Representatives of businesses in Bingara, Warialda and the surrounding areas joined with students from Warialda High and Bingara Central Schools at the 16th Annual Vocational Education and Gwydir shire Business Awards Presentation dinner last Friday night.
Chairman of the Gwydir Industry and Education Links Committee, Martin Bell, welcomed a crowd of about 150 to the dinner, then Master of Ceremonies, Dan Gilmour kept the crowd entertained and the agenda running smoothly.
Year 10 School-Based Apprentice and Trainee of the Year, was won by Jackson Bennett.
The Year 12 School-based Apprentice and Trainee of the Year was Sarah Bussell. She also won the Year 12 Vocational Student of the Year.
Vocational Education Coordinator’s Awards went to Jessica Grills in Warialda, and in Bingara, Jye Barendsen.
The Gwydir Learning Region vocational Student of the Year was awarded to Ally Dixon.
A Gwydir Learning Region Special Award was presented by Wayne Squires and Martin Bell to long serving former Chairperson, SusanneHughes.
John and Karen Bishton: Bingara IGA and Hardware
Since purchasing the business of H Fay & Sons in 2011, John and Karen have continued the tradition of “the BIG department store in the bush” whilst at the same time updating and improving the store presence. Bingara is lucky to have such a wide range of product offered in such a professional way. John & Karen are also to be congratulated for continuing to offer job opportunities to so many young people, and for the enthusiasm and friendliness of their staff.
Christine Smyth: Villa Rouge
Chrissy is a standout winner in this category, and epitomizes everything that our town’s businesses should aspire to. Some wording from the many nominations:
• Excellent customer service – always has time to assist
• Always makes customers feel appreciated and important – “I always feel I am the best customer when I walk out of the shop”. Always makes you feel that your needs are her priority. You always walk away with a smile
• Chrissy always goes above and beyond for her customers
• Our town is fortunate to have Chrissy Smyth
• Chrissys creativity and initiative in business has resulted in my choice to shop locally
• Villa Rouge has a great product range … if not in stock Chrissy will get it … great quality products to suit all budgets…wrapping is always beautiful regardless of price …. Accessible by phone, email … will giftwrap and deliver.
Congratulations Chrissy, a great example for all other local businesses.
District Award winner
Frances Young and Brooke Kelly: Upper Gwydir Landcare Association, Bingara
The UGLA office has achieved a reputation for being one of the finest in the state. The dedication, efficiency and empathy of CSO Frances Young and of Brooke Kelly has created a high level of trust in the community.
The Regional Landcare Adventure held in Bingara in March 2013 was a great success, attracting 170 people to the town and district for the two day event. UGLA is to be congratulated for taking the risk of being the first event to be held on The Living Classroom. The Landcare Adventure received universal acclaim from those who attended, and was a tribute to the dedication and passion of Frances and Brooke.
Frances and Brooke continue to plan and to oversee projects related to community building. The “Women of Mettle” project was a great success, and is leading to further projects in this area.
Highly commended: Bingara Advocate for ongoing service as the eyes, ears and voice of our community. Well managed and staffed.
Cherisse provides an exceptional “front of house” for Gwydir Shire Council.
She is always warm, friendly and smiling, treats everyone with respect, is extremely well presented and knowledgeable. She is also very thorough, will find the answer and then follow up with every customer. She has wonderful empathy.
Cherisse is a great asset to the Shire and to our community, and a shining example of what is meant by customer service.
Highly commended, Kasey Allen
Kasey always provides excellent customer service. She is friendly, knows her customers, and all aspects of the complex business which is the Bingara Newsagency.
Ethan has taken to the responsibility given to him and has blossomed as a result. He is friendly, cheerful, and knows his product. He also is reported as “knowing a good joke or two”. He is now an integral member of the team at Meat on Maitland, and part of a high quality team. Ethan has also engaged in projects beyond his employment that will benefit our community and especially its young people.
Highly commended: Kelsey Cooper, Bingara Newsagency
Although still at school, Kelsey demonstrates excellent customer service and a maturity beyond her years. She is a great asset to the community, and as she moves into the full time workforce will many more of these awards.
This award, together with that to Kasey Allen, is also testament to the employment policy and staff training from Rod King and from other senior employees, so that the Newsagency also sets a great example of friendly efficiency to other town businesses.
It has been a pleasure to judge such a high quality offering. Congratulations to all those who have received awards, and to all those who have been nominated.
These people are all setting an example of what can stand our community apart from many others. If we can lift our standards across our community to those set by these people, then we will truly be an exceptional community in the eyes of residents and of visitors.
Photos of all award recipients appear in this week’s Bingara Advocate, dated August 28.