Celebrating the region’s best

May 3, 2024 BY

This year’s winners of the Geelong Business Excellence Awards will be announced on October 17 at a presentation event at The Pier Geelong. Pictured here is Cathryn Walley and DirectBor, 2023’s Business of the Year, director Aaron Finch. Photo: ANDY ROGERS

Entries for the highly anticipated 2024 Geelong Business Excellence Awards (GBEA) have officially opened, paving the way for a celebration of the region’s best and brightest.

Established in 1986, the awards program is the longest running of its kind in Australia and recognises excellence in businesses both large and small, established and emerging.

The Geelong Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with major sponsor LBW Business + Wealth Advisors is inviting all businesses, business leaders and young entrepreneurs to submit an entry to the awards and showcase their outstanding achievements.

The GBEA are open to business leaders, young entrepreneurs and organisations of all sizes and from all industries, including the not-for-profit sector.

Businesses do not have to be nominated to enter the awards program.

This year, LBW Business + Wealth Advisors marks four years as the award’s major sponsor.

Associate Principal Cathryn Walley said the business was honoured to continuing supporting the awards program.

“The awards are important to LBW because of our strong involvement in the business community in the Geelong,” she said.

“We just like to really support the businesses in Geelong so that we can be involved in their successes and celebrate their successes.”

Awards will be presented across 20 categories, including the region’s most prestigious accolade, the Business of the Year Award.

LWB Business + Wealth Advisors associate principal, Cathryn Walley, said it was an honour to get to share in the success and achievements of the local business community. Photo: ANDY ROGERS


This year, the GBEA will feature the newly created Employer of Choice Award, which recognises a businesses striving to create a workplace that maximises the full potential of its people by providing growth opportunities.

Winning in this category not only symbolises HR excellence, it elevates the business’ potential to recruit the best people.

“Entering the awards is about going through that process of really being able to see where your business started and how you’ve grown and developed over time, and also getting the feedback from the expert judges and seeing other things that you could be doing to grow and develop,” Ms Walley said.

Aaron Finch, director of DirectBor, last year’s winner of the Business of the Year Award, encouraged all local businesses to throw their hat in the ring and enter the awards.

He said while the submission process is quite involved, it’s “100 per cent worth doing”.

“You’ll get right outside of your comfort zone but get comfortable being uncomfortable.

“It sees where the gaps are within the company and then where you can improve and enhance your structure a lot better.

“It’s helped us develop.”

To help businesses put their best foot forward, Geelong Chamber of Commerce will host a series of free information sessions, running between Tuesday, May 7 and Thursday, May 16.

These sessions, held both in-person and online, will provide businesses with all the information they need to ensure their entry stands out from the crowd.

Entries to the GBEA will remain open until 4pm on Friday, July 12. For more information, head to gbea.com.au