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Community & Business

23 November, 2021

Tablelands businesses celebrate excellence

THE best in business was celebrated at a gala dinner on Saturday, with 250 people attending the Atherton International Club to witness the 2021 Tablelands Business Excellence Awards.


Old Mates Farm was named Champion Business.

The awards are aimed at recognising the owners and operators of exceptional local businesses, and as a way to support and acknowledge individual and collective strengths. 

More than 100 businesses were the subject of 184 nominations over eight categories including Champion Business of the Year and the People’s Choice Award which generated more than 2600 votes. 

“Tonight we recognise and showcase your serious investment, your hard work, your dedication, and express our appreciation for what you do every single day,” Tablelands Regional Council Mayor Rod Marti told the attendees. 

“The Business Excellence Awards remind us that in rural communities, it’s most often our small and medium businesses who are the drivers, who take on risk, who create jobs and employ people, who create choice, and who take it on their shoulders to get things done.” 

Old Mates Farm took out the prestigious Champion Business award which recognises a business that delivers the highest standards and quality, and acknowledges the importance of giving back to the local community. 

Nadine and Ron Atkinson of Pinnarendi Station Stay and Cafe won the People’s Choice Award.
NAB’s Nadine Sleeman (right) presented the Customer Champion award to Malanda Seafood.

The unique family-friendly camping enterprise has been established by owners Tony Freeman and Louise Livingstone on a 160-acre farm just 15 minutes from Atherton. 

The business also often donates money from their open days and recycling to various charities. 

Taking out the coveted People’s Choice Award from the 93 businesses nominated were Ron and Nadine Atkinson of Pinnarendi Station Stay and Cafe, on the Savannah Way close to the Undara Lava Tubes. 

A working cattle property, Ron is the fifth generation of his family to work the land and with his wife, Nadine, now runs a successful camping facility on the property that features a café that is praised for its homemade delights and great coffee.

The Customer Champion award went to Malanda Seafood, who was praised for the service they provide, even being able to list all their loyal customers names, needs and how often they order, off by heart. The much acclaimed Mungalli Creek Dairy was named the winner of the Sustainability Contribution Award, accepted by proud owners Rob and Dan Watson. 

Costa Group’s Ben Turner presnted Mungalli Creek Dairy with the Sustainability Contribution Award.
Councillor Annette Hayden (left) presented the Visual Standout Business award to Telpara Hills.

The Employer of Choice Award went to Tableland Veterinary Service for its commitment to its staff who work to a set of principles that guides their values and purpose. The Malanda Collective took out the New and Emerging Business award. Sue Day has turned an old shop into a business that has grown from two staff to 10 in under five months. 

Mackenzie Hydraulics and Engineering won the Technology & Innovation Impact Award for its ability to deliver unique projects with precision utilising existing technology yet also been innovative in the creation of purpose designed and built equipment to meet the niche needs of their clients. 

The Visual Standout Business category was taken out by Telpara Hills, run by Trevor and Maureen Pearce, for its broad array of marketing activities to showcase their business and enhance their reputation. 

The awards were managed by Tablelands Regional Council with sponsors NAB, NBN Co, Kaban Wind Farm, Aro Industries, Costa, Tafe Queensland, Planz Town Planning, Tablelands Mining Group and The Express Newspaper.

Ross Contarino from NBN Co presented the Technology & Innovation Impact Award to Mackenzie Hydraulics and Engineering.
Brad Riley from TAFE presented Malanda Collective with the New and Emerging Business award.

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