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Keen competition seen in 2023 Business Excellence Awards

Keen competition seen in 2023 Business Excellence Awards

The spirit of entrepreneurship and the rising stars of the region’s business community were celebrated at the 2023 Scenic Rim Business Excellence Awards on Friday evening.

Almost 200 guests gathered at The Centre Beaudesert where veterinary pharmaceuticals enterprise Plasvacc Pty Ltd received the highest accolade, the Regional Prosperity Award, after winning the Excellence in Business Award as an employer of more than 20 staff.

Competition was keen with 43 businesses and four individuals competing for awards in 11 categories, which Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen said recognised the dedication and determination of those helping to drive the region’s growing economy.

“Building a successful business requires passion, determination and resilience and the ability to continue to adapt and evolve to meet customers’ needs and an ever-changing economic environment,” he said.

“These awards provide an opportunity to recognise those who go above and beyond in customer service and innovation and who remind us all of the stellar success that can be achieved through vision and purpose.”

The awards were presented in the categories of: Excellence in Tourism and Accommodation; Excellence in Hospitality – Food and Dining; Excellence in Retail, Excellence in Trades and Construction; Excellence in Agriculture; Excellence in Transport, Logistics, Manufacturing and Mining; Excellence in Professional Services; Excellence in Community Services; Most Outstanding New Business; Excellence in Business (20+ staff); and Trainee/Apprentice of the Year. 

The overall Regional Prosperity Award was presented to the business that has achieved outstanding results, exhibited sound management and demonstrated all-round excellence. 

Judges Melissa Johnson Morgan, Associate Professor of the University of Southern Queensland’s School of Business, and John Hale, the Mentoring for Growth Program Mentor from the Queensland Government’s Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, commented on the high calibre of entries in the 2023 awards.

In judging the business nominations they considered a range of factors including outstanding customer service, environmental awareness, understanding of target markets, well-defined and understood business strategies, rigorous systems, effective risk management, financial performance and a clear commitment to excellence in all facets of their operations.

Mayor Christensen said the awards also recognised the trainees and apprentices who represent the future of the Scenic Rim.

“One of the challenges for our region, and indeed other communities, is that we often lose talented young people to larger urban areas once they graduate,” he said.

“Our schools and local businesses are to be congratulated for offering our young people an insight into the opportunities available for them to succeed and grow their careers in the Scenic Rim.”

Mayor Christensen said he was proud of the contribution of local businesses which has seen the steady growth of the Scenic Rim’s economy, whose GRP is now some $2.09 billion annually.

“As well as showcasing our industry-leading businesses, the biennial Business Excellence Awards send a strong message to potential investors and jobseekers that the Scenic Rim is a region of great opportunity,” he said.

“The achievements of our awards recipients should inspire others to strive for similarly high standards of excellence which are building the reputation of the Scenic Rim as a great place to do business.” 

The winners of the 2023 Scenic Rim Business Excellence Awards are as follows:

Excellence in Tourism and Accommodation
Mount French Lodge

Nestled in the picturesque countryside of Mount French, this luxurious lodge features eight beautifully appointed apartments accommodating just sixteen guests. The business model is innovative in that the property is let to only one group at a time, attracting families, friends and corporate clients for special celebrations and providing a motivating space for business planning workshops. Recent improvements include additional accommodation and a stunning outdoor pavilion.

Excellence in Hospitality – Food and Dining
Picnic Real Food Bar

Picnic Real Food was established in 2021 in the North Stores precinct at North Tamborine. Its menu, with a focus on wholesome food, features fresh produce from local growers and changes seasonally. Environmental sustainability is a key feature in its food packaging and goal of zero waste, which sees 20 kilograms of kitchen food scraps reduced to two kilos of nutrient-rich compost overnight. An Environ Waste Management system manages all on-site waste water and supports an on-site vegetable, herb and fruit tree garden.

