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New South Wales Excellence Awards winners announced

Friday, September 18, 2015

Four outstanding managers from New South Wales have been named the best in the state in the Australian Institute of Management’s annual Excellence Awards.

Louise Robinson (inside left) was the deserved winner of the NSW Not for Profit Manager of the Year for her leadership as the Chief Executive Officer, Nambucca Heads Local Aboriginal Land Council.

The Nambucca Heads LALC has approximately 210 Aboriginal members and under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act, Ms Robinson is responsible for the management of Land Council activities and staff.

Ms Robinson’s management acumen has seen the Nambucca heads LALC launch several successful programs in recent years such as hosting NAIDOC activities on behalf of the Nambucca Valley, building a playground at the Aboriginal Reserve and running a successful Indigenous protected area including shore bird identification and dolphin monitoring.

Under Ms Robinson’s leadership, the organisation has experienced a much improved financial position, enabling them to open an Eco Store and Art Gallery and they are on track to open a Coffee shop in the next few months.

"I had no idea I'd be up here receiving this award with the calibre of people that were in the Not for Profit category," Ms Robinson said.

 "This is all about my 210 Aboriginal members and I know they will all be so proud so I'd like to thank AIM and the judges."

Alexandra Conroy (far right) was named the NSW Young Manager of the Year for her role as the CEO of Reliant Healthcare, a family owned company that provides consumer directed nursing and care services along with complex case management.

Under Ms Conroy’s leadership, Reliant was awarded Certification by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) earlier this year and are currently the only business providing at home nursing and care services to achieve this certification.

Judges for the category said Ms Conroy demonstrated authentic leadership where her personal values aligned with the business vision and comended the way in which she leads with compassion, empathy and high emotional intelligence.

"I'd like to thank the Australian Institute of Management, an amazing organisation and I'm honoured to win this award with such a high level of competition from the other finalists," Ms Conroy said.

"I'm really pleased that what we do as an organisation as well as the part that I play can be acknowledged in this way."

The NSW Owner Manager of the Year category was won by Nick Verykios (inside right), Managing Director of Distribution Central, a provider of specialised, technical-service orientated distribution and channel support for contemporary IT products.

Under Mr Verykios’ leadership, Distribution Central has  achieved a place in the BRW Fast 100 for eight consecutive years while being listed in BRW’s list of great places to work several times.

Mr Verykios demonstrated to judges that he clearly thinks outside of the box and is a true entrepreneur with undeniable leadership and management skills.

"Thank you to the Australian Institute of Management for stopping us as we need to be able to smell the roses on occasion which is what this awards process allows us to do," Mr Verykios said.

"I'd also like to thank all of our stakeholders, I have to look after 140 families and make sure they all sleep well on my watch." 

Gillian Vickers (inside left) took out the title of NSW Manager of the Year after an exemplary year as the Manager of Education and Care Services at Campbelltown City Council.

Ms Vickers leads more than 100 staff and educators across the Council’s Family Day Care, Long Day Care, Occasional Care and Outside School Hours Care services, as well as a Child and Family Centre and a Mobile Toy and Book Library service.

Judges said Ms Vickers demonstrated great leadership skills in managing a complex set of stakeholders, with often conflicting goals, wants and needs as she had an ability to deliver a message that is forthright and strong, inspiring others to follow her.

"As daunting as it was at times during the judging it was actually a very enjoyable process so I'd like to thank AIM for allowing me  this opportunity," Ms Vickers said.

"I'd like to thank the Campbelltown City Council Executive who nominated me for this award as well as my colleagues who've come along to support me here tonight."

AIM CEO David Pich congratulated all of the finalists and said he was very impressed with level of professionalism and dedication shown in each category.

"Just to be nominated for these awards is a fantastic accomplishment and I'm told by the judges that they had an immensely difficult time deciding on the winners for each category so all of our finalists should be very proud of themselves for being here tonight," Mr Pich said.

"All four of our winners have achieved some amazing results with their organisations and they are a true testament to the leadership capabilities that these awards showcase."

Now into their 23rd year, the AIM Excellence Awards have been won by some of Australia’s most successful business identities in the past.

Past winners and finalists include international employment entrepreneur Therese Rein, Domino’s Pizza General Manager Don Meij and founder Graeme Wood.

With categories ranging from Young Manager of the Year through to Not for Profit Manager of the Year, the awards are designed to provide coverage for leaders from every size of organisation and at any career stage.

The winners of the New South Wales Excellence Awards will now have an opportunity to vie for the National Excellence Awards Finals, taking place at a glittering awards ceremony in Melbourne on October 16.