Paving the Way for Australian Excellence: Coffey Testing

In the dynamic landscape of businesses contributing to Australia’s prosperity, Coffey Testing emerges as a beacon of commitment and positive impact. Their strategic decisions, dedicated practices, and unwavering allegiance to Australian values, are actively contributing to our nation’s growth and success.

Guided by the visionary leadership of CEO Dawn Watt, an integral part of the company for 15 years, Coffey Testing distinguishes itself not only through technical expertise but also through a commitment to diversity. With 40 female lab employees, including six in management positions across 12 labs, and 40% of the senior leadership team comprising women, the company exemplifies its dedication to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace.

With strategically positioned laboratories across Australia, Coffey Testing’s focus reflects their dedication to strengthening and prospering Australia, actively contributing to the nation’s growth and success.

Coffey Testing’s dedicated teams across Australia are committed to contributing to local projects that lay the foundation for prosperous and fulfilling communities. A notable example is the North Rockhampton Sewage Treatment Plant (NRSTP) Project, a collaborative effort with Haslin, on behalf of the Rockhampton Regional Council. This initiative aims to expand and renew the sewage treatment plant, catering to over half of the Rockhampton population. Upon completion, the project will enable an additional 25,000 people to call Rockhampton home, exemplifying Coffey Testing’s commitment to enhancing the infrastructure that supports community growth and well-being.

Continuing their commitment to local projects, Coffey Testing’s Northern Territory team is actively involved in the expansion of the Angurugu Territory Families, Housing and Communities Office. Supported by the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics (DIPL), Coffey Testing collaborates with DIPL to conduct geotechnical testing in the remote community of Groote, Eylandt. This initiative involves testing across various project facets, laying the groundwork for the planned development of new demountables, car parking facilities, accessibility provisions, a shaded playground, privacy fencing and service upgrades. Their testing expertise ensures the necessary groundwork for these vital additions.  As a testament to Coffey Testing’s commitment to positive change and sustainable growth, this project is a vital contribution to economic development and community advancement.

Coffey Testing’s allegiance to Australia is not merely a business decision; it stands as a testament to their dedication to Australian values, the local business community, and the national economy. Placing safety and quality at the forefront, Coffey Testing ensures dependable testing processes for aggregates, soils and concrete.

In our ongoing quest for excellence, Australian Owned proudly highlights our valued Social Responsibility Partner, Coffey Testing, for adopting decisions and practices that significantly benefit Australia. They’re not just doing business; they’re making strategic choices that actively invest in our nation’s future.

The collaboration between Coffey Testing and Australian Owned underscores a shared commitment to the Australian business community, the nation’s economy, and its long-term success. By choosing Coffey Testing, clients not only benefit from top-notch services but actively contribute to the growth and prosperity of Australia

Explore more about this impactful partnership and Coffey Testing’s dedication to Australian values in their recent feature in Roads & Infrastructure Australia magazine.

Puss & Mew Distillery: Champion Victorian Distiller, Australian Distilled Spirits Awards 2023

Puss & Mew Distillery: Champion Victorian Distiller, Australian Distilled Spirits Awards 2023

In a triumph of innovation, resilience and craft, we are elated to announce that Puss & Mew Distillery, a valued member of the Australian Owned family, has been crowned the Champion Victorian Distiller of the Year at the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards 2023. This remarkable achievement is a testament to their excellence in the art of distillation.

Puss & Mew Distillery, named after the legendary British gin-seller Captain Dudley Bradstreet, achieved not only the coveted title but also an impressive array of medals, including 2 gold, 5 silver and 1 bronze. This accolade comes after overcoming significant hurdles, including health battles and the challenges posed by the global pandemic.

The Melbourne Royal Australian Distilled Spirits Awards, boasting a record-breaking 970 entries from 246 exhibitors across 11 categories, solidified Puss & Mew’s standing among the best of the best. The Champion Victorian Distiller title, recognises not only the quality of their spirits but also their contribution to the rich tradition of distilling in Australia.

Owner Deb Clayton expressed, “The last few years have been very challenging in a lot of ways, and we finally got to open our distillery after health battles and COVID and everything else. We hit the ground running and we’ve just been running since then. There’s always something new to do, something new to invent, new challenges, new recipes.”

Puss & Mew Distillery’s success is rooted in its commitment to crafting spirits that transcend expectations. The name itself, derived from the ingenious world’s first vending machine developed by Captain Dudley Bradstreet, reflects the distillery’s dedication to pushing boundaries in the pursuit of excellence.

