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Three people standing in from of yellow business banner, holding their award trophies and smiling

NEIS award winners for 2018 - Best new business winner MaryJane Gibbs; Bizcover NEIS-Change award winner Danny Lam; and the Unsung Hero award winner Natasha Brown.

Awards for people launching into business

This story was first published on 16 November 2018. If you wish to use this content, please contact to confirm that the information is still current.

The 2018 NEIS Awards were recently held in Coogee, New South Wales. The awards recognise the outstanding successes of small businesses established with help from New Business Assistance with NEIS.

The winners were selected from over 30 nominations across three categories. The quality of nominees shows their dedication and hard work to set up a new business, with many also overcoming a range of barriers to achieve their success.

The Best New Business award

Won by MaryJane Gibbs from Waxiwraps. To be eligible for this award, the business must have been in operation for less than two years. MaryJane was nominated by her NEIS provider, Business Foundations.

Based in Albany, Western Australia, MaryJane started making beeswax wraps as a sustainable alternative to single-use plastic wrap. They are produced using 100 per cent cotton infused with locally-sourced beeswax. Launching Waxiwraps in August 2016, MaryJane is now running the business full-time and has employed three people.

The Bizcover NEIS-Change award

Won by Danny Lam from Deluxe Interiors Oz, nominated by NEIS provider Gramets – Kangan Institute.

This award recognises that NEIS often changes lives. To be eligible for this award, the business must be able to show that undertaking the NEIS program has turned the person’s life around and that they have moved off income support.

Danny had found it difficult to find employment as a qualified cabinetmaker, so decided to enrol in the NEIS program to help him build his confidence to launch his own business. Starting in a garage, within 12 months Deluxe Interiors Oz had enough regular clients to move to a factory. Danny has built a reputation on custom residential and commercial projects that demonstrate great attention to detail. As well as providing for Danny and his family, the business also now employs a designer and two factory/installation assistants.

The Tim Cremean Unsung Hero award

This award recognises an employee of a NEIS provider who has gone above and beyond to support NEIS participants achieve their goals.

This year the award was won by Natasha Brown from My Pathways. Natasha says that ‘NEIS can be life changing’. Natasha focuses on individual transformation with her clients and adapts the delivery of information to meet the client’s skills and stage of the journey.

The awards evening was followed the next day by the NEIS Development Forum, a joint effort of the National NEIS Association and the Department of Jobs and Small Business.

It was a full day of facilitated professional development and networking, with attendees participating in workshops and sharing their ideas and knowledge, all contributing to the improvement and growth of NEIS.

NEIS has been helping people start their own business since 1985. More than 30 years of New Business Assistance with NEIS has helped more than 171,000 Australians launch themselves into business and has grown into one of Australia’s most successful employment services.

Find out more about New Business Assistance with NEIS.

Correct at time of publication

Last modified on Thursday 22 August 2019 [9211|120161]