AustCham held its Year of Friendship Business Awards gala dinner, the premier event for 2011 for the Korean and Australian business communities, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on Nov. 11. The night began with a warm welcome by hosts Lachlan Winner and Michael Kocken. Members and guests were also welcomed by Chairman Jim Lim and our Patron, H.E. Sam Gerovich, Australian Ambassador to Korea, who praised the Chamber for its dedication and initiative in hosting the event. In his opening remarks, he observed that the “business awards demonstrate the strong and vibrant economic relationship between Australia and Korea.”
In between awards, guests dined on a sumptuous menu of salmon confit, chicken ginseng soup, espresso-spiced Australian grain-fed beef and green tea panna cotta, complimented wonderfully by Arlequin Pinot Gris & Chardonnay and Chandon Rose.
During the evening a total of six awards were presented. Three of the awards were competitive awards; Best SME, Trade Excellence Award and Best Services.
The finalists for Best SME were Bora Fashion, Incoaching and Ingeus, with Ingeus taking the prize for helping over 5,000 Koreans move from dependence to independence in the last two years by finding them employment.
The Trade Excellence Award finalists were Blackmores, Botany and Compacks, with Compacks receiving the award in recognition of over 20 years of service in promoting processed Australian food in the Korean market.
The final category of Best Services featured three 5-minute ‘pitches’ by Nick Dunn of Barun Law, John Walk of the Macquarie Group, and Yong-in Cho of Pure Commerce. After listening to the appeals, the audience voted via SMS texting. Voting was close but Pure Commerce won the prize.
The three non-competitive prizes were awarded individuals and companies that showed commitment to developing long-term sustainable relations between Korea and Australia. Samsung C&T was chosen as Investment of the Year for its role in the Victorian Desalination Project, which aims to produce 150 billion litres of drinking water a year once operation begins by the end of 2012.
KEPCO (the Korea Electric Power Corporation) was awarded the Chairman’s Award for its role as a major importer of Australian energy products and for its substantial investment in Australia.
The final award for the evening, the Year of Friendship Award, was presented to Mrs. Pyo Mi Sun for providing great support to Australian artists and galleries during the Year of Friendship.
The Chamber would like to thank the generous support of our Award Sponsors ANZ Bank, Austrade, Chevron, Corrs Chambers & Westgarth, POSCO, Macquarie, and Rio Tinto as well as our Gala Dinner Sponsors MLA, The Grand Hyatt, Chandon, Telston and Tourism Australia. We would also like to thank Mrs. Pilar Perez-McKay, project manager for the event, for her tireless efforts.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by Bora and her stunning designs.