Twelve Hunter region businesses and organisations are among the finalists that will contest the prestigious 2019 NSW Tourism Awards, acknowledging the exceptional quality of tourism operators across NSW.

Celebrating its 30th year in 2019, the NSW Tourism Awards attracted nearly 150 entrants representing a diverse range of businesses from across the state.

Finalists across 26 categories are recognised for excellence in a range of tourism areas such as Tourist Attractions, Festivals and Events, Ecotourism, New Tourism Business, Destination Marketing, Accommodation and Excellence in Accessible Tourism.

The NSW Tourism Awards are the most prestigious awards in the tourism industry, with a long history of celebrating and recognising business excellence, innovation and outstanding customer service by tourism operators.

The Chamber is thrilled to see so many businesses entering the awards this year and so many from the Hunter featuring among the finalists. It is recognition of the quality of tourism operators in our region.

The Hunter businesses nominated are:
  • Beyond Ballooning, Lovedale
  • Blacksmiths Beachside Holiday Park, Blacksmiths
  • Brokenwood Wines Cellar Door, Pokolbin
  • Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, Lovedale
  • Hunter Valley Gardens: Christmas Lights Spectacular
  • Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association: Hunter Valley 'Here's to the Good Life' Campaign
  • Macquarie 4 Star, Lake Macquarie
  • Margan Wines and Restaurant, Broke
  • Moonshadow - TQC Cruises, Nelson Bay
  • Oakvale Wildlife Park, Salt Ash
  • Port Stephens 4WD Tours, Nelson Bay
  • Sand Dune Adventures, Williamtown.
Managed by the Tourism Industry Division of NSW Business Chamber and supported by Destination NSW, the NSW Tourism Awards celebrate and acknowledge tourism businesses that demonstrate outstanding achievement throughout the year.

The Hunter Business Chamber hosted the Destination Sydney Surrounds North Regional Tourism Awards in Newcastle in July.

Defence Ready seminars

Hunter Defence has launched a series of ‘Defence Ready’ seminars designed to help SMEs break into or expand their footprint in the potentially lucrative defence industry.

The seminars are the perfect way for manufacturers and service-based firms interested in working in defence to find out how to position their business to take advantage of opportunities in the sector.

The Hunter Business Chamber is a major partner in Hunter Defence, an organisation comprised of regional stakeholders in defence, aerospace, business and industry, government and education.

With the arrival of the JSF program at Williamtown, there has never been a better time for Hunter firms to explore opportunities in defence. Defence can be a hard sector to crack if you don’t have the required accreditations, contacts and quality standards, but the rewards are rich for those who make the effort to be ‘Defence Ready’ and market their products well.

The Defence Ready seminars series will launch with a Defence Introduction  seminar at the University of Newcastle on Monday 4 November 2019. The course has been developed by a number of partners in the Hunter Defence Taskforce including Goal Group, the Australian Defence Industry Network (AIDN), HunterNet and McLean Management Consultants.

Further seminars, targeting specific areas of defence industry involvement tailored to firms at various levels of industry engagement, will be rolled out in 2021.

To find out more about the seminars or book a place in the Defence Introduction course, visit the website.

Upcoming events

In recent weeks, the Chamber has been immersed in a number of key events in the region including the Smaller and Smarter Cities: International Symposium, the Hunter Manufacturing Awards and the Hunter Climate Summit. It’s an active time of year and recognising this, we have a full list of events to interest the diverse Chamber membership.

On Friday 25 October at Souths, the Chamber will host a timely presentation from Energy Security Board Chair Dr Kerry Schott, who will discuss the challenges and opportunities involved in ensuring Australia has a reliable, affordable and sustainable energy supply for the long term.

The following week we have a free networking event at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital, on Tuesday 29 October, where guests will hear about the work of the children’s hospital and receive an update on plans for the redevelopment of the John Hunter precinct, while enjoying complimentary canapes.

Then, on Thursday 31 October, we turn the spotlight on our region’s commercial and industrial trailblazers with a special event focusing on Innovation in Manufacturing and Utilities at Fort Scratchley.

On Friday 8 November, we host the Minister for Small Business and Finance, Damien Tudehope, at a Business Development Forum lunch at Marina Views.

There is something of interest in the events program for every business, so don’t miss the opportunity to hear some of the great speakers we have lined up. You can book online or find more details on our events website.

Kind regards,

Bob Hawes – CEO Hunter Business Chamber