Excellence in Retail
My Country Escape

From a meticulously renovated historic building in Canungra, My Country Escape showcases a carefully curated range of merchandise supporting local products and artisans, from stylish homewares and body products to sustainable clothing, all in a welcoming and uplifting atmosphere. It was judged an outstanding local business which gone from strength to strength, contributing to the community and supporting local events. Collaboration with Griffith University design students has seen the Canungra store expanded to include an outdoor space for community workshops.

Excellence in Professional Services
Honni Hayton Counselling

Honni Hayton Counselling was established five years ago in response to the need for accessible and specialised mental health services within the Scenic Rim. As a sole practitioner, Honni aimed to create a safe, local haven providing expert counselling and tailored support to enhance emotional and mental well-being. She has grown her business and her business skills during difficult years of the pandemic, successfully pivoting to provide a valuable online counselling service to the community.

Excellence in Trades and Construction
Totally Flooring, Beaudesert

Totally Flooring, a family-owned and operated retail flooring store which opened in Beaudesert two years ago, is a great example of a sole trader taking a leap by utilising trade skills to start their own independent business in what is a largely franchised industry. Providing a high level of customer service, Totally Flooring has its own team of installers and has extended its product line to include window furnishings, tile products and trade accessories. It is a great supporter of local community sport, aims to employ staff who live in the region and also supports other small businesses.

Excellence in Agriculture
Aquis Farm

Achieving a perfect score of 100 in the awards judging, Aquis Farm is a world-class business with a team of experienced vets, trainers, breeders and industry experts to ensure the well-being and success of racehorses. Established in 2015, it is dedicated to sustainable practices in equine management, environmental stewardship and social responsibility and aspires to be the premier global destination for horse training and racing with bloodlines dominating world events. Water conservation, pasture improvements, paddock rest and use of renewable energy are at the heart of its sustainability practices.

Excellence in Transport, Logistics, Manufacturing and Mining
Beaudesert Exhaust

Established in 1982,Beaudesert Exhaust has grown from providing basic exhaust and radiator parts to large-scale manufacturing and supply chain production. Beaudesert Exhaust provides services to a range of Australian businesses and manufacturers including 3D scanning and modelling, specialty coatings and the supply of pre-production components for a broad range of applications. It is at the forefront of automotive manufacturing, catering to customers whose passions include 4WD activities, camping, caravanning, fishing and off-road adventures.

Excellence in Community Services
McAuley College Beaudesert

McAuley College opened in January 2017 as a direct result of community advocacy for a Catholic secondary school and enrols a diverse range of students. It offers rural heritage values and supports creative, contemporary and innovative learning through quality teaching in an environment of engagement and community partnership. McAuley College has developed a Senior Program to engage with local businesses to provide work experience and works closely with Mununjali House and Amy Blow to build a space for First Nations students to celebrate their history and story.

Most Outstanding New Business
Neds Restaurant

The family-owned and operated Neds Restaurant aims to be the destination of choice for steak connoisseurs and those seeking a memorable dining experience in the Scenic Rim. It sources the finest quality ingredients from local suppliers, supporting the regional agricultural and food production sectors, and actively engages with other local businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry to forge strong community partnerships. Its environmental impact is lessened by monitoring energy consumption, reducing waste and sourcing sustainable products.

Excellence in Business (20+ employees)
Plasvacc Pty Ltd

Plasvacc Pty Ltd manufactures high-quality blood plasma products for horses, camels and dogs was judged as an extremely well-run business with caring staff, an holistic approach to animal welfare and high ethical standards. Of the 27 staff at its Kalbar headquarters, 23 are women and most are Scenic Rim residents who have enjoyed long-term careers in fields of science, manufacturing, biopharmaceuticals, animal husbandry and administration in a family-friendly workplace. Plasvacc’s employees have grown in number worldwide, partly driven by the acquisition of its United Kingdom division.

Trainee/Apprentice of the Year Award
Kasey Payne – Boonah State High School

A dedicated, hardworking and community-minded young woman, Kasey Payne has been a school-based trainee at Hayes and Co, where she is currently undertaking a Certificate III in Business. Kasey has demonstrated exceptional commitment to her studies and the agricultural industry, actively participates in the Boonah State High School Cattle Club and is President of the Junior Show Society. She is an aspiring ambassador for vocational training, having also completed Certificate studies in Sport and Recreation and Tourism alongside her school responsibilities.

