Faces of Business Excellence

Photos by Alan Barber, Barefoot Media

Chances are it will be a quiet Friday in a number of Geelong businesses today, as winners and finalists in the 2017 Powercor Geelong Business Excellence Awards cope with the aftermath of the Awards last night.

Taking out the coveted Powercor Geelong Business of the Year award for 2017 was Torquay-based children's fashion label, Oishi-m, with owner Miyo Fallshaw being toasted alongside the winners of the other 20 award categories by a capacity crowd of 600 at the Pier Geelong.

Miyo launched Oishi-m in 2005 offering unique clothes for infants and toddlers. Today, the business has a global e-commerce site as well as a store and adjoining head office in Torquay.

Chair of the Awards’ judging panel, Simon Flowers, said the story of Oishi-m’s success over the past decade was inspiring.

“It shows what an innovative, independently-owned retail business can accomplish against its bigger competitors with a very limited shop front and effectively having six full-time staff,” Mr Flowers said.

“The business has built a cult following among their target market and now sells to 37 countries worldwide. They are also very community-minded.”

Earlier in the night Oishi-m took out the Roderick Insurance Retail Award for the second straight year.

Long-serving St John of God Geelong Hospital Chief Executive Officer Stephen Roberts was named the Adroit Business Leader of the Year with Jake Munday receiving the accolade as the Deakin University Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Both Mr Roberts and Mr Munday will now be shortlisted as finalists in the Victorian finals of the prestigious Australian Leadership Excellence Awards in Melbourne on 21 September.

After 12 years as the Powercor Geelong Business Excellence Awards, the 2018 awards will see a changing of the guard of naming rights sponsors, with Deakin University. Powercor’s General Manager of Corporate Affairs, Melissa O’Neill, said Powercor was very proud of its long association with the Geelong Business Excellence Awards and described the passing of the baton to Deakin as 'bittersweet'.

Deakin Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander AO, said sponsorship of the 2018 awards fitted perfectly the university's key aims of driving innovation and productivity in the communities Deakin serves. 

See all the winners below, with handy links to find out more about them. 


2017 Powercor Geelong Business Excellence Award Winners 

Business of the Year

(sponsored by Powercor)



Business Leader of the Year

(sponsored by Adroit Insurance Group)

Stephen Roberts

CEO of St John of God Geelong Hospital

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

(sponsored by Deakin University)

Jake Munday


Sustainable Business

(sponsored by Future Proofing Geelong)

Sage Choice


(sponsored by GMHBA)

Carbon Nexus 

Accessible Business

(sponsored by NDIS)

Great Ocean Stays

Family Business 2nd Generation

(sponsored by Harwood Andrews)

Harcourts North Geelong 

Health Promoting Workplace

(sponsored by Barwon Health)

Corio Waste Management


(sponsored by Roderick Insurance Brokers)


Corporate Social Responsibility

(sponsored by Karingal St Laurence)

Geelong Mums 

Large Business (31+ employees)

(sponsored by LBW)

St John of God Geelong Hospital 

Health and Wellbeing

(sponsored by Chris Mackey & Associates)

Unique Laser

Micro Business (1-3 employees)

(sponsored by webforce 5)

Martlette Graphic Design

Emerging Business (under 3 years)

(sponsored by Enterprise Geelong)


Advanced Manufacturing & Industry

(sponsored by Hardings)

Rendine Construction

Regional Business

(sponsored by Gforce Employment Solutions)

Austins & Co. 

Small Business (4-10 employees)

(sponsored by Viva Energy Australia)

Blush Bar

Tourism & Hospitality

(sponsored by Tourism Greater Geelong & the Bellarine)

Golden Plains Farmers Market 

Medium Business

(sponsored by Lyons Construction)


Best First Year

(sponsored by The Gordon)

Maree Pigdon Sewing School 

Customer Service

(sponsored by sn@p)

Raw Edge

Feature Image Courtesy: Tract Consulting
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