The strong competition between entries for the various categories of the 2018 Australian Marine Industry Awards reflects the ongoing quality and strength of the country’s businesses in this important sector.

This was the clear overall message of Alistair Murray, Master of Ceremony, and those who presented the 2018 awards at a gala dinner held at the Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort on May 22. The award presentations ceremony took place as part of ASMEX 2018, the Australian Superyacht, Marine Export and Commercial Marine Industry Conference.

A total of 12 winners and two highly commended businesses were announced at the event. This included a new category – the Australian Voyage Award, which reflects the particular achievement of a visiting superyacht to Australia.

The winning and highly commended businesses for 2018 are as follows:

  • Commercial Marine Manufacturer of the Year: Steber International (Highly Commended: Air Berth Boat Lifts)
  • Commercial Marine Service Provider of the Year: Birdon
  • Most Innovative Marine Industry Commercial Marine Product or Service of the Year: JEC Marine (Highly Commended: Jacobs Ladder Boating)
  • Commercial Industry Champion 2018: Alan Steber
  • Superyacht Industry Business of the Year – Service Provider: Gold Coast City Marine & Shipyard (GCCM)
  • Superyacht Industry Business of the Year – Manufacturer: AUS Ships/Rivergate Marina & Shipyard
  • Superyacht Industry Champion 2018: Hillary Buckman
  • Australian Voyage Award 2018: Silent World
  • Best Marine Industry Export Performance (Small Exporter): Seahub
  • Best Marine Industry Export Performance (Medium Exporter): Rainman Desalination
  • Best Marine Industry Export Marketing Strategy: Rainman Desalination
  • Marine Industry Exporter of the Year: Rainman Desalination

In commenting on the role of the judges for the 2018 awards, Alistair Murray pointed out that they had faced an increasingly tough job in reaching their decisions with the difference in points between the various entrants being very close.

The judging panel for the 2018 Australian Marine Industry Awards comprised Ken Evans of Ken Evans Consulting as chair judge, supported by Barry Jenkins, chairman of Superyacht Australia, Richard Taylor of Austrade, Joe Akacich, managing director of Blackpond Marine Construction Pty Ltd, John Zammit, editor of Shipmate News, and Steve Mitchell, naval architect and marine consultant.

For the new Australian Voyage Award, a special panel was formed which included Barry Jenkins as chair judge supported by Hillary Buckman, managing director of Ocean Media, Captain Carl and Melanie Brandes of M/Y Glaze, Mary Anne Edwards, director of Superyacht Australia, Karen Fitzgerald, global manager of experiences at Tourism Australia and Michael Taylor, Austrade.

Alistair Murray thanked both the judges and the award sponsors for their valuable input and support. Sponsors included Aqualuma LED Lighting, Bacardi, Boat Style Yacht Interiors, Scotchmans Hill and Jotun.