1. How much does it cost to enter?

It is free to enter the awards. We encourage you to attend the Awards Gala evening and there is a cost to purchase tickets to this event.

2. What’s in it for me?

The value of the awards to your business exceeds the value of accolades.

Yes, by being a winner you will reap the rewards of associated marketing and promotional activity that will drive increased awareness to your business. You will receive a trophy and certificate that acknowledges your achievements.

However, the journey along the awards programs will add immeasurable value to your business. This is an opportunity to reflect, refine and articulate the depth and breadth of your business that can be repurposed for other activities such as your own marketing, pitches, grants and other awards.

3. How many nominations can I submit?

You can submit as many nominations as you wish, but only one nomination per category.

Employee of the Year should only have one employee entry per business.

You probably have a team of wonderful customer and business focused employees. A great way to generate employee engagement and excitement is to:

  • Internalise the ‘best of the best’ within your business (through peer voting and manager voting).
  • The employee who has the most votes with the strongest supporting evidence for a nomination is entered as the Employee of the Year for the business.
  • This will incentivise employees to do well during the year to secure the spot next year.
  • Refrains from creating an external ‘lottery’ concept (enter all employees and increases the chance of one winning).

4. I am a small business; how can I compete with large businesses that may nominate?

You don’t know who will nominate. This is your journey and the benefits of nominating complement the benefits of winning.

The criteria questions have been drafted and weighted to ensure impact is recognised and celebrated over volume. Remember, your businesses engagement with the local community and broader industry will also be considered.

5. I’m time poor and the process is onerous.

Every awards process requires the investment of time, from planning, writing, review to submission. Every effort has gone into ensuring barriers are eliminated and unnecessary requirements removed. You do not need to design and format your submission, but simply respond to the questions in the Awards portal (Award Force).

The awards are designed with you in mind and help with question weightings, word count and guide to questions, but to ensure credibility a degree of effort to nominate is needed.

6. Can I attach supporting documents to my submission, such as testimonials, case studies, annual reports?

Yes, however there will be no onus for judges to review supporting material in detail. Any supporting documents should be referenced in your answer to ensure the judging panel review and reflect on it as an example or evidence of your response. Supporting documents should build on your response, not replace your answer.

7. Can I get an extension on the submission deadline?

No. The submission deadline is final and will not be extended. The system will automatically prevent entry submission after the deadline date and time.

8. When is the Awards closing date?

Tuesday 19 March 2024, 11:59 AEST

9. How are judges appointed to each category panel?

Each category judge is selected based on their demonstrated experience, track record and industry knowledge.

We have appointed experts that have collectively refined the criteria questions and will assess and evaluate nominations based on industry best-practice.

Every judge provides their services on a volunteer basis only and is not renumerated in anyway except for an invitation to attend the Gala Awards.

10. I know one of the judges on the panel for the category I intend to nominate it. Can I still submit an application?

Absolutely! Conflicts of interest are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Once nominations close, each judge will receive a list of nominees per category. It’s at this stage that judges review the list and declare any conflicts. If a conflict arises, the judge remains on the panel but simply doesn’t judge your nomination.

11. Can I contact a judge on a category panel and seek their help or clarification on a question?

No. As a nominee you are not permitted to contact a judge in respect to their role with the Awards. This of course does not limit your ability to engage with a judge in their capability as business and community leaders, and other existing dealings you may have with them.

The onus will be on the judge to declare any conflict of interest. As a rule, avoid reaching out and contacting judges until after the Gala Awards.

If you have existing dealings with a judge in other matters, continue as business as usual.

12. How are the final scores calculated?

Our judges have a difficult job, and a robust process has been designed to help them with judging.

Each criteria question is scored out of 10 (ten) points and weighted according to the criteria, with the final score calculated based on an aggregated weighted average.

The top five scores per category are announced as the finalists for the category.

13. How are the winners determined?

For every category, except the Awards for the Innovation Excellence, Businesswoman of the Year, Young Achiever of the Year, Employee of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year Categories, the winner is declared based on the highest score as assessed in the written submission.

For the other categories, the finalists are invited to a 30-minute interview the judging panel. The judging panel will score each finalist out of 10 (ten), and the winner will be determined based on the aggregated score. The written submission and the interview are each worth 50% of the total score.

14. What is Award Force? I’ve never used it!

Award Force is the awards portal used by nominees to submit nominations, and judges to access nominations. No prior experience is needed. It’s easy and intuitive to use. If you have any questions or issues, don’t hesitate to contact our team.