Posted by Peter O'Brien on Sep 03, 2022
On Thursday 1st September 2022, our Rotary members were invited to attend the winding up of the Melbourne Business Awards that was held at the Woodlands Golf Course in White St, Mentone.
The meeting was attended by RCBMC members Larry Green, Ron Brownlees and myself as our club was supporter and funded over a number years, recognition of businesses and apprentices with the local area that included the greater south east.
The BMA had a Board of Directors that included representatives of business, councils and RCBMC. The MBA commenced in 1992 to provide a forum to recognise the achievements of small to medium sized enterprises in the industrial, manufacturing or engineering sector within Melbourne’s South East Region.
This was all made possible by the generous support of cash sponsors, and time and services from both government and private sector businesses, in particular the City of Kingston (City of Moorabbin until 1994) and since at it began Nugent Accountants who have supported the MBA since it began in 1992.
The early breakfasts were humble beginnings in front of 30 to  50 attendees at the Yarra Yarra Golf Club. The popularity of the breakfast grew quickly and the event had to be moved to the larger facilities of the Edmund Barton Centre, at the Moorabbin College of TAFE.
Unfortunately, detailed records were not kept for this period, but we do know that the MBA:-
-    Recognised 49 local businesses, 20 of which were presented with awards
-    Presented eight  Foundation Awards wwhere
-    Presented 30 guest speakers including politicians Jeff Kennett and John Howard, sporting personality Ron Clarke, and businessmen John Gandel, Ken Morgan and Lindsay Fox
-    Presented “business card draw” prizes to lucky attendees.
Six breakfasts were held each year with five presenting award nominees and a final year end breakfast where award winners were announced. In 2003, the Edmund Barton Centre was rebranded the Hemisphere Conference Centre and Hotel.
The Hemisphere Conference Centre was refurbished significantly in 2005, extending attendance capacity, but continued growth in popularity of the breakfast forced another move to the Brighton International in 2006.
Attendances at the Brighton International regularly topped 200 with an average of 250 and a peak of 410 when Janet Holmes a Court spoke at the final breakfast of 2006.
For those RCBMC members that would like to see more details of the history of the MBA, I will bring along the MBA celebrating 25 Years along to our breakfast meeting.