August 30, 2019 Events, Neis

2019 NEIS AWARDS AND DEVELOPMENT FORUM

The Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach was the stage for the 2019 NEIS Awards Dinner and the NEIS Development Forum held on 26th and 27th of August. Managers, trainers, mentors and administrative staff from Australia’s NEIS providers gathered with colleagues and representatives from the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business to catch up, share perspectives, experiences and plans for the development of the NEIS program into the future.

The room was buzzing for the NEIS Awards Dinner, MC’d by NNA Executive Officer, the ever-affable Reg Eustace. The outstanding successes of small businesses established with assistance from the NEIS program were recognised and celebrated. The NNA Board was thrilled to welcome Senator Hollie Hughes, representing The Hon Senator Michaelia Cash, Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, to speak and to present the awards.

Congratulations to the winners, selected from over 40 nominations received from NNA members. You can read the winner’s nomination summaries and finalist information in our recent post.

The BEST NEW BUSINESS award was won by Gina Wilks from Achieving Solutions. The nominating NNA Member was Hunter Region Business Hub. We’re looking forward to sharing Gina’s story very soon. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

Gina Wilks with Senator Hollie Hughes.

The BizCover NEIS-CHANGE award was won by Maddie and Tom Ross from Beacon Dog Training. The nominating NNA Member was Sarina Russo. We’re thrilled to be sharing Maddie and Tom’s story soon. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

L to R: Senator Hollie Hughes, Brad Miller from sponsor BizCover, Maddie Ross and Tom Ross.

The TIM CREMEAN UNSUNG HERO award was won by Tony Phillips from Box Hill Institute.

Tony Phillips from Box Hill Institute and Senator Hollie Hughes.

The Awards evening was followed the next day by the NEIS Development Forum, a joint effort of the National NEIS Association and the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business. A full day of facilitated discussions about resources and plans for the future were undertaken. Attendees participated in short, targeted workshops and shared their thoughts, ideas and knowledge; all contributing to the improvement and growth of NEIS.

Rose Verspaandonk, Assistant Secretary with The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business provided an update on performance, business reallocation, IT and other relevant issues affecting future service priorities within an overview of the small business policy landscape.

Phil Kemp, NNA Chair, provided members with an update on a range of issues, projects, programs and representations the NNA is managing and engaged in, to remain a vital asset within the governments employment services offer.

Tony Ericson from Hatch Creative detailed the growth and direction of the NEISnow website and social media, as marketing tools for the NEIS program and NEIS providers; and as a platform for delivering the positive message of NEIS training.

Attendees then worked through a number of sessions sharing experiences and best practice, workshopping a range of current issues in the delivery of the NEIS program.


The NNA would like to thank everyone involved in the organisation of this year’s NEIS Awards Dinner and Development Forum, our speakers and presenters; and our event photographer Sean Stark, himself a NEIS alumni.

Feedback has been extremely positive and we’re already planning the next NEIS Forum in early 2020. Onward and upward!

Please enjoy a selection of photos from the event:

Senator Hollie Hughes talking all things NEIS with NNA members.
Gina Wilks from Achieving Solutions with her mentors from Hunter region Business Hub Julian Campbell and Kimberlie Clare-Campbell.
Senator Hollie Hughes, Tony Phillips and NNA Chair, Phillip Kemp.

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