30/06/2016 - 06:13

Strong field of star performers

30/06/2016 - 06:13


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Western Australia is in good hands if the quality of the 2016 Rising Stars awards is anything to go by. Click through to see our special report on all of the winners announced last night.

Strong field of star performers
Rising Stars overall winner Injury Connect CEO Glen McIver (second right) Jamie Gilroy (second left), Rebecca Halliday, Ali Morton with Charlie Gunningham CEO of Business News (left) and Business News Executive Chairman Elton Swarts

Western Australia is in good hands if the quality of the 2016 Rising Stars awards is anything to go by.

Click here to see our special report on all of the winners.

Announced last night at a gala cocktail function for 300 guests at the State Theatre Centre, the winners ranged from tech startups to major established businesses.

In a period when the hard times experienced by the previously dominant resources sector has flowed across the wider economy, this outstanding group of companies across eight newly created categories has helped showcase the state’s business resilience and diversity.

The naming of Injury Connect as overall winner marked the second year running that an emerging software-as-a-service business has taken the top prize (see separate article), however it faced stiff competition from three other category winners on the short-list.

Chemo@Home won the startup category, Austral Fisheries won the medium business category, and air-conditioning supplier Ford & Doonan was the winner among large companies.

Each of these businesses has performed strongly of late, and all had a credible plan to back their knowledge of the market with growth in the future, either by geographic expansion or by adding complementary products or, in some cases, both.

Other category winners include family business PC Locs, indigenous firm Mallard Contracting, and professional services firm Alyka, which specialises in digital services like web design and search engine optimisation.

Access Housing Australia won the not-for-profit category, while Chemo@Home also won the People’s Choice award.

The judges noted the strength of the nominees at both category and overall levels.

“This was a tough exercise to separate what were clearly very solid businesses led by very committed people,” the judges said.

“We have no doubt that many will have an even stronger case in years to come as their plans unfold and their experience deepens.”

The judges remarked how many of the companies involved in the awards had experienced a dip in sales in the past year or two, but had overcome wider economic impediments to return to a growth phase.

Overall winner Injury Connect joins a select group of companies that have topped the Rising Stars field since the awards program commenced in 2005.

The inaugural winner was Ned Montarello’s ThinkSmart, which proceeded to list on the ASX.

The 2015 winner was education software firm SEQTA, which completed a $6 million private capital raising last December to support its rapid national expansion.

Emergency response business Executive Risk Solutions, which won in 2014, was later selected as national winner of the Telstra business awards.

Geraldton-based Bhagwan Marine has also made big strides since winning the Rising Stars award in 2013, completing several acquisitions with backing from private equity group Catalyst Investment Managers.


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