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Aussie Ark, Hi-Vis Group big winners at Business NSW awards


Two Hunter region ventures have reaped the spoils at the Business NSW 2022 Awards, which recognise growth, entrepreneurship and quality.

Despite facing an incredibly competitive state-wide field in their respective categories, Aussie Ark’s Hayley Shute was named Outstanding Employee while Carrington’s Hi-Vis Group secured the Excellence in Sustainability plaudits.

Other local finalists included Scott Lynch (Community Therapy), Justin Hales (Camplify), Borne Clothing, Resourceful Living, SAPHI, Batrium, PKF Sydney and Newcastle, Home in Place and the Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“These awards acknowledge the best of the best,” Business Hunter CEO Bob Hawes said.

“Having two Hunter winners among this esteemed group highlights the incredible innovation and leadership across the region.

“We congratulate Hayley and the Hi-Vis Group for their efforts.

“These awards are a great opportunity to stop and take stock of achievement and when viewed in light of floods, bushfires, pandemic fallout and challenging economic conditions, is testament to the incredible resilience and agility of our business community.”

Ms Shute is often referred to as the “Koala lady” at Aussie Ark.

Her deep love of Australia’s iconic marsupial is what started her journey with wildlife and, more importantly, wildlife conservation.

She plays a critical role at Aussie Ark and acknowledges that the job is more than just a career.

Ms Shute has dedicated her entire working life to wildlife and conservation.

She was responsible for the implementation of a documented and thorough welfare assessment process at Aussie Ark; and is constantly working and developing new ways to halt the extinction of wildlife in Australia.

The Hi-Vis Group is committed to not only making a lighter footprint on the Earth, but to also improve the health and quality of life for Hunter residents.

They have developed numerous unique processes to minimise their environmental impact.

Their sustainability achievements in the past 12 months include recycling 100% of manufacturing waste, developing LED technology that operates at low power, enabling off-grid solar and reducing aluminium and plastic waste by 13%, to name a few.


  • Outstanding Young Business Leader: Scott Lynch, Community Therapy
  • Outstanding Business Leader: Justin Hales, Camplify
  • Excellence in Micro Business: Borne Clothing
  • Excellence in Small Business: Aussie Ark
  • Excellence in Large Business: Hi-Vis Group
  • Outstanding Start Up: Resourceful Living
  • Excellence in Innovation: SAPHI
  • Excellence in Export: Batrium
  • Employer of Choice: PKF Sydney and Newcastle
  • Outstanding Community Organisation: Home in Place
  • Outstanding Local Chamber: Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce and Industry


  • Outstanding Employee: Hayley Shute, Aussie Ark
  • Outstanding Young Business Leader: Raghav Murali-Ganesh, CancerAid
  • Outstanding Business Leader: Laura Prael, LEP Digital
  • Excellence in Micro Business: Projectura
  • Excellence in Small Business: Topsoil Organics
  • Excellence in Large Business: Warrigal
  • Outstanding Start Up: Compassion Creamery
  • Excellence in Innovation: Zepto Payments
  • Excellence in Sustainability: Hi-Vis Group
  • Excellence in Export: Meet PAT
  • Employer of Choice: C7EVEN
  • Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: iClick2Learn
  • Outstanding Community Organisation: Boys to the Bush
  • Outstanding Local Chamber: Business Lismore
  • Business of the Year: Zepto Payments

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