Arieni is a passionate business leader and advocate of the region, he’s chosen to sponsor this category this year.

“Solar Bollard Lighting has continued to represent the region on a global stage, and we can’t think of anyone more deserving to be inducted into the hall of fame. Mike has achieved many firsts, so it is fitting he is the inaugural inductee.”

Countdown to gala business awards night
Matt McCracken OAM

Remembering inspiring advocate

This year’s gala awards night will also honour the late Matt McCracken OAM, a passionate disability advocate who passed away in April.

Matt was one of four judges who enthusiastically expressed an interest in being an inaugural judge for the EPIC Assist Award for Accessibility and Inclusiveness Excellence.

Mayor Peter Flannery had known Matt for 18 years and describes him as an inspiration.

“I will always remember his work ethic and determination for real outcomes, he was never motivated by accolades like this, so his incredible commitment to our community was truly humbling,” Mayor Flannery says.

“He made a big impression on politicians at all levels and for me, on a personal level, he was a motivator behind my push to make Moreton Bay the most accessible destination in SEQ.

“That’s partly why we now have beach matting for wheelchairs on Bribie and in Redcliffe and we’re continually installing new pavements and boardwalks to improve connectivity.

“Matt always reminded us that inclusive infrastructure isn’t just about accessibility for wheelchairs, it also makes life easier for seniors, pushing prams, mobility scooters.

“I believe the reverberations of his life’s work will continue for decades to come.”

For more information about the Moreton Bay Business and Innovation Awards, head to the website

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