Congratulations to the winners of the business awards

Published on 16 November 2023


Mount Alexander Shire Council is inviting the community to congratulate the winners of the 2023 Mount Alexander Business Awards, a biannual award that celebrates business excellence across the shire.

The award ceremony took place at Castlemaine’s Theatre Royal on Wednesday 15 November, and was a success with over 130 community members in attendance.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 Mount Alexander Business Awards:

Community Focused
Castlemaine Institute

Creative Marketing
Warral Maldon

Diverse and Inclusive
Trace Balla

Environmental Impact
Fumina Projects

Innovative Service or Product
BIG4 Castlemaine Gardens Holiday Park

New Business
Maldon Bakery

Young Achiever
Matthew Thompson from Sandy Creek Clydesdales

People’s Choice
Sandy Creek Clydesdales

Lifetime Achievement
Larry O’Toole

Business of the Year
Fumina Projects

The winners were chosen by an independent judging panel who considered the 21 finalists chosen from an initial 63 entries. There were also over 500 public votes for the People’s Choice category.

Larry O’Toole was recognised posthumously for the Lifetime Achievement award. This award acknowledges him as a local business leader who made a significant impact on the business community through his work in the hot rod industry across the shire.

Mount Alexander Shire Council’s Mayor, Cr Rosie Annear, said that the awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise the contribution that local businesses make in our community.

“The variety of businesses that we have here in our small shire is nothing short of impressive,” said Mayor Annear.

“We’ve got it all from retail, hospitality and tourism, to manufacturing and IT, and health and wellbeing services, we don’t need to go anywhere else.”

“Congratulations to everyone who put themselves forward for a business award this year,” said Mayor Annear.

“Winner or not, you are an incredible bunch of generous people who enrich our community in so many ways,” said Mayor Annear.

Our independent judging panel included the following local business experts:

  • Brian Gould – Economic Development Officer, Central Goldfields Shire
  • Darryl Warren – Workspace Australia
  • David Harry Harris - General Manager - Salami, Smallgoods & Snacking, Don Smallgoods
  • Genevieve Wearne – Owner, The Flop House
  • Jackie Yong – Owner, Soilz Alive
  • Lynette Petersen - Director, Schmoomph Pty Ltd 
  • Lisa Rundell – Founder and Director, Lost Trades Fair and Tomahawk Marketing + PR
  • Mac Barry – Head of Asian Trading, Lazard and Owner The Little Church at Spring Hill Peony Farm
  • Maurice Molan – Treasurer, Mount Alexander Sustainability Group
  • Nicky Thomas – Owner, The Little Church at Spring Hill Peony Farm
  • Phillip Hay – Environmental Services Director, Castlemaine Rotary Club
  • Tony McDermott – Recently retired, National Client Relationship Manager, Engineering Commissioning Services
  • Sherene Clow – LGBTIQA+ Well Being Officer, Dhelkaya Health

The event also included live music from Martini Set and King Stone, with Marita Davies MCing the event.

The Mount Alexander Business Awards are run by Mount Alexander Shire Council with the support of many wonderful sponsors and partners.

Gold Sponsors include Don Smallgoods, along with Gold Media Partner Midland Express and Castlemaine Mail.

Silver Sponsors include Workspace Australia, Maldon and District Community Bank, Lascorp, RMG and Castlemaine Rotary Club, along with Silver Media Partner Tarrangower Times.

Bronze Sponsors include Westvic Staffing Solutions and nbn Local, along with valued partners Castlemaine Hot Rod Centre, Business Mount Alexander and Maldon Inc.

For more information about the Mount Alexander Business Award winners and finalists visit

Image: 2023 Business of the Year - Fumina Projects (left to right - David Harris, Don Smallgoods, award sponsor and Brendan Hales, Fumina Projects). 


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