A Winning Formula

Image source: IN Noosa Magazine

The Sunshine Coast Business Awards (SCBA) are an important reminder of just how special the people and businesses who make up this region are. SCBA President Jennifer Swaine reflects on the achievements throughout the region.

On Saturday 13 November, we saw the winners of this year’s SCBA named at a sold-out event held at the Sunshine Coast Convention Centre. 

More than 850 representatives of local businesses came together to celebrate not only our finalists and winners, but the fact that these outstanding businesses have demonstrated extraordinary resilience over what has been a very challenging few years.

This year, we again attracted a large number of applicants, with 131 incredible businesses being chosen as finalists. The calibre of the finalists was outstanding, and the feedback from the judges has left me in no doubt that we are doing great things across every industry on the Sunshine Coast and in Noosa.

There were 29 category winners including large and small businesses announced across 16 categories, two Hall of Fame inductees as well as the overall Business of the Year.

This year’s Sunshine Coast Business of the Year – Advanced Aquarium Technologies (AAT) is a world leader in the design, construction, and operation of landmark public aquariums.

Led from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, AAT has delivered aquariums in more than 25 countries including the national aquarium of Denmark, Den Blå Planet; the Oman Aquarium; the Cube Oceanarium in Chengdu, China; and the Ocean Park Grand Aquarium in Hong Kong; as well as special aquariums inside the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, and the Heart of the Reef aquarium at the Whitsunday Airport.

Hall of Fame inductee COYO creates delicious food for healthy folk and a happy planet. All of COYO’s certified organic, dairy-free coconut products are made with 100% natural ingredients and are plant-based, gluten-free, preservative-free, kosher-certified and teeming with a unique blend of plant-powered probiotics, clinically proven to contribute to a healthier, happier world!

Fellow Hall of Fame inductee Kangaroo Bus Lines is a family-owned and operated organisation that provides an integral contribution to the Passenger Transport Industry in Queensland. The company’s expertise is in moving people and connecting communities through complete, personalised transport solutions tailored to specific needs.

Our future is bright.

The Sunshine Coast is a region where small business is the foundation on which we have built a thriving economy. In fact, of the 40,000 businesses we have across our region, 25,000 of those are sole operators, with a further 14,000 businesses employing between 1 and 19 people. 

Around 800 businesses employ between 20 and 199 people and there are only 16 business in our region that employ greater than 200 people. And while in time that may change, for the moment small businesses remains the beating heart of this region.

This is why the SCBA is so important to the business community to provide a platform that recognises the work they are doing and create awareness and recognition that they may not have otherwise received.

 The Awards also provide a proven path to business collaborations that work, creating more success for the businesses involved, along with the region. 

In fact, entrants tell us that even without winning an award, the applications process offers them the opportunity to dissect and re-evaluate their business, allowing them to discover new opportunities and reminding them why they started the business in the first place.

Over the coming years, we are going to see continued migration to the Sunshine Coast and with that will come an increase in knowledge-based jobs, professional business services, innovative manufacturing and high-tech start-ups and we will see an increase in exports and household income.

The depth and breadth of the business acumen our region has is as diverse as the industries all these businesses work in. The strength of our regional economy, which is currently estimated at $17.9 billion, is based in its diversity and strength across several key sectors including healthcare, education, finance and professional business services and is expected to reach $33 billion by 2033. By that time, it is also anticipated that 20% of good and services produced here will be for export. These are significant results for a region that is experiencing incredible growth and attracting serious investment from both the private and public sector.

Congratulations to this year’s finalists and winners. We are proud you have chosen to call the Sunshine Coast and Noosa home and thank you for all that you do for our region.