Their success not only adds a vibrant chapter to Australia’s distilling heritage but also underscores the innovation and passion inherent in the Australian Owned family.

Congratulations to Puss & Mew Distillery on this well-deserved recognition as the Champion Victorian Distiller of the Year! Learn more about Puss & Mew Distillery at

The Path to Recognition: Service Businesses Staying Competitive in Aus

Title Image: The Recognition Service Businesses Deserve
Title Image: The Recognition Service Businesses Deserve

The Path to Recognition:
Services Businesses Staying Competitive in Aus

In an increasingly globalised world where national borders fade into the background, service-based Australian-owned businesses find themselves facing a unique dilemma.  The Australian identity, steeped in history and culture, has always been a source of pride and authenticity.  

However, while product certifications have thrived, the recognition of Australian-owned businesses in various service industries remains an elusive goal.  Many Australian-owned businesses face this predicament.  The consequences of this under-recognition can be significant.

The Elusive Recognition of Australian-Owned Businesses

In the bustling landscape of service industries, the concept of “Australian ownership” often gets lost in the shuffle.  Foreign-owned competitors seem to overshadow the contributions of local businesses, making it difficult for consumers to distinguish between the two.  As a result, Australian-owned businesses do not receive the recognition they deserve.  This imbalance not only impedes the growth of Australian-owned businesses, but also affects consumers’ ability to support the local economy effectively.

A Growing Desire for Australian-Owned Options

Consumers, increasingly mindful of the origins of the products and services they support, express a clear desire for Australian-owned options.  This desire is not rooted in bias or prejudice but in a genuine wish to support local businesses, contribute to the local economy and preserve Australian culture and values.

The 2023 IAB Australia and Pureprofile Australian Ecommerce Report identifies 58% of consumers express a preference for buying from Australian-owned businesses. This preference percentage surges to 69% among consumers aged 60-70 years.

Australian Owned Business Certification: A Natural Solution

Amidst this backdrop, Australian Owned Business Certification emerges as a natural solution, seamlessly addressing the problem without resorting to pushy tactics.  It’s not about undermining foreign businesses but rather, about levelling the playing field and ensuring that Australian-owned businesses get their fair share of recognition.

The Power of Certification

Australian Owned Business Certification is distinct from traditional product certifications. It serves as a testament to a business’s unwavering commitment to Australian ownership and values.  While other certification bodies tend to focus on tangible products, this certification embraces businesses in various service industries, ensuring a wider scope of recognition.

A Mark of Authenticity and Pride

The certification logo serves as a powerful visual cue, quietly reinforcing trust and loyalty. It is not about exclusion; instead, it is a symbol of authenticity and pride that resonates with Australian consumers and businesses alike.  In the realm of service industries, where products are not always the focus, this certification provides an invaluable means of showcasing your commitment to Australian ownership and by extension, the Australian economy.

The Gentle Path to Implementation

To fully embrace Australian Owned Business Certification, businesses in service industries can start by subtly incorporating the certification logo into their existing materials.  It’s a simpler process than one might think. For instance, the logo can be seamlessly added to quotes, invoices and online presences, instilling trust in clients and partners.  It can become a part of marketing collateral, email signatures and social media profiles, quietly conveying the dedication to Australian ownership.

A Unique Opportunity

In the midst of global competition, Australian Owned Business Certification offers service industries a unique opportunity to set themselves apart and communicate their commitment to Australian ownership.  There’s no need to push; the certification naturally facilitates trust and loyalty among customers and partners. It’s not about superiority but about promoting and preserving Australian values in a global marketplace.

We encourage service industries to embrace this opportunity and proudly promote their Australian ownership.  Together, we celebrate the spirit of Australian business ownership, resilience and innovation, ensuring that Australian-owned businesses receive the recognition they deserve.

Interested in getting your Service Business recognised? Find out more here:

SOFTLABS: IT Award Winner, Australian Owned Certified and Socially Responsible

Outstanding Information Technology Award Winner SOFTLABS, Australian Owned Certified and Socially Responsible

SOFTLABS, a leading Australian enterprise software company specialising in Industry Automation Solutions, ERP Implementation, Technology consulting, and software development, is proud to announce they have been awarded their Australian Owned Certification and recognised as a Social Responsibility Partner.

