Some of the most innovative, visionary and entrepreneurial businesses and individuals driving Victoria’s manufacturing industry now and into the future were honoured on the evening of 14 May at the Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame Awards.

Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula congratulated the winners and finalists for their work in continuing to take Victorian businesses to the next level.

“The Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame Awards highlight the strength and competitiveness of Victoria’s manufacturing industry and I want to congratulate all our outstanding winners and finalists,” said Minister Pakula. “Our manufacturing industry is one of Victoria’s greatest strengths and successfully exports, invests and contributes to our thriving economy.”

Inaugural awards were presented to Air Radiators, named the Leader in Innovative Product Development and Commercialisation, and to Holden Special Vehicles, who received the award for Leader in Global Supply Chain Partnerships. Robert Bosch Australia took out the Leader in Industry 4.0 award and Barker Trailers was awarded the 2019 Leader in Workforce Skills Development.

For their excellence in leadership and innovation in the manufacturing industry, Rochelle Avinu from Leica Biosystems was awarded the Woman Manufacturer of the Year award, and Nicholas Orchowski from RUAG Australia received the award for Young Manufacturer of the Year.

Columbia Australia collected the Manufacturer of the Year (Small Business) award, while Safetech was name Manufacturer of the Year (Medium Business). The Manufacturer of the Year (Large Business) went to Dulux Australia.

Geoffrey Bell was inducted into the Hall of Fame Honour Roll, in recognition of the evolution and growth of AW Bell, established as a family pattern making business in 1952. The company now employs 100 people providing unique and one-off metal parts and prototypes for businesses and entrepreneurs. RUAG Australia also became the latest company inductee into the prestigious Hall of Fame.

The Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame has been recognising outstanding businesses and individuals in the manufacturing industry since 2001. Victoria’s manufacturing industry contributes over $30bn to the Victorian economy annually, employs more than 270,000 people and competes globally with $19.6bn annual exports in 2017-18.