Our History

The Melbourne Business Awards commenced in 1992 to provide a forum to recognise the achievements of Small to Medium Sized Enterprises within Melbourne's South East region. Over the 25 years from 1992 to 2017, the Melbourne Business Awards, with the support of more than 80 local, state, and national organisations, recognised more than 250 local businesses and conducted more than 140 networking events. Click the following link to view more details in our 25 Year Anniversary Booklet:

Celebrating 25 Years - 1992 to 2017

The Melbourne Business Awards held breakfasts throughout the year which attracted up to 200 people from small to medium businesses as well as corporate leaders. Keynote speakers from the business, political or sporting sectors provided dynamic and motivational presentations covering the specialist knowledge from their respective areas of expertise.

In addition, local businesses were chosen to highlight their business achievements through a short presentation which provided an overview of their success and challenges

Chairperson Reports

Click to read the last three years Chairperson reports

2020 Chairpersons Report

2019 Chairpersons Report

2018 Chairpersons Report

Information Channels

The Melbourne Business Awards, South East region recognised the importance of supporting and providing opportunities for their supporters, who do business in a world of ever emerging technologies and needed to embrace new strategies of undertaking business and recognised that the future of communication and engagement was digital. Multiple tools and channels, including social media, were used as a valuable way to build relationships and grow the supporter base. Since 2011, e-newsletters, a web platform and other facilities helped to build the Melbourne Business Awards brand and awareness and created engagement with their supporter base and their networks, keeping them informed of valuable commercial developments and business-building opportunities happening across the South East region and beyond.

Over time the Melbourne Business Awards sought to extend this reach through the use of a Facebook page, a LinkedIn profile and a Twitter channel, in tandem with a monthly e-newsletter "Advance" and offline promotional postcards and posters. Other channels included:

  • Website – The first impression and interface of Melbourne Business Awards
  • Advance E-Newsletter 
  • Digital Banner – Brand identification
  • Social media – Building and engaging in an online community
  • Promotional Postcards and Posters – Spreading the word
  • YouTube Channel & Audio Interviews

Investing in Youth

The Melbourne Business Awards had long understood that a key factor in the success of local businesses was the attraction, development and retention of young people. The Melbourne Business Awards operated three programmes to assist in this regard:

  • Attraction - The Schools Programme. In 1999 the Melbourne Business Awards commenced a programme which aims to inspire future young employees by inviting local schools to send a teacher and up to four students to Melbourne Business Awards breakfasts. Since that time 29 different schools attended, as guests of the Melbourne Business Awards, on 122 occasions.
  • Development - The Foundation Award. Since its inception the Melbourne Business Awards aimed to encourage the development of young employees by recognising companies who demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the training of young people. This programme was discontinued in 2013 after recognising more than 35 local businesses.
  • Retention - The Young Achiever Award. This programme was introduced in 2002 and aimed to identify and promote young people who were making a significant contribution to the company where they were employed and 50 young people were recognised by their employer.

In addition, the Melbourne Business Awards:

  • introduced a “Youth Forum” titled “Changing of the Guard” as part of the breakfast event programme where panel members discuss issues relating to connecting with older business leaders. In 2017 the panel discussion related to “Drawing Innovative Ideas out of Young Employees (and getting the old guys to listen)”, and in 2018 the panel discussion related to “Leaders of Today Inspiring Leaders of Tomorrow”
  • supported the establishment of a “Youth Hub” network in 2018. Initiated by a past Melbourne Business Awards Young Achiever, this network was aimed at:
    • sharing common development aims such as team leadership and transition to management, and 
    • promoting personal growth by undertaking volunteer work in the community
    • mentoring young people in secondary and tertiary level education as well as the early stages of employment