RACV Noosa Resort
Small: Narrows Escape Rainforest Estate

Building & Construction
Advanced Aquarium Technologies
Small: Becker Constructions

Clean Technology
Large: Aussie Tiny Houses
Small: Waste Free Systems

Creative Industries
Large: IN Publishing (IN Noosa + Hello Sunshine Magazines)
Small: 4 Ingredients

Education & Training
Large: Wildlings Forest School
Small: The Eighth Mile Consulting

Large: The Ginger Factory
Small: Red Lock Escape Rooms

Festivals & Events
Sunshine Coast Lightning

Food & Agribusiness
Large: Good Harvest Organic Farm
Small: Global Boss International

Health & Wellness
Large: Sunny Street
Small: Stymie

Large: Bella Venezia Group
Small: Kaali Gourmet Indian Restaurant

Helitak Fire Fighting Equipment

Professional Services
Large: Travis Schultz & Partners
Small: HRM Contracting & Consulting

Large: White’s IGA
Small: Pleasant State

Social Impact
Large: Coast2Bay Housing Group
Small: Food and Agribusiness Network

Trades & Services
Large: Office HQ
Small: Ms Monaco Hair Society

Advanced Aquarium Technologies

Business of the Year
Advanced Aquarium Technologies

Hall of Fame
Kangaroo Bus Lines

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SAVE THE DATE! 9 December, 9am-3pm @stevensstreetgallery for their Christmas Market!

Discover 20+ makers showcasing unique art, ceramics, jewellery, and more from the region`s finest artisans.

Shop local and creative this Christmas for the perfect gifts. Don`t miss free workshops and entertaining programs.

Every purchase supports local artists and boosts the creative community. A festive day trip awaits, filled with creative spirit!

Join @headspacemaroochydore for a powerful workshop - Work on Your Worries

Is anxiety holding you back? Let`s break free! If negative thoughts are on repeat or decision-making feels like a challenge, this workshop is your game-changer. Hosted by the amazing headspace GP, Dr. Amanda.

When: Monday, December 11th, 2-4pm
Where: YouConnect Hub (Warehouse) @ headspace Maroochydore

Ready to reframe those thoughts and conquer anxiety? Register now via the link in the bio or call 5409 4900 and kick those worries to the curb!

Get ready to time-travel through art history @caloundraregionalgallery ! From 8 December, 2023, to 21 January, 2024, join the ultimate print party curated by Kyoji Takizawa from the Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts!

Dive into the wild world of ten artists who flipped the script on contemporary art using prints in the 1970s!

Thanks to the magic of the Japan Foundation, Sydney, and the Consulate-General of Japan, Brisbane, this show is an art extravaganza you won`t want to miss!

Time to rediscover prints and redefine your art journey! (link in bio)

Get ready for a festive double feature at @eumundimarkets !

Friday 8 December - Christmas Night Market from 4-8pm! Immerse yourself in the holiday magic with dazzling lights, festive treats, and a FREE climbing wall for the kiddos!

Then, on Saturday 9 December at 9am, join for a Saturday Market day like no other! Join the Christmas Card Workshop – a merry morning of creativity, crafts, and spreading holiday cheer!

Mark your calendars for a weekend of joy and jolly vibes!

Get ready to jingle all the way at the 59th Annual Peregian Beach Carols – the Coast`s OG carolling extravaganza on Wednesday 20 December.

This year, the dynamic trio of @peregianfamilyandfriends , @thevillageperegianbeach and @peregiansurfclub are teaming up to make your holiday season merry and bright in Peregian Park!

What`s on the festive menu?
- Live beats and carol classics by local bands, solo stars, and dynamic duos
- Foodie delights and artisan stalls to snag those last-minute Christmas goodies
- Kid-friendly fun, including face painting for the little elves
- A special sky-diving Santa soaring onto the beach (around 6pm, weather ready!)
- And hold onto your reindeer hats for a surprise grand finale at 8pm!

To unwrap all this awesomeness, just throw in a jolly $15 per family – covering EVERYTHING, from tunes to the main man himself, Santa!

Let`s make it a Peregian party to remember – see you there! (link in bio for tickets)

Sleigh bells are ringing! Have you booked your spot yet?

Join us @coolumbeer on Thursday, 7 December, as the @coolum_business_and_tourism community jingle and mingle to celebrate the merriest time of the year!

Let`s wrap up the year with a dash of holiday cheer and join your Coolum Business and Tourism community for an unforgettable evening, marking the official start of the silly season!

Secure your ticket now for a holly, jolly time by clicking the link in our bio!

Date: Thursday, 7 December, 2023
Time: 5:30pm - 8:00pm
Location: Coolum Beer Co. | Unit 1, 2 Junction Drive, Coolum Beach QLD 4573

Tickets: Members $35.00 | Non-Members $45.00