St Vincent's Hospital honoured at 2021 NSW Business Awards for Sydney

ST VINCENT'S HOSPITAL Sydney has received two awards for its contribution to the community and diversity at the 2021 Business NSW Business Awards.

The hospital was one of 12 recipients to be honoured in the NSW Business Awards’ Sydney City regional division and will now be in contention for a State Business Award in November. The Awards are held in partnership with the City of Sydney and recognise growth, entrepreneurship and business success.

The hospital’s COVID-19 response took out the award for the most outstanding community or cultural organisation while its innovative program promoting better health outcomes for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities won the top prize for excellence in diversity and inclusion.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore hailed St Vincent’s contributions during the unprecedented Sydney lockdown and vaccination roll out as phenomenal.

“The hospital’s tireless operations at the frontline of the Covid pandemic, as well as the roll out of vaccinations for so many in our community, has been nothing short of life changing,” Cr Moore said.

“But what is truly wonderful is seeing how the hospital, even under the duress of the pandemic, still forged ahead with their programs to embrace diversity and inclusion.”

St Vincent’s Stay'n In, Stay'n Deadly flexi clinic was founded to promote a safe and welcoming space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients as well as reducing waiting times and cutting the percentage of incomplete treatment.

“After staring down the challenges of 2021, it’s wonderful to be able to celebrate and reward those who have done it so tough and made such an important contribution to our city,” Cr Moore said.

St Vincent’s CEO, associate professor Anthony Schembri said the awards were particularly special this year.

“At the heart of everything we do at St Vincent’s is our longstanding mission to serve our community – particularly the poor and vulnerable," Prof. Schembri said.

"These two awards represent important validation that we continue to remain true to this mission, particularly in the face of some of our greatest health challenges. 

“It’s particularly wonderful to receive these awards from the City of Sydney and NSW Business, a like-minded organisation that is partnering with us in many of our endeavours to support the community’s most vulnerable. I also want to salute our dedicated and capable staff who are so unflinching in the determination to roll up their sleeves and serve our mission so authentically,” Prof. Schembri said.

Business NSW chief executive officer Daniel Hunter said the awards recognise business success and resilience from sectors across the state.

“In 2021, every industry, from health care to hospitality, retail to recruitment, was forced to pivot and innovate in order to deal with fallout from the pandemic. These awards showcase the businesses that shone brightest in very dark times,” Mr Hunter said.

“It’s important too that we also recognise the local chambers that provided leadership and vision throughout these unchartered waters, which is why we’re delighted to be able honour the outstanding commitment from the Darlinghurst Business Partnership.”

2021 NSW Business Awards Sydney City division winners:

Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: St Vincent's Hospital Stay’n Deadly & Stay’n In Project.

Excellence in Export: HIVERY - Exporting AI retail to the world.

Outstanding Business Leader: Neil Sharma, Eye and Retina Specialists.

Outstanding Community or Cultural Organisation: St Vincent's Hospital COVID-19 Response.

Outstanding Employee: Vicky Lee, Ovira.

Outstanding Local Chamber: Darlinghurst Business Partnership.

Outstanding Start Up: Share with Oscar.

Outstanding Young Business Leader: Jill Berry, Adatree

Sydney City Excellence in Business: MacAlpine.

Sydney City Excellence in Micro Business: Lion and Cub Photography.

Sydney City Excellence in Innovation: Eye and Retina Specialists, Slit Lamp Shield.

Sydney City Excellence in Small Business: 2Stay Accommodation Group.

Sydney City Excellence in Sustainability: Koskela.


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NTEU urges Federal Government to implement job security recommendations

THE NTEU is urging the Federal Government to implement recommendations by the Select Committee on Job Security to secure the recovery of the higher education sector and improve conditions for staff and students.

The Second interim report: insecurity in publicly-funded jobs makes a number of welcome recommendations including:

  • The Australian Government urgently develops a new National Higher Education Funding Strategy for the period 2021-2025;
  • The Australian Government provides temporary additional funding to universities to restore jobs and rectify the damage inflicted upon the sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and funding cuts, until the new Higher Education Strategy has been developed and implemented;
  • The Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment works closely with universities, workers, experts, the NTEU, and relevant sector bodies, to design a system of casual and fixed-term conversion that would be appropriate for the higher education sector;
  • The Australian Government requires all universities to provide a more detailed report of their staffing composition to the Department of Education;
  • In light of the widespread wage theft in The Australian Government-funded higher education sector, that the government legislates improved rights of entry for all registered trade unions.

NTEU national president Alison Barnes said the recommendations must be adopted as a matter of urgency.

“The Federal Government can no longer ignore the widespread destruction inflicted on tertiary education by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr Barnes said.

“We have seen 40,000 jobs lost across the country, with an estimated 35,000 of those at public universities. If the Federal Government cares about higher education, it must develop a new National Higher Education Funding Strategy and provide urgent additional funding until this is in place.

“As the report outlines, this must recognise and address the real cost of delivering high quality tertiary education including administration, marking and ensuring staff and student wellbeing, as well as the role of research as a core university function.

“Further, designing a system of casual and fixed-term conversion appropriate for the higher education sector will be key to addressing the proliferation of insecure employment," Dr Barnes said.

