Winners of the Northern Inland Innovation Awards 2013

Past Winners 2013

Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Innovation Awards 2013

The Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Innovation Awards 2013 were held on Friday the 8th of November at the West Tamworth League Club. The gala dinner and awards evening, followed an exhibition at the club where finalists for the awards showcased their products and services from around the region.

Awards were presented in the following categories:

Research and Education


BackTrack Youthworks - Jobs Australia Enterprises Ltd
Since it began in Armidale in 2006, BackTrack has delivered a range of innovative programs aimed at helping troubled youth to focus their lives, re-connect with education or training and get work-ready. It has now been adapted to communities around the region.


UNE Computer Science - for 'Smart Eye'
'Smart Eye' is a University of New England research project which aims to help older people to reside in their own homes longer. It uses embedded camera systems in a 'smart house' to determine if an unsafe situation has occurred and would then call for human intervention. It's a groundbreaking step.

UNE - for "Integrated Degrees"
The University of New England has teamed up with TAFE New England to develop unique-to-Australia "Integrated Degrees" in AgriFood Systems and Health disciplines. Academic education and hands-on vocational training combine. Entry pathways are flexible. Student and industry needs are better catered for, as graduates will have improved job readiness.

This category was proudly sponsored by UNE Partnerships.

Agriculture / Horticulture and Associated Services

ICT International, of Armidale
ICT International's innovations have transformed the business from an importer to an exporter of soil and plant instrumentation. Their range of products have niche demand for important work around the world.

Paradise Fresh, of Tamworth
A farm to home delivery service for local fresh produce - innovative approaches now include online marketing and retailing and a school rewards. The farm supplies 4 franchises, with 6 more opening soon.

ITC Agriculture, of Narrabri
Producing its own high-quality parts, ITC Agriculture competes with high-end manufacturers. Their innovative coating enhances durability of heavy wear parts. They research, develop and innovate to better meet farmer's tool needs.

This category was proudly sponsored by AgriFood Skills Australia

Tourism, Leisure and Related Services


Petersons Armidale Guesthouse & Winery
The Petersons Armidale Guesthouse and Winery was already unique to the Armidale area, when it invested in the creation of a live concert venue, attracting top artists and thousands of visitors. The first "A Day on the Green" event in the region in March 2012 attracted 6,500 people from near and far, with over 7,000 attending in March this year.


The New England Regional Art Museum
Innovative programs are ever evolving at NERAM, such as "Remembering with Art" - developed in association with the Home Nursing Group for those with dementia; and the inter-generational "Creating Memories" project.
Tamworth Regional Council's Business & Events Directorate
This directorate is unique in local government. Innovative approaches to growing sporting, cultural and business event-based business have stemmed from the Country Music Festival. Directorate facilitated one-off and ongoing events have had major flow-one benefits. 

This category was proudly sponsored by Telstra Country Wide

Manufacturing and Engineering


StarLogixs, of Deepwater
An electronic innovator, StarLogixs designed a devise to ensure voltage consistency for remote Telstra NextG units. Addressing this technological challenge was a win for rural telecommunications and the business.


Andromeda Industries, of Moonbi
Andromeda Industries manufactures plaited and woven steel cables for national and global markets. They also recycle rubber belts for a massive range of niche applications. A number of products are so innovative, they have a market monopoly.

Bindaree Beef, of Inverell
The McDonald Family's Bindaree Beef has developed a sustainability world-first for the red-meat industry. A Bio-Digester will breakdown waste and resultant bio-gas will replaced the coal boiler. The $46mil project attracted 50 percent Federal Government funding. A $2mil. pilot plant has been operating for almost a year.

This category was proudly sponsored by AusIndustry and Enterprise Connect.

Professional and Retail Services


Liverpool Plains Shire Council - for the Tr@ceR mobile App
The Liverpool Plains Shire Council's Tr@ceR mobile App and mobile mapping program increase efficiencies in the war on weeds.  I.T. and weeds staff created income generating technology, in meeting in-house needs.


Kylie Mitchell Designs, of Armidale
The unique Art House Gallery is a new pop-up gallery, selling art, as well as limited edition, distinctively designed, economical, compact and sustainable house plans. The new Gallery provides an experience of the innovative home - art integration.

Moree Plains Shire Council Communications Department
Due to its remoteness, Moree Plains Shire Council identified a need to engage and communicate with constituents more effectively and efficiently. Facebook was the answer. An Avatar called "Maureen Plains" is the user-friendly online 'face' of the council. 

This category was proudly sponsored by the Sharemarket College.

Highly Commended

Member for Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall presented six Highly Commended Awards – recipients have made an inspiring difference to their operation, community or industry or were just a whisker away from being a finalist in the judges’ eyes. The Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Highly Commended Awardees were:

  • Tamworth Community College - for their delivery of the Tamworth Digital Enterprise Program to introduce the enormous potential of the NBN to drive productivity improvements and grow businesses in regional Australia. Congratulations to the Tamworth Community College.
  • The Quirindi Rural Heritage Village - an 18 acre attraction designed to collect, preserve and restore artifacts that relate to the history, heritage and culture of the Liverpool Plains.
  • McInnes Clothing Co from Narrabri – a one stop shop and old fashioned country store providing something for the whole family as well as a large range of work wear, with atmospheric flair.
  • Spend in Glen - an innovative promotion created to encourage local shopping during the Christmas period which involved major prizes, Celtic Cash and clever newspaper and social media marketing.  
  • The Uralla Rivercare Group - for the Uralla Creeklands Walk; an educational and artistic creation meandering through the town of Uralla, allowing visitors to explore riparian zones as well as local shops and attractions. Years of work has achieved an environmentally sustainable outcome for the waterway, tourists and locals.
  • Ewe Beaut Products from Armidale -  for the engineering of a large-scale mobile shade out shelter – a unit that controls the climate and amount of rainfall a research crop trial can receive. Trials are currently underway with the University of Sydney in Narrabri, towards drought tolerant wheat. Congratulations to Ewe Beaut Products.


Interviews with the winners and sponsors at the end of the awards evening