As an ISO 9001:2015 and 27001:2013 Certified company, SOFTLABS is dedicated to delivering quality systems that meet customer expectations while adhering to the highest standards of governance, integrity, and renowned technology practices. With a global delivery model and a passionate team of industry professionals, SOFTLABS is committed to serving business and IT companies worldwide in nurturing their vision and achieving their goals.

One of the key areas of expertise at SOFTLABS is digital transformation. Their experts work closely with clients to enhance their digital capabilities and build digital services that are simpler, clearer, and faster to use. By embracing new technologies and leveraging IoT capabilities, SOFTLABS helps organisations generate new business opportunities, develop proof of concepts, implement IoT solutions, ensure security, and leverage IoT data through data analytics for improved efficiency and additional revenue opportunities.

SOFTLABS offers ERP implementation services through Products and Solutions division [Epicor, Open Text, Grape, Sugar CRM] for Aged Care, Manufacturing, Distribution, Hospitality industries which have been delivered seamlessly for the past 32 years with over 400 plus customers across Australia, New Zealand and Canada. 

SOFTLABS’ Technology Consulting services has grown from strength to strength by providing on demand Technology consultants across Australia in State, Federal, Local Government and Corporates. With a focus on understanding client issues and developing customised solutions, their team of skilled consultants ensure projects are delivered predictably and efficiently, fostering success and eliminating surprises.

SOFTLABS also specialises in providing cybersecurity and independent testing services which further strengthens their ability to provide end-to-end solutions that meet industry standards and compliance guidelines. 

“At SOFTLABS, we strive to be a trusted business partner and advisor to each of our clients, delivering long-term value and services for sustainable existence,” said Garima Sharma, Director of Operations at SOFTLABS. “Being recognised as a Social Responsibility Partner with Australian Owned is a testament to our commitment to corporate social responsibility and our dedication to serving our clients, Australian communities, and the environment.”

In addition to this achievement, SOFTLABS takes great pride in announcing their recent victory at the City Suburbs Local Business Awards 2023, where they were awarded Outstanding Information Technology.  These awards, widely recognised and respected within the local business community, are a testament to the exceptional services provided by SOFTLABS.  The winners are determined based on voting, with the business receiving the maximum number of votes in their respective categories declared as the victor.  The judging process is fair and transparent, incorporating specific criteria, including information provided by each finalist and their online presence.  This recent accolade further highlights SOFTLABS’ ongoing commitment to excellence and their ability to surpass industry standards.


SOFTLABS is a leading Australian enterprise software company with a global presence. With expertise in Industry Automation Solutions, ERP Implementation, Technology consulting, project management, software development, and assured services, SOFTLABS serves business and IT companies worldwide. Committed to delivering quality solutions and services, SOFTLABS embraces innovation, digital transformation, and best practices to help organisations achieve their goals.

For more information, please visit

Proudly Australian, Solar Bollard Lighting

Proudly Australian, Solar Bollard Lighting

Solar Bollard Lighting® has been named as one of the accomplished winners of the Proudly Australian Awards! The Proudly Australian Award recognises businesses that have actively worked to increase their Australian influence in their overall business operations. The award celebrates Solar Bollard Lighting’s commitment to sourcing local materials, using local support services, and manufacturing in Australia.

As an Australian-owned company, Solar Bollard Lighting has been designing and manufacturing premium industrial grade solar bollard lights for public spaces, government and commercial applications, and the mining, gas & oil industries for two decades. Their innovative products are powered only by renewable clean energy, including the world’s first all-in-one solar bollard light, the world’s first IK10 vandal-resistant solar bollard light, and the world’s first IP68 submersible solar bollard light.

Solar Bollard Lighting’s SBL2 Series submersible solar light is designed to withstand even the harshest environmental conditions, including flooding, cyclones, tidal surges, and tsunamis. When all other solar bollard and grid-powered bollard lights have failed, Solar Bollard Lighting continues to light up the night, every night, even when under water.

Solar Bollard Lighting’s commitment to Australian products and services is evident in their operations. They offer a uniquely versatile product line custom-designed to suit each project’s geographical location, levels of shading, and even seasonal snow coverage based upon the winter solstice month. Their clients only receive a genuine SBL2 Series solar bollard light that is “Fit for Purpose,” has a long operational life, reduces operational costs and environmental waste, and reduces their carbon footprint.

