There’s just 10 days left to nominate for this year’s Moreton Bay Business and Innovation Awards and the judges are already excited about reviewing all the entries.
Spinal Life Australia Access and Advocacy senior advisor Dane Cross is judging for the first time this year and will cast a close eye over the EPIC Assist Award for Accessibility and Inclusiveness Excellence entries.
“I couldn’t have timed it better, being the Year of Accessible Tourism,” Dane says.
“I’ll be looking for businesses or projects that demonstrate a strong commitment or creative solution to accessibility and inclusion.
“I think that’s part of the value of recognising and rewarding businesses who have gone to the effort of making their offering as inclusive and accessible as possible.”
Dane says entering the awards helps businesses gain exposure to attract new customers.
“Winning an award can be a powerful way to gain recognition, particularly in this category.
“It helps build their reputation and credibility and differentiates them from other businesses.
“They get the kudos and word of mouth.
“If I’ve been there and had a great experience, I’ll share that – the network of people with disabilities is really powerful.”
Good business sense
He says Moreton Bay is among the leading regions embracing accessibility and inclusiveness, with Moreton Bay Region Industry and Tourism (MBRIT) developing a web resource of accessible things to do in the region and working with Spinal Life Australia to identify more opportunities.
“When we talk to businesses about creating good accessibility and inclusiveness it’s not just about feeling good, it makes good economic sense and good business sense,” Dane says.
“As a judge, I would be considering things around accessibility, looking for evidence that a business has taken significant steps to improve physical access and a genuine effort to create an inclusive community to promote diversity of employment.
“I’m looking for impact – why is this benefitting the target audience and the wider community?
“I’m looking for businesses or projects that demonstrate a sincere, ongoing commitment to accessibility and inclusiveness, not just a one-off project to tick a box.”
UniSC Moreton Bay head of campus Karen Becker will take on the judging role for the fifth time in 2023, sitting on the panel for the Youth Innovation Excellence, Westpac Morayfield Businesswoman of the Year and Employee of the Year awards.
Karen says the awards are an opportunity to showcase inspiring business stories in the Moreton Bay region.
“There are amazing technology companies in the region who have done great stuff and taken things born here outside the region and sometimes outside Australia,” she says.
“Some people operate under incredibly challenging circumstances that you would never be aware of unless you interact with them.
“By sharing them, they offer hope and inspiration for others.”
Karen says entering business awards can be a valuable opportunity to take stock.
Time to reflect
“There are amazing people who are quiet achievers - I’m blown away by things I didn’t know existed.
“I think there’s a lot of people who don’t feel worthy, so there’s a piece of advice I like to offer: the fact that you continue to operate in a business and do the work you do is an achievement in itself.
“A lot of people feel that they have not done enough. They need to get over that and be prepared to reflect on themselves and their achievement.
“Sometimes people don’t understand the inherent value of going through the process of going through these things.
“Reflecting on how far they have some and where they’re headed - the sheer act of doing that is an outcome in itself.”
How to enter
While judging, Karen’s looking for quality entries that have rigour coupled with a story.
“I genuinely believe that the people in this region deserve recognition for excellence and for the hard work they’re putting in,” she says.
“The three that I am judging are more about the people painting me a picture, telling me about their key achievements, giving me some data to support that, but also a bit of a story about the things they have achieved.”
To find out more about the awards and to enter, click here.
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