The 15th annual Hunter Manufacturing Awards (HMA) were held earlier this month, on 11 October, where local manufacturing stars were awarded for their efforts and innovation in the Hunter region.
Announced as the prestigious winners of the Awards 2019 Hunter Manufacturer of the Year title were Chamberlain Australia, who now join an esteemed group of manufacturers celebrated for the innovative path it is forging within the sector.
With increasing pressure to remain competitive against imported product, and to ensure a future for the business, Chamberlain underwent an intensive business review centred on becoming a world class gearbox manufacturer.
Chamberlain’s internal review highlighted the need to create a culture where success was celebrated, and ideas were cultivated from the bottom up. A range of specific improvements that could be made to the business were identified, targets were established, and work commenced.
The HMA judges recognised that outstanding results were achieved in critical areas such as safety, skill development, manufacturing process improvements and profitability.
“The courage to look hard in the mirror and take bold action have delivered great outcomes for the team at Chamberlain and sees them join a family of outstanding businesses as the HMA Manufacturer of the Year for 2019,” said the HMA judges as a collective.
Nivek Industries earned the coveted HMA Board Award, recognising its ingenuity, passion and perseverance in creating a solution to make life safer for mining maintenance workers.
Wanting a way to remove belly plates from heavy machinery to keep fitters out of harm’s way, founder, Kevin Cant, spent three years developing the first iteration of the Track Elevating Device (TED).
The 2019 Apprentice of the Year is Kara McDonald of Molycop; while the Rising Star Award was presented to Megan Crowfoot of Infrabuild Wire.
HMA Chairman, Steven Smith, congratulated all finalists in this year’s Hunter Manufacturing Awards, which are designed to recognise and acknowledge manufacturing in the Hunter, Central Coast and Mid North Coast regions.
“Our finalists this year represent the diversity of manufacturing in our region – from large, long established organisations through to much younger firms in the early stages of their business journey,” Steven said.
“They also represent the diversity of products made in the Hunter – from well-known steel and chemicals to lesser known scientific, medical and educational products.”
Steven said the Hunter Manufacturing Awards are an important ceremony for the local community, with manufacturing being the Hunter region’s backbone.
“Manufacturing is very much part of this region’s DNA. The Hunter has a long and proud history of makers, which has positioned it to harness many diverse and exciting opportunities,” he said.
Steven said the face of manufacturing was continually changing – with new technologies, sophisticated supply chains and intense global competition.
The HMA Board recognised the need to consider the future of HMA and establish a strategy that would ensure the awards program was reflective of the contemporary nature of manufacturing moving forward into the 2020s.
In late 2018 a framework was established and a strategy developed that would be driven by the new defined purpose of inspiring vibrant and enduring manufacturing in the Hunter.
“HMA will seek to offer the sector greater opportunities for engagement and partnership with industry leaders through various initiatives,” Steve said.
“An example of one of those initiatives is HMA Insights, featuring leaders and innovators in Hunter manufacturing, who inspire and encourage excellence in the sector and are invited to speak and inspire and motivate others.
“The increasing prevalence of collaboration between organisations to achieve outcomes that would not readily be achieved through traditional contracting arrangements will also be encouraged with a special collaboration-based award category being introduced in 2020 specifically to recognise collaboration between a manufacturer and an enabling company,” Steven concluded.
The full list of winners from the 2019 Hunter Manufacturing Awards can be found listed below;
- 2019 Apprentice of The Year – Manufacturing: Kara McDonald of Molycop
- Excellence in Innovation: Orica
- Excellence in People and Skill Development: Chamberlain Australia
- Excellence in Technology: Sirron Holdings
- Excellence in Export of Manufactured Goods: Nivek Industries
- Excellence in Manufacturing Process: Infrabuild Steel Contistretch
- 2019 HMA Board Award: Nivek Industries
- The 2019 Rising Star Award – Megan Crowfoot – Infrabuild Wire
- Excellence in Marketing: Sirron Holdings
- Excellence in Product Design: Orica
- Environmental Excellence: Molycop
- Excellence in Safety: BAE Systems
- The 2019 Manufacturer of the Year: Chamberlain Australia
IMAGE | HMA 2019 Winners and Sponsors at NEX Convention Centre