The Regional Australia Bank Rhino Awards finalists for 2016 have been unveiled at a glittering ceremony on Wednesday night.
In front of a large crowd made up of Dubbo business owners and employees, the Dubbo Chamber of Commerce and Industry unveiled the deserving nominees.
Now in it’s 21st year, the Rhino Awards have continued to grow and chamber president Matt Wright said 21 was a number that signalled maturity and a coming of age.
All categories were judged by independent judges from a town or city well away from Dubbo and feedback to the Dubbo chamber suggested the competition was very strong.
It is now less than a month until the Rhino Awards Gala Night on October 23. For many businesses, they will be hoping to win their first rhino while others are looking to add to a sizeable collection.
The People’s Choice award for most popular business, as voted for by the public, saw Dubbo parkrun, Ginas Pizza, SJ Shooter Real Estate and Mary & Me nominated.
The finalists in the running for the Baby Rhino for New Business are Marathon Health, Redden and Hansen Real Estate, Tim Morris Podiatry and CSC.
David Wilson of Dubbo Autobarn, Thomas Sienkiewicz from Coles Supermarket, Jimmy Skordalis from Ginas Pizza and Olivia Price of Westhaven Association are all finalists for the Service with a Smile award.
In the Apprentice and Trainee category, Kaleah Crompton of Access group Training, Brooke Stewart from Dubbo RSL, Jack Browne and Breanne Studd, both Skillset Workforce, are up for the rhino.
The ever-popular Dubbo’s Favourite Tradie gong will be contested by Andrew Teuma from Andrew Teuma Landscaping, Dean Alley of Dean Alley Building, Mick Oriel from Williams Oriel Services and Chris Maghofer from Laser Plumbing.
Some of Dubbo’s brightest young talents were named for the Young Entrepreneur award, with Errin Williamson from CSC, Dubbo Landscaping’s Behn Monley, Matt Hansen of Redden & Hansen Real Estate and David Hughes from Mass Nutrition Dubbo all in the running.
Wednesday’s event paid tribute to the sponsors who have backed the event over its 21 year history and Mr Wright said without their support the event wouldn’t go ahead.
This year is the fourth in a row that Regional Australia Bank has been the naming rights sponsor, although in previous years it was using their previous name Orana Mutual.
More details will be revealed about the Gala Dinner in the coming weeks.