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. . . and the winner is Business Network Awards 2023

. . . and the winner is Business Network Awards 2023

Monday, May 22, 2023

The City of Whittlesea’s thriving business community joined together for a night of celebration at the inaugural Business Network Awards at the Mantra in Epping on Thursday 18 May.

The City of Whittlesea Business Network Awards recognised local businesses who demonstrated core values of excellence, sustainability and responsibility.

City of Whittlesea Chair Administrator Lydia Wilson said the awards were an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of businesses large and small.

“The gala enabled us to shine a spotlight on our thriving local business community and to celebrate the many talented business people in the City of Whittlesea.”

The awards were open to members of the Business Network who nominated in any of the six categories.

“We were thrilled to receive 88 nominations for our very first awards which is a testament to just how many wonderful businesses we have in the City of Whittlesea,” Wilson said.

“Every business should be commended for their efforts, commitment and successes, particularly in this tough economic climate.”

Awards were presented to the following categories:

Business of the Year – Repurpose It

Repurpose It commenced operation almost six years ago and built a state-of-the-art construction and demolition washing plant facility, the only facility of its kind in Australia. This plant can wash construction and demolition waste, and contaminated soils that were previously destined for landfill. Once these resources are washed, sorted, and blended, they can be used in construction and infrastructure projects in the community.

They make a significant contribution to the industry by recovering resources and preventing them from going to landfill, in turn reducing the need to use virgin resources. In 2022 Repurpose It launched a new state-of-the-art organic processing facility that takes Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) and creates premium quality soil amendments for supply back to local communities. Through this facility they process the FOGO waste from the City of Whittlesea.

Start Up – Brewer Sisters
Opening in September 2022, Brewer Sisters is a café based in Epping North, providing a place for residents including mother’s groups, carer groups and the CALD community.  The business provides employment to residents.

Customer Service – Ristic Real Estate
Ristic Real Estate are a Real Estate Agency located in Epping, servicing the City of Whittlesea and beyond. Their services include sales, property management and leasing.

Collaborating with two high profile coaches in sales and property management has helped guide the business and team through their customer service journey. The implementation of specialised technology and systems has helped Ristic capture customer service results from customers, including the Net Promotor Score of 46, from over 500 landlords they manage, Ristic’s score of 46 is over 20 points higher than the country benchmark score.

Innovation and Enterprise – Whittlesea Community Connections
Whittlesea Community Connections (WCC) was established in 1973 by residents concerned with the lack of services in the City of Whittlesea. Today WCC provides a wide range of free services including legal assistance, emergency relief, volunteering support, community transport, settlement and youth services.

In addition, WCC runs a series of social enterprises:

  • DriverED – a driving school for disadvantaged young people and newly arrived migrants and refugees
  • Women-in-Work – mobile multicultural childcare.

Sustainability and Environment – Repurpose It

Repurpose It are industry leaders in manufacturing premium quality repurposed materials. They recover resources and turn them into a wide range of construction and landscaping products.

Repurpose It was born from the fundamental belief that landfills are a thing of the past and all waste can be converted to valuable resources. Their mission is to eliminate waste and pollution through closed-loop resource recovery.

Community Contribution – LINK Community and Transport

Based in Thomastown, LINK provides in-home services and transport for aged and disability clients across metropolitan Melbourne and selected regional locations. Their services help vulnerable members of the community to live well and independently in their own homes, while being connected to services and other community services. Just some of the services LINK offer include:

  • fun social outings
  • assisted shopping
  • home maintenance
  • domestic assistance.

Last year LINK made 18,778 medical and shopping trips, provided over 5,000 domestic assistance hours and facilitated 67 social group outings.

Workplace Diversity – Costa Mushroom Exchange

Costa in Mernda is one of the largest Mushroom facilities in the country and there is a high chance that the mushrooms you eat have been grown and hand-picked here in the City of Whittlesea. Employing over 500 staff from 39 different nationalities at their Mernda site, made up of 39 different nationalities, the business is a key provider of employment to our community. Each year, employees enjoy a range of activities and events to help celebrate the diverse workforce they have, including Harmony Day, International Women’s Day, Pride Day and in July the site welcomed their Vanuatu Crew to Mernda.


To view more information and images from the awards visit City of Whittlesea Business Awards 2023.