The Proudly Australian Award recognises Solar Bollard Lighting’s clear strategy for increasing their Australian influence and implementing initiatives that have resulted in a measurable increase in their use of Australian products and services. Solar Bollard Lighting’s innovative products, commitment to renewable energy, and dedication to Australian-made products and services make them a worthy recipient of the Proudly Australian Award.

We congratulate Solar Bollard Lighting on their award win and look forward to seeing their continued success in the future.

For more information about Solar Bollard Lighting and their award-winning products, visit their website at

Maker Port Douglas Takes Home the Best Emerging Business Award

Maker Port Douglas Takes Home the Best Emerging Business Award

Maker Port Douglas, a locally-owned art and homewares store, has recently been announced as the winner of the Best Emerging Business award. This award recognises recently established businesses that have shown a commitment to supporting the Australian economy by engaging local support services, choosing local suppliers, and sourcing local ingredients/materials. Nominees should have a clear strategy for increasing their use of Australian products and services and have demonstrated a proactive approach to supporting the Australian economy.

Raine Ward, the owner of Maker Port Douglas, is a 19-year-old entrepreneur who has dedicated herself to showcasing the talents of local and Australian artisans and designers. Since opening in July 2020, Maker has supported over 130 small businesses and only stocks products that are primarily made in Australia or by Australian-owned businesses with a commitment to sustainability and ethical practices.

In the midst of the pandemic, Raine and her mother Donna Ward, felt compelled to design a space to showcase the talents of their local makers after their local artisan markets had closed down. They opened a beautifully curated bricks and mortar store in the heart of tropical Port Douglas, providing a platform for local artisans to showcase their work.

“It’s fundamental to us that Maker only stock products that are primarily made in Australia or at least by Australian owned businesses who are working consciously to keep their environmental footprint small and who are working closely with their artisans, in an ethical and sustainable manner. By collaborating with local and Australian suppliers, we are proud to be putting our money back into our region and country,” Raine explains.

Maker Port Douglas has become more than just a store, it has organically grown into a community of like-minded people who love to promote the power of creativity & collaboration. The ‘Meet the Maker’ blog on their website features stories from all of their brands, providing another level of transparency to their customer’s shopping experience.

Maker Port Douglas is not only supporting the Australian economy, but they are also providing a space for local creatives to come together and foster new friendships. They now offer ‘Make, Paint & Pour’ classes outside of store hours to encourage creatives to come together in a relaxed environment.

“We are thrilled to receive this award and grateful for the recognition of our commitment to supporting local and Australian businesses. Our goal has always been to provide a platform for our local makers to showcase their talents, and we are excited to continue to grow and support our community,” Raine said.

Congratulations to Maker Port Douglas for their dedication to supporting the Australian economy and for creating a space where creativity and collaboration can thrive. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for this emerging business.

Penrite Oil, Proudly Australian

Penrite Oil, Proudly Australian

Penrite Oil, an Australian owned and operated automotive lubricants manufacturer, has been awarded the Proudly Australian Award, in recognition of their commitment to increasing their Australian influence in their overall business operations.

The Proudly Australian Award recognises businesses that have demonstrated a proactive approach in sourcing local ingredients and materials, using local support services, and manufacturing or producing in Australia. Nominees must have a clear strategy for increasing their Australian influence and have implemented initiatives that have resulted in a measurable increase in their use of Australian products and services.

Penrite’s commitment to quality and their dedication to using locally sourced ingredients and services have made them a deserving winner of the award. From their manufacturing plants in Melbourne and Brisbane, 6 company-owned warehouses, and several third-party logistics warehouses across Australia, Penrite has established itself as a trusted and reliable provider in the industry.

Les Mecoles founded Penrite in 1926 from his parents’ home in St. Kilda, Melbourne. He began making the first batches of oil on his mother’s kitchen stove and delivering them using his father’s wheelbarrow. Oils were manufactured from quality Pennsylvania (PEN) base stocks, and only the right oils (RITE) were ever sold to customers. This dedication to quality earned PENRITE widespread trust and respect.

Under the leadership of John and Margaret Dymond, who acquired Penrite in 1979, the company launched premier ranges including HPR (High Performance Range), Enviro+ engine oils, 10 Tenths Racing oils, motorcycle engine oils, and gear oils and transmission fluids.

In 2018, Penrite acquired the Lightning Cleans brand, with the vision of making Lightning synonymous with cleaning, care, and protection.

