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Irish Chamber

Award winners making our world a better place

Tuesday, October 15, 2019
2019 Awards Gala

EdTech and Renewable Energy came through as the latest areas of Irish Australian achievement on Friday night (11th October) in Sydney at the 5th Annual Irish Australian Business Awards, held in the presence of Ireland’s Ambassador to Australia, Consul General and 400 businesspeople from across Australia, Ireland and beyond.

The Awards are an initiative of the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce (IACC), which identify and celebrate the ongoing and extensive contribution to business success, in many cases, on a global scale, that Irish Australia brings.

With an ever-increasing profile in the community, the Awards were supported this year by IDA Ireland, EISS Super, Qatar Airways, HT&E, FlexiFi, Providence Asset Group, TransferMate Global Payments and the Irish Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade.

A prominent theme this year, in many categories, was the potential positive social, community and environmental impact of many of our finalists’ and winners’ businesses. Not only are they creating businesses that are innovative and impressive, they are building businesses with purpose.

Speaking at the Awards ceremony, IACC President Carl Walsh said, “We believe that the Business Awards reflect our identity, where we bring the best of Ireland and Australia to our personal and business lives. Tonight, we will see many great examples of this identity embodied by our finalists, young and mature, female and male, Irish and Australian. They are building careers and growing businesses locally, nationally and internationally.

I thank our illustrious judges, Jeff Doyle, Helen Waldron, Kieran Hennessy, Sonia Flynn, Ciaran Davis and David Kearns for taking on the, not inconsiderable, challenge of finding our finalists and winners this year. Their skills, diligence and experience ensure that we continue to showcase the best of the best in these Awards”.

This year’s new category, the Innovation Award, went to Quitch, whose gamified, mobile e-learning app changes the way learners engage with knowledge, improving retention and boosting performance.

Joining them on the winners’ list was our first WA-based winner, McDonald Surveys International, in the Established Business category. Their ability to harness new technology to create a thriving multi-faceted surveying and engineering company caught our judges’ attention.

The technology theme continued into SME of the Year where Amire Digital Marketing took the honours on the back of some outstanding business wins and a remarkable, energised, positive and collaborative culture.

In the Young Professional category, Ceire Kenny, Environmental and Ethical Assessment Advisor at Lendlease prevailed in a highly competitive field, with her enthusiasm for the potential of more environmentally aware construction life cycles to make a positive impact on user wellbeing and climate change coming through.

Wellbeing was again centre stage for our International Trader category as rapidly scaling HealthTech company, Halaxy, which has recently opened a Cork office, impressed with the potential global impact of their product and it’s ability to allow frontline medical professionals to spend less time on administration and more with patients.

EdTech was back in focus with Young Entrepreneur, Ryan O’Hare’s Keypath Education business having grown from a spare bedroom to a $35m enterprise, employing 150 people from over 30 nationalities and helping educate thousands of working adults across 43 countries. As Ryan said in his submission to the judges, “we are truly changing lives, every day”.

One of the loudest cheers of the night came for Cosmic Group Services who took out a very hotly contested Startup category. Their business, working in the renewable energy space, started 3 years ago with 2 people, an idea and less than $5000 in the bank. Fast forward to August this year, Cosmic Group now has 50 full-time employees and turns over $7m, with a projected turnover of $12m in FY20 as employee numbers reach around 100. A truly remarkable story from the Donegal men!

*Click on any of our 2019 winners names above to view their video submissions.