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Northern Inland Innovation Awards

The Northern Inland Innovations Awards are an annual awards program aimed at recognising and encouraging businesses, individuals and organisations based in the Northern Inland region of NSW Australia. It recognised those who are responsible for developing some of this nation's leading innovative products and approaches across a broad range of industry sectors.

Ten gala awards evenings were held over 11 years from 2009 to 2017 highlighting the achievements and innovation of businesses, individuals and councils in the region.

Award Categories

Awards were presented  for Innovation of the Year, Innovative Community Contribution and in six categories:

Agriculture/Horticulture and Associated services

Recognises both nationally and internationally the Northern Inland of New South Wales as a location of best practice and innovative operations. Agriculture is the region’s main industry. However, it is the individuals and agri-businesses which must take up innovation and yield better bottom lines or environmental outcomes. Farmers are by necessity innovators – rural entries will help to show the wider community exactly how.

Retail, Tourism & Leisure

It is often due to innovative approaches that businesses in this region prosper and grow despite not being located in or near the large Australian metropolitan areas. If you have done something differently and it has worked, then you should be proud and promote what sets you apart. This is good for your operation’s profile and for the region, as you could be setting a good example for others.

Professional and Government Services

From dental and medical, legal and accounting, through to Local Government and State or Federal Departments, professionals in the Northern Inland are achieve more effective or efficient outcomes through resourceful and innovative approaches or products. Let’s promote the innovation in these sectors.

Manufacturing and Engineering

Northern Inland businesses constantly show by innovative practices how they compete with world standard products, often against larger competitors. Equipment is often produced regionally which allow economic benefits and savings which lowers costs of the product for the firm or to other businesses in the market place. If your operation has produced or incorporated something new or adopted new approaches that have made a difference, please enter and tell us your story.

Research and Education

Innovation can be found in research and education or the operation of the organisation conducting research or providing education programmes. If your organisation has set itself apart in this area, be proud and promote it. The contribution to the region’s and Australia’s economy by this sector is significant. It also diversifies the makeup of the region’s communities and highlights the region as a desirable and progressive place to work and live.

Health, Aged Care and Disability Services

There are great innovative programs and even products being created and implemented by health, aged-care and disability service providers in this region. Regional Development Australia Northern Inland and Prime Super want to read those stories. Help increase your region’s awareness of the special things done by you or your organisation. Entering is a simple process and there are many benefits to achieving recognition for being innovative.

Award Winners

Find out about the winners for:


“As the creative director of Training Resource and Multimedia Studio it was a great honour to be named innovator of the year at the Northern Inland Innovation Awards in 2009. Our educational software was a bit different and like everyone that does things differently there is always a lot of self doubt and endless worry that your product will find a place in the market. Winning the award was not a magic wand but gave us a lot of confidence that we were on the right track; it validated our initial vision that education could be engaging and fun rather than something to be endured."

"That credibility played a part in convincing our customers to try our products and reinforced our confidence in putting it in front of them. All small businesses have their ups and down and there is never a well mapped path to success but the fact that a group of your peers judge that you have made something extraordinary can carry you through the difficult times.”

Gordon Cope - TRAMS, Armidale
Winner Research and Education and Innovator of the Year, 2009

“Winning the competition gave us an entry into the Australian Rural and Outback Awards where we were fortunate to win the Business Training and Employment Section Award. The publicity from the event complimented our own promotions and gave us wider community exposure for our new product. Overall it gave us the confidence and momentum to follow our dreams and continue with the development and expansion of our business and product base.”

David Wallace - Manuka Chaff, Quirindi
Winner Agriculture, Horticulture and Associated Services Category, 2009

“We have experienced increased business from outlying areas - women now know that they do not have to travel to city centres for care, and that they the have ongoing local support for their journey to recovery. By our staff receiving recognition  for their dedication and knowledge, gained and enthusiasm and drive to continue their wonderful work and branch into more diverse areas to assist patients after breast surgery.”

Jennie Studdy - Treloars of Tamworth Lingerie Department, Tamworth
Winner Professional and Retail Services Category, 2009

“We have blossomed from the awards. The night opened up so many doors like Governement help, trade shows and it was great to talk to people who have gone down this road before.”

Stuart Cole - Cliff International, Inverell
Winner Engineering Transport and Aviation Category, 2007

“The whole day and night was very beneficial to me personally and business wise. I made some great contacts and the enjoyed the experience greatly. I found I gained a new sense of drive towards my business, I suppose I just took it all for granted and did what I had to do. After being at the awards seeing my achievements along with the others it made me proud of what I had achieved and what had been achieved in the area. It was wonderful to be recognised publicly for something that I love doing.”

Kerry Swain - The Cottage on the Hill, Nundle
Winner Tourism / Leisure and Related Services Category, 2009

“We received a lot of exposure from the award night press releases. Quite a few community groups invited us to talk to their group about our business. We used the opportunity to promote our activities. This resulted in an increased number of bookings for workshops, tours, exhibitions and increased our shop sales as well.  Many Aboriginal artists from other parts of NSW and Queensland approached us to hold their art exhibition after reading about the award win and our gallery is booked up till late 2012.”

Daisy William - The Armidale Culture Centre and Keeping Place, Armidale
Winner Indigenous Business Category, 2007

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