The 2023 Australian Marine Industry Awards, held last night at the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, continue to recognise outstanding achievers across three marine industry sectors. The Gala Dinner saw 230 guests start with pre-dinner drinks sponsored by Benetti Yachts, creating an upbeat atmosphere for dinner. The event proceeded to acknowledge deserving winners in nine highly competitive categories, showcasing excellence in the Australian marine industry.
The highly contested Superyacht Category had two awards. The first, ‘The 2023 Superyacht Industry Project / Design or Manufacturer of the Year,’ was presented by Chris Blackwell on behalf of Tourism Western Australia to Rivergate Marina & Shipyard and accepted by Steve Fisher. They received recognition for the impressive work on the 34m classic cruiser Kokomo II, which showcased the high standard of delivery by Rivergate Marina & Shipyard. The project involved a complete remodel of the lazarette, an extension of the transom and an overhaul of the engines.
‘The 2023 Superyacht Industry Service Provider of the Year’ presented by Bank of Queensland was won by Seahub Software. Seahub Software has made remarkable strides in improving maintenance planning and documentation on superyachts, making vessel runs more efficient and safer. The software has been instrumental in assisting new yacht owners, new build vessels, and those seeking a modern approach to maintenance planning.
In the Commercial Category, Jeremy Spear, on behalf of Interferry presented ‘The 2023 Commercial Marine Project / Design or Manufacturer’ award to winner GC Marine. The judges selected GC Marine for their creation of Australia’s first floating Beach Club, La Luna, located on the Gold Coast. The project involved the installation of over 13 custom-made floating pontoons, offering a luxurious swimming experience complete with palm trees, gardens, daybeds, and cabanas. The award was presented to Brad Allen, General Manager, GC Marine. He said, “This award is testament to the hard work and dedication of all our team members, from the boilermakers and installers, the barge operators, drafting and design team, every single one of the team. A lot of hard work has gone on behind the scenes to deliver these world-class projects and it’s fantastic be recognised by our industry as a key market leader in major marine infrastructure projects”.
‘The 2023 Commercial Marine Service Provider of the Year’, presented by Brenton Fisher from Sydney City Marine was won by International Maritime Services for their essential ship delivery services, optimising the utilisation of maritime assets globally. Their end-to-end project management of delivery voyage projects, ship trials, agency, and logistics services impressed the judges. In addition to ship trials, agency, and logistics services, IMS successfully repositioned 30 vessels across 78,000 nautical miles in 2022, bringing their combined distance journey to over 1,200,000 nautical miles.
GC Marine was thrilled to win their second award for the night, taking out the ‘2023 Australian Marine Exporter of the Year,’ award presented by Alan Steber from Steber International. The judges were impressed by GC Marine’s export sales, which soared by a remarkable 85% during the Nawi Island Marina project in Savusavu, Fiji. With the completion of the project, their export sales experienced a further boost of 234%. This project has established GC Marine as a major player in the South Pacific market for large-scale exports and has provided significant employment opportunities for the local workforce.
Throughout the judging process, the panel recognised the innovation that Australian companies bring to their submissions, leading to the creation of the ‘Australian Marine Industry Innovation Award.’ This award was presented by Cr William Owen-Jones, City of Gold Coast to Element Concepts / Carbon Game Towers International for designing and manufacturing the world’s first 100% Carbon Fibre Game Fishing Tower. Levi Duncan, Managing Director, Carbon Game Towers, and his team accepted the award. Element Concepts’ Carbon Game Towers offer unprecedented strength, durability, lightness, stability, refined design, and speed to vessels, revolutionising the high-end game fishing industry.
The most highly commended category of the night, ‘The Industry Wide’ category, began with ‘The 2023 Marketing Strategy of the Year Award,’ which was won by Seahub Software, marking their second award of the evening. Seahub Software’s impressive marketing strategy aimed to expand its audience and promote the system as the preferred choice for engineers who take pride in their work. Initiatives included the Seahub Software Engineering Grant program, providing financial support, access to Seahub Software’s troubleshooting database, and a sounding board for young Engineers. This well-deserved award was presented by Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show.
Matthew Hyde, Technical Director, Seahub Software said “Incredibly proud moment last night for the whole team at Seahub to win the Superyacht Service Provider of the Year and the Best Marketing Strategy. It’s a testament to the hard work that we have all put in over the past five years and seeing this company grow to where it is today has made myself and Seahub’s another co-founder, Sam Wheaton very proud. We have a great team behind us and that’s what keeps a company going, the people that you surround yourself with. We also wouldn’t be where we are today though without the support from AIMEX and Superyacht Australia. Thanks guys!”
‘The 2023 Apprentice of the Year Award,’ presented by Simon Hislop from TAFE Queensland, rewards the winner with a return trip to the world’s largest marine equipment trade show, METSTRADE in Amsterdam. This year’s proud recipient was Brent Studman from Echo Marine Group. Brent, a 3rd-year apprentice cabinet maker in the fit-out department at Echo Marine Group, demonstrated exceptional dedication within the marine industry. His remarkable efforts were recognised with the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, and he continues to improve his knowledge and skills each week.
Chris Blackwell, Sales and Marketing Manager at Echo Marine Group and Echo Yachts, expressed, “Echo Marine Group has been a long-term supporter of AIMEX and the Awards. We were thrilled to see Brent nominated as a WA finalist for the Australian Marine Industry Apprentice of the Year Award. Witnessing Brent on stage receiving the well-deserved recognition was truly a privilege, and we are proud to have him representing our company.”
The final award of the night, ‘The 2023 Marine Industry Champion of the Year,’ was presented by Steve Fisher from Rivergate Marina & Shipyard and awarded to Cameron Bray, The Superyacht People. Cameron is a true pioneer and leader in Australia’s superyacht industry, with over two decades of experience. He played a significant role in reducing legislative barriers and establishing an increase in charter vessels based in Australia. Cameron’s innovative ventures have injected millions of dollars into the Australian economy, making him a worthy industry champion.
AIMEX, Superyacht Australia, and the Australian Commercial Marine Group would like to acknowledge and thank the judging panel for the 2023 Australian Marine Industry Awards: MaryAnne Edwards, Chair Judge, Global Marine Business Advisor; Barry Jenkins, Chairman of Superyacht Australia; Rob Miley, Former Chairman, Tasmanian Maritime Network; Michael Taylor, Senior Trade and Investment Advisor, Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade); Dr Thomas Wechselberger, Project Manager, Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning QLD; Stephen Quigley, Managing Director, One2three Naval Architects; and Nav Bajwa, Senior Client Acquisition Manager, Foreign Exchange & Trade Finance, BOQ Business.
Major Partners: City of Gold Coast, Queensland Government, Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show
Conference Partners: Tourism Western Australia, Port Denarau Marina, Pantaenius, Echo Yachts, Marina Mirage Marina, Benetti
Supporting Sponsors: Aqualuma LED Lighting, Boat Style, Pyrotek, Quality Marine Clothing, Tyrrell’s Wine
Award Presenting Partners: BOQ Business, Interferry, Rivergate Marina & Shipyard, Steber International, Sydney City Marine, TAFE Queensland