Ethnic Business Awards 2005
Winners Announced, Sydney Australia
Released on = October 28, 2005, 5:09 am
Press Release Author = Ethnic Business Awards : Etcom
Industry = Management
Press Release Summary = The 2005 Ethnic Business Award Winners were officially
announced at an exclusive gathering in Sydney, Australia. The Awards were created 17
years ago by Mr Joseph Assaf, to recognise the contribution of migrants to
Australian Business. They have since become one of the longest running awards in
Australia, which is a testament to their success and prestige. This year's winners
were migrants from Portugal, Zimbabwe and Turkey, who all now proudly call Australia
Press Release Body = The winners of the 2005 Ethnic Business Awards were announced
during a gala dinner held at Le Montage, Sydney. This year, the following businesses
- Large Business Award: Wideform Group of Companies – received by Mr Fred Ferreira,
Managing Director, from Portugal.
- Small Business Award: Green Sprouts – received by Zimbabwean born owners Roger
Green, Alasdair Irvine and Barry O’Dwyer.
- Special Initiative Award: Nu – Door Pty Ltd – received by Turkish born Mehmet
An eclectic mix of prestigious guests attended, each one a leader in their own
right. The Hon. John Cobb, Minister of Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs,
represented the Prime Minister of Australia and joined corporate sponsors, Consul
Generals, community officials and media owners, to celebrate multicultural
Attendees listened to the finalists inspiring tales of innovation and creativity and
how they adapted their skills to achieve success. After arriving in Australia, these
men and women conquered social and financial obstacles and battled for their voices
to be heard in a language they could not speak. Their individual contributions have
fuelled our economy and their collective contributions have helped create our
Mr. Joseph Assaf, Chairman of Etcom (Ethnic Communications), created the Ethnic
Business Awards 17 years ago so that migrant success could be recognised and
rewarded, and Etcom has staged all aspects of the Awards since their inception. They
are the longest running Business Awards in Australia, a testament to their success
“Australia was built on migration, and the Ethnic Business Awards are a continuous
reminder and celebration of this fact. They allow each of us to recognise the great
and positive contributions of migrants to our country,” said Mr. Assaf.
Green Sprouts owners, Roger Green, Alasdair Irvine and Barry O’Dwyer, proudly
accepted the Small Business Award, presented by Mr David Moffatt, Group Managing
Director Consumer & Marketing of Telstra.
Having started as a backyard business in 1989, Green Sprouts today has 30 employees
who work to supply safe, healthy salad ingredients to markets and chain stores from
Darwin to Sydney. This tireless partnership consists of three families who emigrated
from Zimbabwe - and for their latest venture, have started exporting to New Zealand.
“It is truly a proud moment for us to be recognised in our adopted country by the
Ethnic Business Awards. To be nominated by the National was a huge honour, to win is
truly the pinnacle. Whatever the imperative that has made us search for a new home,
it can only be described as a true blessing that we landed in this wonderful, truly
lucky, country. We will forever be grateful for the generosity, the inclusiveness
and the encouragement of the Australian people and the Australian Government,” said
the owners of Green Sprouts.
Mr Ahmed Fahour, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, National Australia
Bank presented the Large Business Award to Mr Ferreira, Wideform Group of Companies.
Originally from Portugal, Fred Ferreira immigrated to Australia in 1970. With no
experience in business or finance, he found work as a brick labourer. After 31 years
of trading, the Wideform Group of Companies has grown to become Australia’s largest
formwork company and a leader in the building and construction industry, employing
more than 500 people throughout NSW and Queensland.
“What an honour it is to win the 2005 Ethnic Business Awards and to be recognised
for our contribution to the Australian community and economy. The Wideform Group of
Companies has come a long way since I immigrated to Australia from Portugal and
founded the company. I am very proud of the growth and success the Group has
achieved over the past 31 years and appreciate the acknowledgement from the Ethnic
Business Awards,” said Mr. Ferreira.
