The Illawarra Business Chamber celebrated its 25th annual Business Awards on Friday night (18 October), which saw business excellence celebrated in front of a crowd of more than 650 Illawarra business leaders and VIPs at a gala dinner at the WIN Entertainment Centre in Wollongong.

The night marked the fourth consecutive year that IMB Bank has sponsored the region’s highly-prestigious and competitive honours.

Symbio Wildlife Park was crowned Illawarra Business of the Year, in addition to taking out the Excellence in Tourism and Excellence in Customer Service categories.

Symbio Wildlife Park has seen a steady growth in visitor numbers since the Radnidge family acquired the business in 2000, continuing to build large industry-leading exhibits suitable for international breeding programs to save endangered species. Recent investments include the introduction of a new splash park and playground last summer.

Symbio Wildlife Park General Manager, Matthew Radnidge, delivers his acceptance speech.

Other category winners represented the diversity and success of Illawarra-based businesses. For instance, Easy Agile took out the Wollongong City Centre Business Excellence Award after doubling in size helping clients around the world, such as Lego and IKEA, to work smarter.

Similarly, software development company FinoComp was recognised as Employer of Choice. FinoComp provides a range of micro-services for the global wealth management industry, employing 40 staff in three buildings in Jamberoo.

David Hiscox of Dapto Leagues Club was named Outstanding Business Leader. David was considered by the judging panel as a catalyst for positive cultural change across the Club Industry among, industry associations, boards, senior leadership and staff.

His leadership style showed a clear vision to influence positive change by utilising innovative thinking encouraging a better understanding of the customer journey, and shaping organisations to deliver what it is that customers and community want. An example of this is “Tabatinga”, a new offering for children at Dapto Leagues Club.

A full list of category winners can be found here.