Community says ‘thanks’ to businesses and those who serve
The close-knit Boggabri community recognised and applauded its small business operators, service providers and the individuals who serve in them at the Boggabri Small Business and Community Awards on Saturday night, October 29.
The event hosted by the Boggabri Business and Community Progress Association in association with the Rotary Club of Boggabri again confirmed that Boggabri enjoys a strong tradition of mutual support among the business and wider community.
The spirit of support and involvement is reflected in the new name for the town’s business body, the Boggabri Business and Community Progress Association, which stages the awards. The new name was adopted at the Association’s annual meeting in March this year.
“The name reflects the body’s wider community role, it gives residents a platform to express their views and encourages people to come along and hear what is going on,” said Association president John Shaw.
The Business Awards, supported by major sponsors Whitehaven Coal, Boggabri Coal, Civeo and Narrabri Shire Council, saw local enterprises and individuals thanked for their vital roles in the community.
The evening’s program was led by MC Richard Gillham at Boggabri RSL Club, which donated the use of the venue for the event and its 115 guests.
“We had more categories this year than ever before,” said Mr Shaw. “And we had a record number of nominations for awards. It was extremely popular.”
Award winners were chosen after the community was invited to nominate the businesses and people they felt deserved acknowledgement.This year a new category was introduced for those under 21 years of age. The inaugural winner was Samantha Turner.
“We wanted to recognise people just starting out on their career path,” said Mr Shaw.
The main presentation of the night, the John Ackland Memorial Retail Small Business Award, was won by Vault Restaurant and Accommodation and accepted by Christine Morrell who thanked Boggabri for its great support since she and her partner Leon Kiely had arrived in Boggabri to restore the heritage building which is now a well known regional food and accommodation venue. Guest speakers were Narrabri/Gunnedah businesswoman Julie Albert, who has developed her own successful wholesale business, and Angel Flight volunteer pilot, former Boggabri district resident Michael Barnier, who explained the role of Angel Flight, the community air transport service which flies people needing medical treatment from country centres to metropolitan hospitals when needed.
Pilots volunteer their time and aircraft to provide the service and Angel Flight does not solicit donations.
However, contributions which help defray costs, particularly fuel, are always welcome.
Boggabri business, community award winners
Achievers across the spectrum of Boggabri business and wider community were recognised at the awards: Community Organisation/Group Award: Boggabri Men’s Shed, runner up Boggabri HACC.
Community Employee/Member Award: Ken Gillham, runner-up Wayne Martin.
Small Business Trade and Service Award: McKechnie’s Garage, runner- up Adam Price Electrical.
Trade and Services Employee Award: Donna Turner (employed by Petonna Services), runner-up Adam Crowley (employed by McKechnie’s Garage).
John Ackland Memorial Retail Small Business Award: Vault Restaurant and Accommodation, accepted by Christine Morrell, runner-up Boggabri Meats accepted by Paul Higgins.
Employee Excellence Award Retail: Jeaniece Turner (employed by IGA Boggabri) runner-up Cathy Baird (employed by Boggabri RSL Club).
Junior Employee Excellence Award (under 21 years): Samantha Turner (employed by IGA), runner-up Holly Groth (employed by the Commercial Hotel).