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Salute for manufacturers

WINNING FEELING: 2016 Manufacturer of the Year, R&R Murphy – Rod and Rosemary Murphy with Major Sponsor, Downer’s Brett McLennanIt was an array of green and gold with a great Aussie atmosphere displaying iconic Australian landmarks, people and things that marked the 2017 Hunter Manufacturing Awards.

Guests attended the annual event at Wests City (NEX) where a celebration of excellence in manufacturing was held for the 13th year.

Scot MacDonald, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter and Central Coast officially opened the event.

HMA chairman Steven Smith acknowledged and thanked Downer for its 10th year of major sponsorship of the prestigious awards event and praised them for their support of the region’s manufacturing sector.

He also expressed his pleasure with regards to the amount of new companies seeking to be recognised through the HMA andcongratulated all the finalists.

“In 2017 manufacturing continues to be a hard gig,” he said. “The challenges just keep coming at us – from different directions and in unexpected ways – as many of you here tonight are more than aware. However, the applicants for Hunter Manufacturing Awards continue to demonstrate a resilience, and an ability, to overcome those challenges by innovating and adapting their businesses in their own unique ways.”

2017 finalists were:

Ali Jane Travel Accessories and DesignAirpack SheetmetalAmpcontrol GroupAustube MillsBae SystemsBeep Bicycle BellsBrain IndustriesBridon BekaertClassic Blinds & ShuttersCobondCustom FluidpowerDesign AnthologyDowner EngineeringDsi UndergroundFoghorn BrewhouseHedweldHms GroupHummingbird ElectronicsHunter Valley PalletsHunternet Group Training CompanyLiberty Onesteel – Rems WorkshopLiberty Onesteel – Wire MillLiberty Onesteel – Rod MillMclanahan CorporationMigasMolycopMortels SheepskinMother & JoeyNorris IndustriesQuarry MiningRapid SprayRobotic SystemsSignature FloatsSteberTafe NswValley Longwall InternationalVarley GroupWhiteley CorporationThe board of HMA continues to utilise some funds toward a scholarship for potential or existing TAFE students who are planning or are currently undertaking a course which is directly related to the manufacturing industry.

The scholarships are open to any student who is undertaking a course directly related to manufacturing, is committed to a career in the manufacturing industry and shows a passion for engineering and manufacturing.

The value of the scholarship is $5000 per year to be distributed to up to five students. The scholarship is for one year only, but recipients are eligible to receive scholarships in consecutive years, subject to continuing to meet selection criteria.

The Manufacturer of the Year and HMA Board award winners have won trips to an international destination to attend a trade fair, event or other activity that will serve to benefit their company.

The trips are sponsored by Helloworld Business Travel Newcastle and HMA.

The impact of entering the HMA Awards, and winning, can be immense, as 2016 HMA Manufacturer of the Year Rod Murphy discovered.

It was only when Rod read the heading “Best of the best” in theNewcastle Heraldthe next day that the significance truly sunk in.

His Glendale-based metal fabrication engineering company R&R Murphy, which he owns with wife Rosemary,hadbeen up against big players likeTomago, Downer, Vale, One Steel and other major manufacturers and they’d come out on top.

“To stand up on thatstage with the kind of quality in front, I was humbled and honoured to be voted best of the best,” Rod said. “It meant everything personally and professionally.

Not only had David slain the Goliaths, Rod wasinformed the judge’s decision had been unanimous.

R&R Murphy’s story is one hopefully all Australian manufacturers can emulate as the nation moves through the mining investment boom.