Art class in the park, with views back to the 5 Star The Westin Coolum Resort & Spa and Mount Coolum

Winners announced at 2017 Sunshine Coast Business Awards

THE winners of the 2017 Sunshine Coast Business Awards have been announced at a sold out gala celebration attended by more than 580 guests at Novotel Twin Waters Resort.

The winners were selected from over 102 finalists and received awards for 23 business categories, individual leadership and the Awards’ Hall of Fame.

Guests were treated to a sit down dinner and live entertainment by the Doo Wop Girls as they heard the winners’ names announced by Seven News Sunshine Coast’s Joanne Desmond and 92.7 Mix FM’s Caroline Hutchinson.

In congratulating each of the finalists and winners, Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said: “It is inspiring and rewarding to hear the stories of finalists and award winners who are the very best of an outstanding business community we have here on our Sunshine Coast.”

“It is a significant achievement for them to be here and to receive the industry recognition and accolades they deserve. The businesses acknowledged in these awards have excelled in their chosen fields, and in many instances, have driven innovation and new technologies.” Mayor Jamieson said.

“These awards also acknowledge the important contribution of our business community in growing our regional economy, without their investment, motivation, ideas and hard work, our healthy, smart, creative region wouldn’t be in such a strong position heading into 2018.”

Sunshine Coast Business Awards Chair Jennifer Swaine said judges were impressed by the number and quality of entries.

“We are consistently captivated by the innovative and professional approach of our local business community. This year has set another benchmark for high quality entries across each category and has made the process challenging for our judges. We all saw three leading businesses inducted into the Hall of Fame for their multiple wins!” she said.

The highest scoring business across all categories receiving Business of the Year was HeliMods. Established in 2002, HeliMods has grown to deliver products and configurations to Helicopters operating in the jungles of Borneo, to the frozen plains of Antarctica to North America, Europe and across Australia.

Yandina’s COYO won the Export and Food and Beverage categories for its organic coconut yoghurt alternative that is now in global demand.

Taking out the Collaboration category and one of the Professional Services awards was Nicklin Way Vet Surgery while Tensegrity Training again won the Education and Training award for the second year in a row.

Home Care Assistance Sunshine Coast won the award for Customer Service and Engagement and Excellence in Leadership and STEPS Charity won for Social Enterprise.

FreshBox took home the Agribusiness award, also for the second time, for their focus on sustainable, cooperative home delivery from local organic farmers and producers.

4 Ingredients also won the Creative Industries award again – providing their internationally successful books are no flash in the pan with global sales nearing 9 million.

The Building and Manufacturing award went to Smartline Machinery Pty Ltd; HeliMods won the Innovation award and Sunshine Coast Lightning won the award for Festivals and Events.

Taking out the Retail award was Accelerate Auto Electrics & Air Conditioning who started out as one man in a van nine years ago, now he has 12 fulltime employees with the largest auto electrical workshop on the Sunshine Coast.

In a clean sweep of the major categories, Rohan Driver of HeliMods was honoured with the Employee of the Year title and the Outstanding Business Person of the Year was awarded to Will Shrapnel of HeliMods.

The Young Entrepreneur of the Year was Matt Hepburn of Your Mates Brewing Co.

Three leading regional businesses were inducted into the Hall of Fame this year – Rumba Beach Resort; Sunshine Coast Radiology; and ab fab the Stress Free Movers.

The full list of 2017 Sunshine Coast Business Awards winners can be found online at