This year’s Initiative Award was presented to Turkish born Mehmet Karamemis,
Director of Nu– Door Pty Ltd, by Gulf Air’s General Manager, Australia and South
Pacific, Mr Cramer Ball. The Initiative Award recognises outstanding determination,
growth and potential.
Mr Karamemis started the company in 1996 with poor English skills, a very limited
understanding of borrowing and a family to support. With diligence and adapting to
the constantly changing needs of the market, Nu – Door Pty Ltd has become one of the
premier manufacturers of vinyl wrap doors and post forming of laminates for bench
tops. Exports to Turkey are expected to grow exponentially.
“I am very happy to have won this award. This will only make me stronger in being
able to export Australian products around the world. These awards show Australia and
the world that you can achieve what you want if you want it enough,” said Mr
All winners received AUD$5,000, two return business class tickets flying Gulf Air to
anywhere on their network and a crystal trophy. Each winner also received a
BlackBerry 7100g device from Telstra. All finalists received a certificate presented
by Mr Joseph Assaf and a Motorola E378i handset generously donated by Telstra.
The distinguished panel of judges included Carla Zampatti, King Fong OAM, Arthur
Sanderson and Eve Crestani. They overcame the difficult task of selecting the
winners based on criteria of cultural and linguistic difficulties encountered,
creativity and innovation, growth and potential, and creation of employment
Ms Zampatti, on behalf of the judges, said, “It is wonderful to see the imagination
of migrants, looking at the market with fresh eyes and discovering opportunities
that we living here do not see. The strength and size of the nominees seems to be
getting larger and larger, creating exports and employment. It is very humbling for
Integral to the success of the Awards is the ongoing support shown by the sponsors.
Telstra, Gulf Air and The Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources again joined
long time sponsor, the National Australia Bank. Centrelink and ABC Tissues, (winner
of the 2004 Ethnic Business Awards in the Large Business category) also joined as
sponsors this year. These businesses have developed a strong relationship with the
Ethnic Business Awards, and are recognised for their support of multicultural
Representatives from leading ethnic media outlets also attended the Awards, playing
an important role in relaying the results back to each respective community. The
following media outlets show enormous support for the Ethnic Business Awards, and
continue to contribute to their success: SBS, ABC Asia Pacific, TVB Jadeworld, Sing
Tao, Chieu Duong, O Kosmos, El Telegraph and Weekly Korean Top.
The Ethnic Business Awards is now recognised, seen, read and heard from Tasmania to
Darwin, Perth to Sydney, Indonesia to China, and India to French Polynesia. In a
country where 1 in 4 Australian children were either born overseas or have one
parent born overseas, the Ethnic Business Awards are a celebration of humanity as a
whole, rather than the differences of its citizens.
For nearly two decades, through international conflict and varying political
climates, these Awards have stood as a triumph for diversity and a celebration of
The 2005 Ethnic Business Awards will be broadcast nationally on SBS Television on
Sunday, 6 November at 10:30am. It will later air on the ABC Asia Pacific, 4th
December, to an estimated audience of 10 million homes across 39 countries – aired
The ABC broadcast times (local times) are as follows:
Mumbai, Delhi – 15:30
Bangkok – 14:00
Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore – 16:00
Kuala Lumpur – 15:00
Fiji – 20:00
Seoul/Tokyo – 17:00
_ _ _
Finalists in the Small Business Category were:
Australian Chemical Research Pty Ltd
Green Sprouts (winner)
T.K Pacific Marketing
Finalists in the Medium – Large Business Category were:
Nu – Door Pty Ltd (winner)
Southerncross Rigging and Constructions Pty Ltd
Stambo's Group of Companies
Wideform Group of Companies (winner)
_ _ _
_ _ _
Web Site = http://www.etcom.com.au/ethnic_business_awards.htm
Contact Details = For more information, please contact:
PR Manager, Etcom, Australia
+61 2 9568 8398
* Higher resolution images available upon request.
* Media Releases are available in Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Greek and Vietnamese.
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