Mid West Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Excellence Awards

Mitsui E&P Australia (MEPAU) sponsors the Mid West Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MWCCI) Business Excellence Awards, held each June.

The awards showcase leading Mid West organisations that are demonstrating outstanding performance through a systematic approach to continual improvement. 

Businesses are assessed not only on bottom line results, but to superiority of service, commitment to customers, philanthropic ideals, ethical behaviour and environmental sustainability.

MWCCI CEO Glen Whistler-Carr says the awards are an opportunity for businesses look at how they operate, and to see how they can improve.

“Business owners are asked to look at how their business has grown or developed in the last 12 months and the last two years. They review what they’ve done and look at strategies for going forward. Then they’re interviewed on that.”

Glen says there’s a real advantage to an external non-biased opinion.

“Small businesses are so busy putting out fires they rarely sit down to evaluate their business, let alone seek coaching.

“Our head judge is Alastair Dartnell, Senior Business Banking Manager at Bendigo Bank. There’s also a local judge. They’re highly knowledgeable and they give feedback on what each business should be improving. They also give acknowledgement of what has been put in place.

“For many businesses, this is the only time they have input from anyone not working in their business. We’ve had businesses enter the same category for 3 or 4 years in a row, because the annual advice they receive is so valuable.”

MWCCI Home Based Business Award winner - Fleur Porter - coach

Small business makes profit for first time in 20 years after entering awards

Glen-Whistler Carr says one local business made a profit for the first time in 20 years after receiving feedback from the Business Excellence Awards judges.

Glen says, “Alastair said to the business owner, ‘You do know you could make a profit with this business, don’t you?’ She said, ‘I thought I just had to pay the bills’.

“For 20 years this business owner had been making an income that supported her family, but hadn’t realised she could also make a profit on top of that.

“The following year was the first year her business ever made a profit.”

Small business can use the awards to emulate big business

Glen Whistler-Carr says big businesses are constantly looking at projections. They have whole financial departments dedicated to forecasting, so they know which months will be critical.

He says small businesses are generally too busy being reactionary to look at the big picture in the same way.

“Small business owners are so busy they can’t see two months ahead and they can’t see two months behind. They’re faced with challenges every day that take the focus off what they really need to be focussing on,” he says.

“The awards can help business owners stay focussed even in times of crisis. ‘Yes we’ll deal with that problem, but this is the focus. This is where we’re going.’

“Businesses very often fall over because they don’t have time to look where they’re going.

“It takes time to enter the Business Excellence Awards, but it’s really worth it.

“The awards give recognition to small businesses that they don’t get from anywhere else. They get recognised amongst their peers and in the community. Winners use it in advertising, tenders, their credentials, all sorts of things. It does great things for credibility.

When you’re in small business you need every leg up you can get.”

2018 Home Based Award Winner

Mitsui E&P Australia’s predecessor AWE sponsored the Home Based Business Award, which was won by Fleur Porter, Life Coach.

Fleur says, “I felt gratified and humbled. It’s lovely to be recognised, but I’m conscious that the things I feel most proud about achieving are only possible because of the clients I work with. They’re prepared to explore their deepest places, and even though they initially feel scared or unsure, they choose to do hard things (which require courage and self-belief) in order to change their lives.

“Mostly I just want to change the world. I want more people to have the opportunity to live a life they choose, full of love and purpose. The recognition that my work is real and important through this award helps me to do that, and that is the most important thing to me.”

MWCCI Award Winner Fleur Porter - Coach - with AWE representative Jane Aberdeen

Judge’s Award

Funtavia won the Judge’s Award. Funtavia is Geraldton’s Fringe World Hub, and the region’s largest performing arts festival.

In 2018 Funtavia hosted 15 shows and brought together more than 60 local, national and international performers of comedy, music, theatre and cabaret over three nights.

MEPAU sponsors Funtavia. Organisers Jodi Reilly and Julian Canny say, “We simply could not have done it without your support. We sincerely thank you for believing in our vision for the festival and furthering Geraldton as a culturally unique West Australian city with a healthy and active arts and cultural scene.”

Julian Canny and Jodi Reilly, Funtavia - Winners of Judges Award, Mid West Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Excellence Awards

Other Local Winners

The MWCCI Business Excellence Awards recognise businesses from right across the Mid West region. Dongara businesses were well represented at the 2018 awards, with two businesses winning awards.

The Large Business award was won by Dongara Marine Pty Ltd, providing design, construction, restoration and maintenance of marine vessels since 1975 throughout Western Australia and internationally.

MWCCI Award Winners - Vickie Williams, Rohan Warr and John Fitzhardinge - Dongara Marine
The Tourism Excellence Award was won by Illegal Tender Rum Co, a Dongara based distillery that opened in 2016. Illegal Tender Rum Co has already won numerous awards for its premium locally made spirits.
MWCCI Award winners - Hayley Wells and Codie Palmer - Illegal Tender
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The Northern Perth Basin

The Northern Perth Basin is a prolific oil and gas producing area covering a large portion of the Mid West region of Western Australia. The town of Dongara, located approximately 360km north of Perth, is the regional economic hub for a number of industries, including oil and gas.