Page 2670 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 7 August 2013

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But with success, especially in Indigenous affairs, comes pushback. The 2012 Queensland Liberal National Party convention in Brisbane passed a motion to scrap the Abstudy program. To his credit, Senator Nigel Scullin, the federal opposition’s Indigenous affairs spokesman, described the motion as nonsensical and ill-conceived and said the federal coalition would not support it. Queensland Nationals MP Paul Neville also opposed the motion and said that it would brand them as a mob of bigots.

So where does this pushback come from? Is it a failure to recognise the multiplier effect of more Indigenous doctors, nurses and teachers upon efforts to close the gap? Do these people not know about the past and present history of dispossession and discrimination? Perhaps they just harbour the soft bigotry of low expectations or are uncomfortable with Indigenous high achievers. Or is it just a crude dog-whistle to garner some more votes? Whatever the motivation, these attacks upon the most successful program ever in Indigenous affairs must be opposed.

In NAIDOC Week, all Australians can celebrate Indigenous triumphs and plan for more.

Telstra Australian business awards

MR WALL (Brindabella) (5.31): This evening I rise to pay tribute to the finalists and the winners of the 2013 Telstra Australian business awards. On 12 July I attended, along with my Assembly colleague Mr Smyth, the Telstra business awards gala dinner at Rydges Lakeside. The awards were a great opportunity to showcase some of the local success stories from within our own local business community. Telstra business awards have strict criteria for nominating and businesses often learn quite a lot about themselves as they navigate their way through the nomination process.

The awards are judged against eight criteria, which are: business achievements and vision; sales and marketing; customers; team; planning and performance; financials; innovation; and social responsibility. There are four awards businesses can choose to nominate for, and each category is judged against the same criteria.

This year’s winner of the start-up award, which is awarded to a business which has been operating for between one and two years, was Shop Handmade. The finalists for the micro business award category, which is for businesses with five or less employees, were Deli Planet at Fyshwick, Screencraft, and Canberra Furnished Accommodation, who were the winners for this category.

The next category was the small business award, which is for businesses employing between five and 20 employees. The finalists were Choku Bai Jo, the farmer’s outlet, HorizonOne Recruitment, Tiffen and Co, Transformed Pty Ltd, and Residential Property Reports, who took out the category.

The final award was for medium business, for businesses with up to 200 employees. Finalists included Adore Tea, Intelledox, Noetic Group, Robson Environmental and Rudds Consulting. With an outstanding commendation, Rudds Consulting were the winners.

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