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The Toowoomba Chamber created the Business Excellence Awards in the early ’90s. 

Hosted annually by the Toowoomba Chamber, they are designed to celebrate the efforts and achievements of this diverse and dedicated business community and recognise their contribution, not only to economic vitality but to creating the strong, healthy, vibrant regional community that is the Toowoomba Region.

Focus HR Business Excellence Awards Application | CATEGORY AWARDS

This application form is for the following categories:



Professional Services

Health & Wellbeing


Community & Not-For-Profit

Innovation & Technology


Gerry Doumany Export

Best Regional Business.

Questions about your application? Contact the Chamber.

07 4638 0400 or  




The Focus HR Business Excellence Awards 2021 assessment process consists of 3 parts:

written application – 45% of the assessment;

judges’ site visit and presentation from the applicant – 45% of the assessment; and

30 second to 1-minute video of the business – 10% of the assessment.

The Judging Process

This year the judging process is a replica of 2020, with a shorter and simpler application form followed by an onsite visit from representatives from the judging panel. This process has been chosen to ensure the best business wins rather than best writer. The judges’ site visit will give applicants the opportunity to showcase their business. Please note if the business is not suitable for onsite visits then the judges will book in an interview instead – either face-to-face or over the phone.

Application Guidelines & Eligibility

    • All applications MUST be signed and authorised by a Senior Executive of the company or event applying.
    • All applications must be submitted by Monday 19th July at 9am. Please note – there will be no extensions this year.
    • Businesses entering the Employer of Choice Category will be required to complete the application SPECIFIC to that category.
    • Businesses may enter more than one category. A separate application will be required per category that the applicant would like to apply for. Note: While applicants can enter more than one category, it is highly recommended that the applicants enter the category where they can demonstrate a competitive edge.
    • All applications MUST be submitted electronically through this form ONLY, including the signed declaration. Without this signature the application will not be accepted. NO USB’s or hand delivered applications will be accepted.
    • Judges may at their discretion, re-categorise an application, if it is felt appropriate. You will be advised if this change is made.
    • All applications are judged by a selection of independent judges.
    • All applications are confidential, and all judges sign a deed of confidentiality and conflict of interest agreement.




Business Strategy

Business strategy is key to success. This section is about demonstrating a sound understanding of business goals and objectives including evidence of strategic direction, goal setting and the processes you have in place to achieve them.

In this section of the application describe how you work ‘on’ your business. Focus on planning methods, including when you plan, how you plan, frequency of reviews and who is involved. In particular:

  • submit your strategic plan or business planning.
  • describe your strategic or business planning process.
  • outline how you link your strategic plan or business strategy to day-to-day operations?
  • outline your vision and values (what are they and what do you do to communicate and embed them?)
  • describe what benefit has your business gotten from strategic planning and business planning.

PRO TIP: During the site visit, judges will want to see evidence of your strategy, vision and values coming to life in your business.

Business Performance & Improvements

Successful businesses know what drives their economic engine and what they need to measure to ensure they are building a sustainable, profitable business.

This is about metrics – what metrics are important to your business, how these are measured, how the business is performing to key metrics, and how the business benchmarks itself.

In this section of your application describe for each of the below, what key indicators the business measures, why they are key indicators and what it tells us about business performance. In particular, outline:

  • financial metrics (e.g. liquidity, balance sheet, cash flow, earnings and growth, assets).
  • customer metrics (e.g. growth in customer numbers, Net Promoter Score).
  • performance monitoring and measures.
  • quality assurance process and procedures.
  • continuous improvement mechanisms.

People Management and Development

People are the central component of all businesses. How businesses manage this important resource and the initiatives they put in place to ensure the development and professional progression of their staff is a critical component of excellence in business.

In this sectionof your application describe what people practices the business has in place for the life span of an employee - from hire to retire. Focus on what sets your business apart as an employer. In particular, outline your:

  • attraction and recruitment startegies and achievements.
  • onboarding process.
  • training and development undertaken and planning.
  • engagement and motivation of your people.

Note: Sole Trader applicants do not need to complete this section and will receive an automatic 3/5 as they do not meet the HR requirement. 

Customer and Market Focus

Businesses need to understand who their customers are, how to attract them, what their needs are and how to retain/create loyal customers from them.

In this section of your application, describe the business' approach to attracting and retaining customers - links to websites and example information such as attachments will be accepted. In particular, provide:

  • evidence of understading the target market and their needs. 
  • marketing/promotional activities undertaken.
  • your unique selling proposition/competitive advantage.
  • why your customers need your product/service (the unique value proposition).
  • customer service strategies/ethos.
  • metrics used to measure customer needs and satisfaction.

Community Engagement and Activities

A key component of excellence is engagement with and suppor of the broader Toowoomba community.

In this section of your application describe how the business engages with and helps to support the broader community. In particular, outline:

  • local community support (in-kind, financial etc.) that you have undertaken.
  • community awards and accolades received.
  • any specific support provided to others during 2020/2021.

Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Resilience

Innovation, entrepreneurship and resilience enable businesses to respond to challenges, capitalise on opportunities, adapt quickly, create efficiencies, and lead to long term growth and sustainability.

Excellence in business does not necessarily mean being immune to the impact of the business environment, rather it is about the business' ability to face and recover from adversity and the agility to change and apadt when needed.

In this section of your application describe how the business has responded to a new environment. In particular, outline:

  • what opportunities the business identified and acted on in the past 12 months and what were the outcomes. 
  • what challenges the business faced and measures put in place in the past 12 months.
  • what success have you achieved in the past 12 months through innovation and/or technology improvements.
  • what results the business has achieved as a result of opportunities, challenges and/or innovations (financial, human, time, expertise etc.).
  • how changes are expected to have a long-term impact on operations and overall net benefits. 
  • your unintended outcomes from the changes - positive and negative. 

Business Summary Video

30 Seconds - 1 Minute 

Applicants are afforded the opportunity to really sell their 'business excellence' by highlighting how their business displays and delivers excellence. (Some or all of this video will be used at the Focus HR Business Excellence Awards 2021 awards evening if you are a finalist).


Business Excellence Awards

  • Showcase the diversity and dedication of the Toowoomba Region’s business community 
  • Celebrate the efforts and achievements of local business
  • Promote best practices in strategic business planning and delivery
  • Recognise the contribution of local business, to our economic vitality
  •  And to creating a strong, healthy, vibrant regional community

Toowoomba Chamber Business Excellence Awards


We encourage all businesses to consider applying to increase profile and networking opportunities and to give yourself a chance to shine in your niche, build team spirit, strategically examine your business, and let your hair down on the business community’s night of nights, the awards ceremony.