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Narrabri Shire businesses urged to represent their communities

Narrabri Shire Council's Economic Development Manager, Bill Birch and RDANI Senior Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings discuss the 2011 Northern Inland Innovation Awards.
Narrabri Shire Council's Economic Development Manager, Bill Birch and RDANI Senior Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings discuss the 2011 Northern Inland Innovation Awards.

The 2011 Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) Innovation Awards deadline for entries is fast approaching. Business or public sector organisation representatives are being urged to put their hand up for recognition at a regional level.

Narrabri Shire Council's Economic Development Manager, Bill Birch has called on local businesses to nominate themselves now, with the deadline for entries fast approaching. "Last year, Narrabri businesses featured strongly in these awards which was a source of pride for the local businesses and the community as a whole. The 2010 Northern Inland Innovation of the Year Award went to Narrabri based SustainAg Global, a subsidiary of Narrabri's Namoi Valley Implements, for the patented Moisture Manager Planter. The 2010 Award for Research and Education went to the 'Make it Work' initiative. An Encouragement Award went to Faber Toolboxes (of Ray Faber Sheetmetal) in the Manufacturing and Engineering Category." he said.

"It would be good to see as strong a Narrabri presence in this year's Awards," Mr Birch added . "It is important that local businesses in the Narrabri Shire promote themselves, their innovations, initiatives, products and services, their uniqueness and their community on a regional level," he said. "Narrabri Shire has many businesses which are leaders in their fields - regionally and nationally, making us a centre of excellence in innovative."

RDANI Senior Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings said the Innovation Awards aim to provide great awareness of the region's businesses, their innovative spirit and community contributions. "If you have pride in what your business or organisation is doing and (particularly) in how it is doing things differently, then now is the time to self-nominate and make the rest of the region proud of its progressive, innovative and dedicated business operators," she said.

Entries are being sought from throughout the Armidale Dumaresq, Glen Innes Severn, Gunnedah, Guyra, Gwydir, Inverell, Liverpool Plains, Moree Plains, Narrabri, Tamworth Regional, Tenterfield, Uralla and Walcha Council areas.

Categories are: Agriculture / Horticulture and associated services; Tourism / Leisure and Services; Professional and Retail services; Manufacturing and Engineering; and Research and Education. The 2011 Innovation of the Year Award will be presented to the leading innovator across all categories. Innovation is not necessarily invention; it can, for example, be a practice, approach or procedure.

The Awards have attracted public and private sector support this year, including: the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services; the Federal Government's Enterprise Connect; AusIndustry; New England Mutual; AgriFood Skills Australia; Austsafe Super; and Eastern Star Gas, with RDANI being the primary funding body.

Ms Hastings said that RDANI is mindful of how 'time-stressed' the region's businesses are, so the process is concise. "By entering, you not only stand to promote the efforts of your business at local and regional levels, you will also help promote and inspire Northern Inland NSW."

The closing date for entries is Wednesday, 21 September and forms can be found at www.niia.com.au.

The gala awards presentation evening will be held at the Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club on Friday, 28 October. Tickets need to be purchased by Friday, 14 October, at a cost of $60.00 pp.

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