Finalists named in 2017 Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards

GROUP SHOT: The 48 finalists in the 2017 Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards gather after the announcement at the Ballarat Mining Exchange. Picture: Lachlan Bence
GROUP SHOT: The 48 finalists in the 2017 Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards gather after the announcement at the Ballarat Mining Exchange. Picture: Lachlan Bence

The best local businesses have been named as finalists in the 2017 Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards.

Forty-eight finalists were named in 16 different categories recognising a wide variety of business types from cafes to manufacturers, tourist attractions to innovators, franchisers, creative industries and more.

Commerce Ballarat chair David Wright said businesses named as finalists had demonstrated leadership in their field and set a standard to which other businesses could aspire to.

“These businesses represent innovation, resourcefulness and a great foundation on which Ballarat is built and will build on in the future,” he said.


Mr Wright said the challenge now for finalists was to find ways to maintain the high quality of their businesses and innovate to stay ahead of competitors.

Federation Business School executive dean Associate Professor Bob O’Shea said promoting business excellence was “a long game to promote a thriving community”.

“What we are doing with this is trying to promote healthy competition between businesses,” he said.

“Through competition everyone gets better and the bar gets raised. Business gets better, business grows, customers shop right here in town and when that happens the whole community benefits with an increase in jobs, increase in financial security and better access to services.”

Griffin Burgers’ owner Sam Griffin was thrilled to be named a first-time finalist in the City of Ballarat Restaurants, Cafes and Pubs Business Award.

“We’ve just been open two years last week and was so busy I didn’t even realise it,” he said.

“We were nominated by customers for our customer service and food, and was named a finalist for our food. It’s huge and awesome, especially just in our second year and I think even getting this far is going to be massive for the business.”

Starting any new business involves countless hours and endless stamina, and now two years down the track you’re more likely to find Mr Griffin running the business than cooking in the Sturt St shop. He manages about 20 hours serving and cooking burgers and dozens more doing administrative jobs.

“I don’t do as many hours now in the shop, only about 20 hours a week, but outside it never really stops. You mix business with social life so I’ll be watching a movie and replying to emails, or doing invoices on a Sunday night. It doesn’t stop but it’s rewarding and doesn’t feel like work when you do it for yourself.”

The Business Excellence Awards winners will be named at an awards ceremony on August 24.


Regional Development Australia – Grampians Paddock to Plate Business Award

Backyard Beekeeping Ballarat 

Black Cat Truffles 

Salt Kitchen Charcuterie 

Visit Ballarat Special Events and Attractions Business Award

Creswick Woollen Mills 

Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka 

Regional Touring 

Harwood Andrews Franchise/Buying Group Business Award

Boost Juice Ballarat 

RAMS Home Loan Centre Ballarat 

The Athletes Foot 

Federation Business School Innovation Award

Ballarat Community Health 

Dearly Departed 

Pipe Pro Directional Drilling 

GMHBA Health and Wellbeing Business Award

Ballarat Veterinary Practice 

St John of God Ballarat Hospital 

UFS Dispensaries 

The WIN Network Customer Service Award

Adroit Insurance Group 

Oak Tree Ballarat Dental 

Sovereign Press 

Loreto College E-Commerce and Online Award

Gove Cycles & Bike Rack Café 

Stems Flower Market 

The Provincial Hotel 

Commerce Ballarat Manufacturing Award

Advanced Cabinetry 

Albins Performance Transmissions 


CGU Insurance Community and Government Award

Ballarat Community Health 

Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre 

Uniting Ballarat 

The Courier New & Emerging Business Award

Clarke Clean 

East India Trading Company 

The Yacht Club 

City of Ballarat Restaurants, Cafes and Pub’s Business Award

Carboni’s Italian Kitchen 

Hop Temple 

Griffin Burger 

Central Highlands Water Trade Business Award

Advanced Cabinetry 

G.J. Gardner Homes Ballarat 

Pipe Pro Directional Drilling 

Commerce Ballarat Creative Industries Business Award


MAKE Art School 

Overwrought Sculpture Garden and Gallery 

Mercure Hotel and Convention Centre Professional Service Business Award

Adroit Insurance Group 

Sharp Accounting 

Telstra Business Centre Plus IT 

Power FM Small Business Award

Central Victorian Investments 

Raceline Motorcycles 

The Scape Artist 

Stockland Wendouree Retail Business Award

Boost Juice 

Sinclair Meats 

Specsavers Optometrists Ballarat and Wendouree