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Northern Inland Innovation Awards 2016

The gala awards dinner was held at the Inverell RSM Club on Friday night, 18 November, 2016. A diverse range of businesses and organisations, including seven Local Councils from across the region were represented. The 125 attendees saw videos and heard the stories of the award-winning innovators, with the overall RDANI Innovation of the Year Award going to Wholegrain Milling Company of Gunnedah, which also won the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science “Manufacturing and Engineering” category.

Wholegrain Milling’s Craig Neale said their ground-breaking Certified Sustainable Food System has been five years in development. The traceable, chemical-free product appeals to conscientious consumers and is priced between conventional and “Certified Organic” grain products. “We’re very satisfied with our rate of growth as a result. We’re finding that consumers are receiving it very well and demand is growing at a rate that we’re struggling to keep up with,” he said. The success of the Certified Sustainable label has meant more employment and increased export markets.

The Inverell Shire Council “Agriculture/Horticulture and Associated Services” category was won by the Best Food Garden, Inverell. The Finalists were GJ & MJ Manvell (SSS BBQ Barns) of Tamworth and UWE’s Currabubula Station. A Highly Commended Award went to Narrabri’s Graeme Rapp.

The Prime Super “Health, Aged-Care and Disability Services” category was won by Camp Quality. Finalists were Youth Insearch and Challenge Community Services of Tamworth. A Highly Commended award went to Rebloom Flower Recyclers of Tamworth.

The Telstra Store Inverell “Retail, Tourism and Leisure” category was won by the New England High Country Councils. Finalists were Narrabri’s Why Leave Town Promotions and The Ashford Salami Festival. A Highly Commended award went to Blackart Welding of Deepwater.

The University of New England “Professional and Government Services” category was won by Tamworth Regional Council. Finalists were Horsanity and Uralla Shire Council. A Highly Commended award went to Regional Finance Solutions, Inverell.

The Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science "Manufacturing and Engineering" category finalists were Weir Built of Glen Innes and Australian Recycled Plastics, Narrabri. Bethel Farm Mill of Bingara was highly commended.

The White Rock Wind Farm “Research and Education” category was won by Macintyre High School, Inverell. Finalists were Z-Net Uralla and HealthWise New England North West. A Highly Commended award went to the TAFE NSW Transport and Logistics Industry Liaison Unit.

Nationals Senator John Williams presented the Community Contribution Award to the Namoi CWA.

The guest speaker was the 2015 Innovation of the Year Winner, Lively Linseed's Jacqueline Donoghue.

Videos about the award recipients will go on the www.niia.com.au website.

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