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Uralla & Armidale businesses urged to represent their communities

Discussing innovation in local businesses... Uralla Shire General Manager, Tom O'Connor and RDA Northern Inland Snr Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings.
Discussing innovation in local businesses... Uralla Shire General Manager, Tom O'Connor and RDA Northern Inland Snr Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings.

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.

Armidale has traditionally been well represented in the awards across all categories and RDANI Senior Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings said that she would like Armidale businesses to continue to make the effort to be recognised.

Meanwhile, Uralla Shire General Manager, Tom O'Connor, has called upon local businesses to nominate themselves now. "The Northern Inland Innovation Awards recognise the contribution made by businesses to the economic prosperity and well being of the region and showcases the initiatives, products and services provided by local businesses" he said.

"Uralla and the Uralla Shire make a significant contribution to the region's economic well being and have had winners for innovation in these awards in past years. The Shire has vibrant and welcoming businesses who, through their creativity and innovation, are not only surviving but thriving into the future," he said.

'Do not delay' is the message from Ms Hastings. "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 enter and make the rest of the region proud of its progressive, innovative and dedicated business operators," she said. "Our region's businesses are closely linked to their local communities. Yet, their innovative spirit and community contributions are under-recognised. The Northern Inland Innovation Awards provide that recognition and promotion."

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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