Regional Prosperity Highly Commended
Boonah State High School

Boonah State High School’s strategic approach to rebuilding its connection with the community has seen enormous benefits for the school, the students and the community. As regions such as the Scenic Rim often lose talented young people to larger urban areas once they graduate, the school is doing all it can to expose its students to the availability of valuable opportunities and industries in the region. The school sees itself as a training ground for the next generation of young people who will help Scenic Rim businesses to succeed in the future through the leadership of Dan Marrone, the enthusiasm of Kelly Skewes and the dedication of its teachers and students.

Regional Prosperity Award
Plasvacc Pty Ltd

With its Kalbar facility the only one of its kind in Australia, Plasvacc operates in three countries and is at the forefront of the veterinary industry. It exports to fifteen countries and helps to ensure the welfare of animals in Australia and abroad through the production of pharmaceuticals that contribute to a high standard of care. Plasvacc has been operating for 25 years and its global success and recognition attests to the company’s achievements as an innovator in the animal health and agricultural industries.

Exhibition has Christmas gift giving artfully Gift Wrapped

Exhibition has Christmas gift giving artfully Gift Wrapped

As the Christmas countdown begins, Scenic Rim Regional Council has solved the present problem with an exhibition that is Gift Wrapped.

Officially opened by Scenic Rim Arts Reference Group Chair Cr Michael Enright at The Centre Beaudesert on Friday evening, the exhibition features works by artists, artisans and authors from the Scenic Rim and beyond that would make the ideal gift or acquisition for a collection.

“Gift Wrapped has something for everyone so, if you are searching for a gift for that special someone who has everything, look no further than the array of bespoke creations that Council is proud to showcase in this exhibition,” he said.

“Many of the pieces available for purchase are one-off works of art unique to the Scenic Rim and reflect the creative spirit of our community.

“Some of the pieces really are a piece of the Scenic Rim, such as Larissa Warren’s ceramics which have been created from volcanic clays sourced from Tamborine Mountain with the support of locals and traditional owners.”

The exhibition showcases beautiful paintings, works on paper, sculptures, pottery, jewellery, textiles, fibre works and even books by authors including Robyn Dobbs, Jenny and Rick Old, Ailsa Rolley and Gillian Wells.

Painters, sculptors, potters and jewellers whose work features in the exhibition include Rhiannon Barrett-Brook, Zela Bissett, Renata Buziak, Nicole Crosswell, Waylene Currie, Heather Dale, Therese Flynn-Clarke, Tamlyn Geiger, Claudje Lecompte, Twisted Murf, Felicity Smith, Larissa Warren, recent Swell Sculpture Festival award winner Colleen Lavender and Nicci Parry-Jones of PJ Pottery, who in 2022 won an award at the Sydney Teapot Show for one of her steampunk-inspired creations.

With works of wearable art, textile and fibre artists Erica Bates, Polly Cameron, Shannon Hunter, Bonny Shore and Cindy Wood are also represented in the exhibition.

“Gift Wrapped showcases the wealth of talent in our creative community and regular visitors to The Centre’s galley will be familiar with the works of many of the artists featured in this eclectic mix which ranges from practical everyday items to the purely ornamental,” Cr Enright said.

“Whether you are looking for the perfect present or something to spoil yourself, you’ll find plenty of inspiration in Gift Wrapped.”

Already wrapped for gift giving are handmade cheese boards by Rick Old, who uses Huon pine from Tasmania, pine, silky oak, jarrah and mahogany, each signed and dated by their creator.

The Scenic Rim’s Indigenous heritage has been captured in works by Waylene Currie, whose artworks draw on her connection to culture, country and stories of the dreaming.

Textures in Gift Wrapped range from rugged wireworks by Twisted Murf to soft cyanotype silk scarves by Renata Buziak.