“The Federal Government’s casual conversion laws have proven to be completely ineffective in dealing with insecure employment in universities. The laws have simply provided employers with an excuse to avoid serious and genuine efforts to address the growing casualisation of their workforces.

“As has been proven this year, widespread casualisation of tertiary education creates the conditions for wage theft and implements huge barriers to them reporting this exploitation. Wage theft has deep human consequences, robbing modestly paid casual workers of the income to pay bills, plan for their future or take leave," she said.

“Universities have allowed wage theft to become integrated into their business models and attempted to avoid scrutiny through a total lack of transparency.

“Forcing universities to detail their use of insecure employment is vital to ending this. The second interim report’s recommendations must be implemented by the Federal Government as a priority.

“The success and wellbeing of academics, staff and students depends on it.

“We thank the committee for its thorough work on this important inquiry, and in particular recognise the support of Senators Tony Sheldon and Mehreen Faruqi in their advocacy for higher education workers.

“We also congratulate the casual NTEU members who gave important evidence to the Inquiry by detailing their experience.”


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Survey deadline extended for women business owners to be heard

THE Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Bruce Billson, has extended the deadline for a survey of women who own and lead businesses.

“There has been a tremendous response so far - it is clear there is an appetite to engage, and we want to give more women business owners and leaders the chance to be heard,” Mr Billson said.

The survey launched earlier this month and is aimed at identifying any unique challenges and opportunities faced by women who own and lead businesses. It will now remain open until October 29. 

“A lot of business entrepreneurs that are women are those who have solved a problem in their life, shared that with their friends who thought, ‘Yes, you can do the same thing for me,’ and then that turns into, you know, a side hustle and then on to a business,” Mr Billson said in an interview on Bathurst radio.

“And, frankly, with COVID, there’s been more problems to solve than ordinarily has been the case and we think if we can energise women’s entrepreneurship that will be fantastic in terms of women’s economic empowerment but really fab for the economy and livelihoods more generally.

“The survey’s trying to say to women business leaders and entrepreneurs, what kind of roadblock’s have you run into? Have there been needless headwinds that have stood between you and your business ambition?”

The confidential survey can be accessed by visiting the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman website at or directly at: WOWL survey


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Tourism needs clear date for international reopening 

AUSTRALIA's export tourism industry is urgently awaiting the announcement of a date for the reopening of our international border, bringing the return of international visitors and the restart of business after 18 months of no revenue.

With last week’s announcement that NSW will no longer require quarantine for overseas arrivals from next month, it's encouraging that the full opening of international borders is imminent but the industry urgently needs a date to work towards, according to the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC).

“Since the announcement by the NSW Government last Friday, our members have been fielding inquiries from intending travellers looking to book an Australian holiday or visit their family but they still can't make these bookings with any certainty,” ATEC managing director Peter Shelley said.

“We simply can't afford to continue to keep our borders closed to high spending international travellers and miss critical ‘booking windows’ as these people simply will choose to holiday in other competing destinations, putting Australia at the bottom of their bucket list.

“Right now we are heading into the northern hemisphere's annual booking season when the US, Europe and the UK are facing a long winter and typically plan their travel to warmer climates like Australia. If we miss this booking window it will not surface again for another 12 months."

Mr Shelley said ATEC was calling on the Federal Government to provide a date and a framework for reopening that tourism businesses across the country could use to plan to rebuild valuable distribution partnerships, lock in bookings for 2022 and help breathe life back into our $45 billion industry sector which was crippled by the pandemic.


“Our industry has been waiting a long time for the opportunity to recover and we have a hard road ahead of us to reconnect with our international markets. 

“We need to begin to regain our place as a ‘must visit’ destination and a date for the reopening of our international border is therefore both urgent and critical. 

“Now is the time to provide clarity about Australia’s reopening to the world, and offer certainty to our industry, providing a much-needed opportunity for our financially fragile and work-depleted industry to commence the long road to rebuilding what was once Australians second largest export industry.” 

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Science Minister Melissa Price and Labor’s Ed Husic reveal vision for cooperative research, science, tech and innovation

NEWLY sworn-in Federal Government Science Minister Melissa Price will give her first major speech at the Collaborate Innovate 2021 conference today (October 19, 1.20 to 1.30pm).

Ms Price will outline the government’s vision for Cooperative Research Centres, and how industry-led research can spawn new innovations and commercialised technologies for Australia.

Shadow Minister for Industry and Innovation Ed Husic will speak on Wednesday (Oct 20, 9:30-10am).

Conference Speakers include:

  • Professor Bronwyn Fox, Chief Scientist CSIRO
  • Jeff Connolly, CEO Siemens Australia
  • Victoria Treadell, British High Commissioner
  • Edwin Chow, Assistant CEO Enterprise Singapore
  • Professor Mariana Mazzucato, professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL)
  • Dr Katherine Woodthorpe AO (2021 Ralph Slatyer Address)
  • Dr Cathy Foley, Chief Scientist of Australia
  • Professor Caroline McMillan, Chief Scientist of South Australia
  • Professor Hugh Possingham, Queensland Chief Scientist


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