Recognition at the Australian Small Business Champion awards

Big plans: Dr Majeda Awawdeh-Caleo, founder of Global Education Academy which was named Champion Children’s Educational Services.
Big plans: Dr Majeda Awawdeh-Caleo, founder of Global Education Academy which was named Champion Children’s Educational Services.

Four St George and Sutherland Shire small businesses have taken out major awards at the Australian Small Business Champion awards held in Sydney.

A tourism agency, driving school, education academy and business services firm were all big winners at a gala ceremony, attended by more than 1000 guests, at The Westin Sydney, on April 1.

The local winners were:

  • The Africa Safari Co from Sutherland was named Champion Tourism.
  • Prestige Driving School from Mortdale was named Champion Educational Services 
  • Global Education Academy from Kogarah was named Champion Children’s Educational Services
  • Alderton Enterprises from Mortdale was named Champion Business Services

In making her acceptance speech, Global Education Academy founder Dr Majeda Awawdeh-Caleo told the gathering the academy had big plans for the future.

“We have applied for our school to be a specialised primary school using our theory,” Dr Awawdeh-Caleo said. 

“We are just waiting for $20 million for the site so if there are any investors here we are on Table 5.

‘‘It’s just a matter of time -  it’s not a matter of if we will do it, we will do it, it’s a matter of when.’’

Matt Alderton owner of Alderton Enterprises said it was a thrill to win the award two years in a row and in his acceptance speech spared a thought for all small businesses which may be doing it tough.

‘‘I’d like to do a shot out to all the business owners who are not here tonight and have given it a crack but haven’t been successful because 50 per cent of small businesses don’t make it - they actually go broke in about 12 to 24 months,” Mr Alderton said.

Back to back: Matt Alderton owner of Alderton Enterprises at Mortdale which was named Champion Business Services for the second year in a row.

Back to back: Matt Alderton owner of Alderton Enterprises at Mortdale which was named Champion Business Services for the second year in a row.

‘‘And for all those that have done that, got back up, and given it another crack - congratulations.’’

Susie Potter CEO of the Africa Safari Co said she was very proud of her company’s success.

‘‘The Africa Safari Co was started in 1997 as a small one person office selling safaris to Africa,’’ Ms Potter said

“I am proud to say now 20 years later with a wonderful staff of 19 - we have been awarded the number one small business in tourism nationally,

‘‘Our tours are sold throughout 1800 travel agents Australia-wide and we are very proud to be recognized for our achievement on the back of winning Best Tourism business in the Sutherland Shire last year.

Going wild: Susie Potter CEO of the Africa Safari Co which was named Champion Tourism business.

Going wild: Susie Potter CEO of the Africa Safari Co which was named Champion Tourism business.

‘‘Behind every great company is a great team – and I think we have the best in Australia – my staff are dedicated and knowledge and have a passion for Africa – which makes us the best in the business.’’  

Prestige Driving School posted on their Facebook page.

‘‘We would also like to express our gratitude to all of our team members for their hard work and dedication. This wouldn't be possible without you. 

‘‘We will continue to deliver excellent service to all of our valued customers.’’ 

The Australian Small Business Champion Awards is the only national recognition program for Australian small businesses.

The program aims to recognise outstanding Australian small businesses and encourage high standards of excellence in small business practice.