The exhibition, which runs until Saturday 16 December, has something for every taste and budget, from Heather Dale’s hand-painted watercolour cards to major works of art and sculpture.

“As our final exhibition of 2023, Gift Wrapped beautifully wraps up our cultural year and ties it up neatly in a bow,” Cr Enright said.

Image: Celebrating the opening of the Gift Wrapped exhibition are (from left) artist Waylene Currie, Mununjali Elder Aunty Roslyn Yuke, Scenic Rim Arts Reference Group Chair Cr Michael Enright and artist Tamlyn Geiger. Photo credit Irene Girsch-Danby.

Sporting community’s the winner with new lighting at Selwyn Park

Sporting community’s the winner with new lighting at Selwyn Park

Beaudesert’s sporting community is the winner from Scenic Rim Regional Council’s installation of new lighting at Selwyn Park.

The new LED lighting, which meets soccer competition standards, has been installed with an eye not only to players’ needs  but also the amenity of residents in Hopkins Street and the nearby St Mary’s Catholic Primary School. 

Scenic Rim’s Sport and Recreation Portfolio Councillor Marshall Chalk said the lighting installation had been a priority for Council and was an important milestone in encouraging participation in sport. 

“We know that participation in sport contributes to individual health and wellbeing and also to the overall health and wellbeing of the community by bringing people together,” he said. 

“All Councillors have pushed hard to make this happen and the completion of this project is great news for the Beaudesert community and wider Scenic Rim region.

“The next step will be the installation of lighting to cricket competition standards and the carpark upgrade which will be funded externally.” 

Division 4 Councillor Michael Enright also welcomed the completion of the lighting installation which was funded through Council’s budget. 

“The Selwyn Park Management Association, the Beaudesert Cricket Club and the Beaudesert Soccer Club have all expressed their appreciation for the new lighting which will enable the fullest use of this popular community facility,” he said. 

“I am grateful to Council staff who worked hard to achieve this in a timeframe to assist these clubs and also for their efforts in reducing the light from Selwyn Park spilling across the road to houses in Hopkins Street to the west and St Mary’s School to the east.”



A new footpath is set to bridge the gap between Beaudesert and Gleneagle with work stepped up on the much-anticipated project.

The project will link Wesley Way to the existing town footpath network at Elysium Gardens and involves the construction of new sections of path on the northern and southern sides of Waters Creek and the installation of a footbridge joining the two.

Mayor Greg Christensen said the progress of the footpath was attracting a significant amount of attention from the public, particularly passing motorists.

“The crossing at Waters Creek is arguably the northern entry to Beaudesert and Council is working towards an outcome which provides not only a pedestrian-friendly result but an aesthetically pleasing one as well,” he said.

“When the functional footpath works are completed we will be undertaking landscaping and delivering additional amenities to beautify the corridor.”

Cr Christensen said a well-maintained footpath network was a central element in fostering vibrant and active towns and villages.

“I think it’s important that, where practicable, residents have the convenience of safely walking or cycling from home to the centres of our major towns and villages,” he said.

“In 2016-17 Council has doubled its financial commitment to maintaining the footpath network to $555,000.”

Division 2 representative Cr Nadia O’Carroll said it was pleasing to see the project well and truly on t rack again after delays following the acquisition of the required land in late 2015, caused by the relocation and upgrade of public utility infrastructure at the site by other agencies.

“Council has just approved stage three of Scenic Rise which will bring additional residents into our growing area so it’s important that we provide appropriate connectivity to the Beaudesert town centre,” she said.

“I think we all acknowledge the concern with pedestrians, particularly school children, utilising the verge of the road bridge over Waters Creek as a makeshift footpath.”

Division 4 representative Cr Michael Enright said the new footpath and the associated amenities would be well-utilised by residents of all ages.

“It will certainly be most welcomed by residents in the Scenic Rise estate and neighbouring Country Club estate, but I think the wider Beaudesert community will also appreciate and enjoy the outcomes of this project,” he said.

