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The Hi-Vis Group scoops pool at Hunter Business awards


The Hi-Vis Group is in celebration mode after scooping the pool at the annual Business Hunter 2022 Hunter Business Awards.

It was a 12-month period in which resilience and innovation inevitably figured prominently in the judges’ deliberations.

And, the Carrington-based company picked up the region’s inaugural Business of the Year honour, as well as Excellence in Large Business and Excellence in Sustainability.

The Hi-Vis Group was accredited for its growth to become one of Australia’s largest manufacturers of road, safety and specialty custom signage and safety products.

The family-owned and operated venture continues to lead in innovation and combining technological advances and sustainability into its practices, which set it apart from an impressive list of counterparts.

The winners were announced in 17 categories before more than 500 people at NEX on Friday night.

Camplify’s Justin Hales was named Business Leader of the Year in recognition of building one of the largest RV rental companies in Australia but also developing the concept, design, and technical roadmap to deliver an industry-leading solution for the RV rental industry. 

Highly-commended, in that section, went to Aussie Ark’s Tim Faulkner.

Maroba Aged Care CEO Viv Alanson walked away with the President’s Award.

She was recognised for her outstanding advocacy and support for the sector, one impacted and challenged more than most others by the COVID pandemic.

Scott Lynch secured the much sought-after Kristen Keegan Young Business Leader accolade, from Steven Fordham (Black Rock Industries), Kiraley Martin (Lake Macquarie City Council) and Alicia Floyer (Next Legal and Conveyancing).

It recognised his journey to establish Community Therapy in 2017 to serve the needs for better community and allied health access across, and now beyond, the Hunter region.   

The organisation services more than 2,000 homes each week and has grown to a team of 90-plus people. 

Out of the Square was acknowledged for its support for local entrepreneurial businesses and extensive patronising of community causes, which includes pro bono campaigns.

Business Hunter president Tony Rhodes congratulated all winners and finalists on their determination, commitment and entrepreneurship in what had been another challenging time for owners and operators.

“Winning a Hunter Business Award in any year is a significant achievement,” he said.

“However, we must recognise the real challenges many businesses have faced over the past two.

“For the awards to attract so many quality entries was a real delight and surprise and a gauge on confidence for the prospects of the region looking ahead.

“The past 12 months for businesses have demanded flexibility, versatility, courage and innovative thinking when you think back on the circumstances that have influenced and impacted the environment.

“The admirable qualities reflected in all of the finalists collectively demonstrate the strength and resilience of our diverse business community right across the Hunter.”

Innovative clothing manufacturer Borne Clothing took out Excellence in Micro Business and Aussie Ark claimed the Small Business Award in recognition of its commitment to the long-term future for Australian-threatened wildlife.

The Outstanding Community organisation went to Home in Place (formerly Compass Housing), now one of the largest non-government providers of subsidised housing in Australia.

Excellence in Export was taken out by Batrium, a young company that creates lithium battery monitoring systems sold around the world to 54 different countries.

Resourceful Living, an enterprise that recycles post-consumer plastic waste into brand new products, captured the Outstanding Start Up Award.

The highly-contested Excellence in Innovation was presented to Saphi Engineering for its work in technical integration on Australia’s first Microclimate control project.

The Employer of Choice went to PKF Sydney and Newcastle, based on some innovative and considered actions to ensure employee wellbeing through the worst of the pandemic.

Muswellbrook Chamber of Industry and Commerce won the Local Chamber of Commerce Award for its continued and growing support for businesses in the Upper Hunter community.

2022 Hunter Business Awards Winners and Highly Commended

  • Business of the Year: The Hi-Vis Group
  • President’s Award: Viv Allanson – CEO (Maroba Aged Care)
  • Love Water Love Business: Oaks Pacific Blue Resort
  • Outstanding Business Leader: Justin Hales (Camplify); Highly Commended: Tim Faulkner (Aussie Ark)
  • Contribution to the Region: Out of the Square; Highly Commended: Hunt Hospitality
  • Excellence in Large Business: The Hi-Vis Group; Highly Commended: Community Therapy
  • Employer of Choice: PKF Sydney and Newcastle; Highly Commended: Morgan Engineering, Newcastle and Hunter Community Health
  • Excellence in Sustainability: The Hi-Vis Group
  • Outstanding Community Organisation: Home in Place; Highly Commended: Youth Express
  • Kristen Keegan Young Business Leader: Scott Lynch (Community Therapy); Highly Commended: Steven Fordham (Black Rock Industries), Kiraley Martin (Lake Macquarie City Council), Alicia Floyer (Next Legal and Conveyancing)
  • Outstanding Start Up: Resourceful Living; Highly Commended: Sustainable ESG, Hickey Wheeler
  • Excellence in Export: Batrium; Highly Commended: Leogate Estate Wines
  • Excellence in Innovation: SAPHI Engineering; Highly Commended: Camplify, Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator
  • Excellence in Micro Business: Borne Clothing
  • Excellence in Small Business: Aussie Ark; Highly Commended: Seed People Conveyancing, Next Legal and Conveyancing
  • Outstanding Local Chamber: Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Highly Commended: Business Singleton
  • Outstanding Employee: Hayley Shute (Aussie Ark); Highly Commended: Jordan Farrelly (A Growing Understanding)

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