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Entries Open for 2021 Hunter Business Awards

21 May 2021

The popular Hunter Business Awards will return to full strength in 2021 with 16 categories to be contested and winners to be announced at a gala ceremony at NEX on 27 August before more than 500 people.

Entries open today for the coveted Awards, the most prestigious business awards program in the region. Following last year’s COVID-modified program and event, the Awards will return to their usual format this year, with winners in 13 of the 16 categories having the opportunity to progress to the Business NSW Awards.

“It is great to be returning to a full-format Awards program where we can once again celebrate achievement and excellence in business in the Hunter region on a broad scale,” Business Hunter CEO Bob Hawes said.

“So many businesses in the Hunter have shown remarkable resilience and flexibility to continue thriving through the pandemic period and we look forward to highlighting their stories and rewarding their hard work and commitment.”

Entries open today for the 2021 Hunter Business Awards on the Business Hunter website –

Among the categories is a new Award for Outstanding Employee, which allows managers and colleagues to nominate a worthy person in their workplace. Entrants can also self-nominate for the Award.

“We expect the new Outstanding Employee category to be very popular as it will provide people with the opportunity to give a shout-out to a workmate who goes above and beyond to get the job done,” Mr Hawes said.

“We hope to unearth many unsung heroes from workplaces around the region.”

Business Hunter is proud to be once again partnering with the University of Newcastle to present the Hunter Business Awards. The program and event will also be supported by more than 10 category sponsors from the regional business community.

“It is wonderful to have this level of support from the business community and we are delighted to again have the University on board as our major partner, Mr Hawes said.

“This partnership continues the good work being done to strengthen ties between business and the region’s major provider of tertiary education and research capability.”

University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky said the University was proud to be co-presenting the Hunter Business Awards.

“We are fortunate to have in this region a community of businesses that actively engage with the University, as employers, supporters and collaborators,” Professor Zelinsky said.

“We work with businesses to solve challenges, innovate and develop new ideas and we have an important role in training the future workforce for the Hunter.

“Being a major partner of the Awards heightens our engagement with the business community and allows the university to celebrate and connect with the best in business.”

Entries for the Hunter Business Awards will remain open until 16 July 2021, with the finalists to be announced on 9 August.

Tickets for the gala presentation ceremony at NEX on Friday 27 August will go on sale after finalists are announced.

Entries are invited from businesses and individuals in the following categories:

  • Kristen Keegan Young Business Leader (18 – 35 years) sponsored by Quarry Mining
  • Business Leader of the Year (36+ years) sponsored by CPA Australia
  • Contribution to the Region
  • Excellence in Micro Business (>5 employees) sponsored by Glencore
  • Excellence in Small Business (5-20 employees) presented by The Newcastle Herald
  • Excellence in Business (21+ employees) sponsored by NSW Minerals Council
  • Outstanding Community Enterprise
  • Start Up Superstar
  • Excellence in Innovation and Adaptability
  • Excellence in Sustainability sponsored by Umwelt
  • Excellence in Export sponsored by Port of Newcastle
  • Outstanding Employer of Choice
  • Local Chamber of Commerce sponsored by AGL
  • Outstanding Employee

Two awards will be decided through a separate selection process.

  • President’s Award sponsored by Newcastle Permanent
  • Love Water Love Business Award sponsored by Hunter Water


Amy De Lore
Policy and Public Affairs Manager 
P: 02 9466 5665
M: 0419 218 830


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