A new footpath is set to bridge the gap between Beaudesert and Gleneagle
A new footpath is set to bridge the gap between Beaudesert and Gleneagle
Scenic Rim welcomes its newest Australians ahead of Citizenship Day

Scenic Rim welcomes its newest Australians ahead of Citizenship Day

Eighteen members of the Scenic Rim community became the region’s newest Australians yesterday in an early celebration of Citizenship Day on Sunday 17 September.

The ceremony at The Centre Beaudesert represented the final step in the journey towards citizenship for residents from across the Scenic Rim who have come from 12 nations – the United Kingdom, Malaysia, the United States, Czechoslovakia, Wales, Columbia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Chile, Tonga and Indonesia – to make Australia their home.

Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen said Australian Citizenship Day, first celebrated in 2001, was an opportunity for everyone to reflect on the responsibilities and privileges of living in one of the world’s most culturally diverse nations.

“Recently released census statistics have shown that half of all Australians were born overseas or have a parent who was, and our region has a proud history of welcoming people from all over the world,” he said.

“In 2021, more than 6,450 people who were living in our region were born overseas, eight per cent of whom had arrived in Australia within the previous five years.

“In January this year we welcomed as Australian citizens 23 Scenic Rim residents from 10 nations and in June another 15 from nine countries pledged their allegiance to Australia and its people.”

Since 2018, the Scenic Rim has welcomed new citizens from nations as diverse as South Korea, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Scotland, Wales, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, the United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Zimbabwe, Turkey, Poland, New Caledonia, Hungary, Argentina, Brazil, China, Fiji, Greece, Israel, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, Colombia, Chile, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Egypt and Mexico.

“Whatever our origins, our Australian citizenship is the common bond which unites us all,” Mayor Christensen said.

“We believe in a society in which everyone is equal, regardless of their gender, faith, sexual orientation, age, ability, race, national or ethnic origin.

“Ours is the land of the fair go, in which respect and compassion underpin our care for each other and our willingness to reach out to those around us in times of need.

“By becoming an Australian citizen, you make a commitment to these values, and to contribute to our evolving Australian story.”

The Scenic Rim’s newest Australians are as follows:

CandidateBorn inNow residing
Wayne AdcockUnited KingdomKalbar
Rajeswary AnilMalaysiaTamborine
Patricia BoverUnited StatesKooralbyn
Jana BrixiCzechoslovakiaWitheren
Paul BurtonWalesTamborine Mountain
Diana Diaz AldanaColombiaGleneagle
Timothy GoughUnited KingdomTamborine Mountain
Dean JacksonNew ZealandTeviotville
George KilaPapua New GuineaBeaudesert
Jessica KirkUnited KingdomKerry
Philippa LyonsUnited KingdomPeak Crossing
Sheryl MacalintalPhilippinesBeaudesert
Leonardo Orostegui MullerChileKalbar
Paull Pardoe-MatthewsUnited KingdomNorth Tamborine
Rheslyn RadanaPhilippinesTemplin
Lesley SawyerUnited KingdomTamborine Mountain
Paula SialeTongaHoya
Dennis TampemawaIndonesiaCanungra
Citizenship Scenic Rim
Cr Virginia West and Mayor Greg Christensen welcome new citizens from Canungra and Witheren, Dennis Tampemawa and Jana Brixi
Citizenship Scenic Rim
The Scenic Rim’s newest citizens from Tamborine and Tamborine Mountain – Timothy Gough, Rajeswary Anil, Paull Pardoe-Matthews, Paul Burton and Lesley Sawyer – are welcomed by Deputy Mayor Jeff McConnell, Cr Amanda Hay and Mayor Greg Christensen
Citizenship Scenic Rim
Cr Michael Enright, Cr Virginia West and Mayor Greg Christensen welcome new Australians residing at Beaudesert, Kooralbyn, Gleneagle and Kerry, Jessica Kirk, Sheryl Macalintal, George Kila, Diana Diaz Aldana and Patricia Bover