Business bulletin - 18 February 2016

Territory Expo

Northern Territory SMEs are invited to put themselves in the limelight at the first ever Territory Expo, this April.

The trade show is among the headline events of Open Territory, a new program of events profiling the Northern Territory and providing local businesses with professional and business development, networking and trade and investment opportunities.

Business and the broader community will come together under one roof at the Darwin Convention Centre, allowing businesses to showcase their goods and services in a festival atmosphere.

The expo will feature a business-only day on 29 April, opening to the general public on 30 April 2016.

Territory Expo will be held immediately after the Regional Australia-Asia Chamber Forum which will attract senior representatives from Chambers of Commerce from across the South East and North Asia Region and from within Australia.

This forum will provide a valuable platform to discuss business issues that are directly related to the Australia-Asia region.

To be involved with Territory Expo, contact Danna Scoot at the Chamber of Commerce Northern Territory on (08) 8982 8112 or 

From the Red Centre to the world’s design centre

An Alice Springs based designer and a local technology innovation business have teamed up to design and make chairs for one of the world’s biggest international architecture exhibitions.

The 16 Anerle-aneme chairs will form part of Australia’s exhibition 'The Pool' at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, placed poolside on an open deck in the pavilion. Anerle-aneme means 'sit a little while' in the local Arrernte language of central Australia.

The Australian exhibition will explore Australia's architecture, landscape, culture and identity through our unique connection to pools, including natural waterholes.

The Anerle-aneme chair is designed by Alice Springs based designer Elliat Rich and fabricated by Aboriginal employees in the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) Enterprise Workshop.

The Alice Springs-based Centre for Appropriate Technology is an Aboriginal-owned company delivering the technical expertise, products, services and training to support and stimulate employment and economic development in remote communities. 

This is the second joint project between Elliat Rich and the Centre for Appropriate Technology. Their earlier collaboration included the design and fabrication of 1888 chairs, public seating installed as part of the Alice Springs Todd Mall upgrade.

The Anerle-aneme chair has been designed for style, comfort and outdoor resilience. It is made of steel and features slatted seat and back rest and powder coated in blue, ochre, green and grey - colours resonate of the Central Australia landscape.

Designer Elliat Rich said the chair showcases the success of a collaboration that has brought together the stories and skills of Central Australia. The use of durable materials, a contemporary design aesthetic and local fabrication are a good indication of future designs.

The Venice Architecture Biennale will run from May to November 2016.

Are you the next Telstra Business Award winner?

If you do your thing brilliantly, or know a business that does, nominate today for the 2016 Telstra Business Awards.

Winners are seen as the best in the business, enjoying public recognition, unique networking opportunities and a share of up to $800 000 in prizes.

Winners of the 2015 Telstra Northern Territory Business of the Year, husband and wife team Jeremy and Pam Hunt, founded Country Solar NT in 2010.

They built the business to become the NT's largest installer of solar PV systems within five years, and entered the awards to expand their business knowledge and contacts outside of the Northern Territory.

"We have a lot of local business knowledge and contacts in Darwin and by entering the Awards we've had the opportunity to network with other entrants, attend industry events and meet key business figures in other states and territories across Australia," they said.

It's not just winners who benefit. Every entrant receives a comprehensive Business Health Check to help do their thing even better.

Also new in 2016, a Charity Award and the Medium category now includes businesses with up to 500 employees.

Entries close 23 March 2016. Nominate now at or call 1800 AWARDS.

Attention: Innovators

Northern Territory businesses with innovative ideas can access Northern Territory Government support to make them reality.

The Business Innovation Support Initiatives (BISI) program includes vouchers of up to $25,000 and round-based and competitive grants of up to $60,000 to commercialise innovations.

The BISI grants assist Territory businesses to start research, undertake feasibility studies, build prototypes and develop trials.

The three successful applicants from the previous BISI grants round are examples of the types of projects being assisted.

  • SRA Information Technology Pty Ltd for an Unmanned Aerial System or drone with the potential to save lives as a tool for search and rescue operations.
  • Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT), for extending the CAT mobile phone hotspots to provide greater mobile coverage in remote NT areas.
  • Maitec for the development of a drone to map conditions of agricultural fields and plantations in the tropics.

Science and innovation are recognised as critical enablers of short, medium and long term economic development in the NT.

Since the BISI program's inception on 1 July 2014, $186,000 worth of vouchers have been awarded to 10 applicants and $136,000 in BISI grants have been awarded to a total of four successful applicants.

Small to medium NT-based and NT-registered businesses or incorporated non-profit organisations, with a valid Australian Business Number and fewer than 100 employees are eligible to apply for the BISI program.

Go to the Northern Territory Government website to apply for a BISI grant.

Tourism gold

Local tourism businesses also picked up three silver and two bronze medals, and the Tourism Minister's perpetual trophy winner of last year, Geoff McGeary OAM, was named an Australian Tourism Legend.

The three gold medal winners were Venture North for Best Cultural Tourism, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia for Best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism and the Alice Springs Visitor Information Centre for Best Visitor Information Services.

It is the second time the family-run Venture North has won the award, cementing their place as the must-do cultural experience in Australia.

Specialising in taking guests 'off the beaten track' and into some of the most pristine parts of the Northern Territory, they recently added a remote safari-style camp on the Coburg Peninsula, assisted by funding from the NT Government’s Tourism Infrastructure Development Fund.

Venture North takes visitors to remote locations via 4WD, providing cultural insights with local Indigenous people sharing art, song, dance, hunting and traditional plant uses.

The Alice Springs Visitor Centre was re-located to a prime location in the Todd Mall with the assistance of the NT Government in 2013 and has enjoyed rising visitor numbers since then. 

The Alice Springs Visitor Centre was the first Australian visitor centre to introduce a queueing system that also collates market research data.

For Voyages, it was back to back gold, recognised for the second year straight for their unique and authentic Aboriginal visitor experiences for every taste and budget at the Ayers Rock Resort.

Top 5 industries by share of output, construction 20.7%, mining 12.3%, public admin 9.6%, health 6.4%, transport 4.4%

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Last updated: 04 July 2018