As Penrite approaches its 100th year anniversary in 2026, the company remains committed to providing quality oil products and excellent service to its customers. The award is a testament to the company’s continued efforts to support the local economy and increase their Australian influence in their operations.

The Dymond family and the entire Penrite team should be proud of their well-deserved recognition. Congratulations to Penrite Oil for winning the Proudly Australian Award! Learn more about Penrite Oil and their team at

Ambassador of the Year: NOGO Brands

Ambassador of the Year: NOGO Brands

We are delighted to announce that NOGO Brands has been named the Ambassador of the Year! This is a prestigious award that recognises businesses and individuals who promote Australian Owned certification and actively encourage others to support certified businesses. We are thrilled to see NOGO’s dedication and hard work being recognised with this honour.

Founded by Meg, NOGO is on a mission to provide delicious, gut-friendly sauces and condiments that everyone can enjoy. Meg’s journey with health issues and food allergies inspired her to create a range of products that cater to those with dietary restrictions, without sacrificing flavour. NOGO’s sauces and condiments are Low FODMAP, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free (excluding the Mayo), and are made from only the best, premium Australian ingredients. Handmade and small batch produced in the Yarra Valley, Victoria, NOGO’s commitment to using local and Australian products where possible is truly commendable.

The Ambassador of the Year award celebrates businesses that have a strong track record of promoting Australian Owned businesses and are recognised as advocates for the Australian economy. NOGO’s dedication to supporting local businesses is evident in their sourcing of ingredients and their commitment to being an Australian Owned business.

At NOGO, they believe that healthy food should not be bland and tasteless. Their range of sauces and condiments are so delicious that you won’t even know they’re Low FODMAP, gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. NOGO’s products are the perfect solution for busy people who want to eat healthily without sacrificing flavour.

As a proud member of the Australian Owned community, we are thrilled to have NOGO Brands as part of our network. Their dedication to promoting Australian Owned businesses and their commitment to providing healthy and delicious food options is truly inspiring. Congratulations once again to Meg and the NOGO team on this well-deserved award. We look forward to seeing NOGO’s continued success in the future! Read more at

Small Cairns Sauce Maker Achieves Big Dreams: Queensland Flavours Soon to be Savoured Across America!

Small Cairns Sauce Maker Achieves Big Dreams

A small local business in Cairns, Queensland has achieved a major milestone that has put them on the map not only in Australia, but around the world.  Fenglehorn, an award-winning sauce maker that prides itself on using locally-sourced produce, has secured a major export deal with a major US retailer.

For a business that started at Rusty’s Market in Cairns just a few years ago, this is a remarkable achievement.  The company’s focus on quality and flavour has won them many awards in recent years, including Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards for their range of Aussie Sauces & BBQ Rubs.

What sets Fenglehorn apart from many other businesses is their unwavering commitment to using 99% Queensland grown produce.  This not only ensures that the products are fresh and delicious, but also supports local farmers and the economy.

The company’s Director, Mikey Hayman, said that exporting to the US market had always been a dream scenario for them since they started in 2017, but it seemed too difficult to break in.  However, with persistence and a little bit of luck, Fenglehorn was invited to exhibit at the Taste of Queensland export showcase, facilitated by Trade & Investment Queensland and held in Brisbane.  This led to negotiations with a major US retailer, and soon Fenglehorn sauces and BBQ rubs will be available in over 3,800 stores across America.

As an Australian Owned Certified business, Fenglehorn truly embodies the values of quality and excellence that our country is known for.  They are a testament to the fact that with hard work, passion, and a commitment to quality, any business can achieve great things.

Congratulations to Fenglehorn for their incredible achievement, and for showcasing the amazing flavours of Queensland to the US consumer market!

Submit Your Nomination

Welcome to the Australian Owned™ Business Awards 2023!

[Nominations are now closed]

We are delighted to announce that the nominations for the Australian Owned™ Business Awards 2023 are now open.  The Awards are a national event that celebrates excellence in Australian business operations.

We invite you to nominate your business for the following award categories:

  • Proudly Australian Award
  • Ambassador of the Year
  • Best Emerging Business
  • Australian Owned™ Business of the Year Award

Winners of each category will receive the following prestigious prizes:

  • Engraved Trophy Plaque featuring the business name and award category.
  • Exclusive Digital Badge showcasing the award title, year, and a unique AO ID number to be displayed on your website, social media profiles, and marketing materials.
  • Public Relations Campaign aimed at raising brand awareness and highlighting the success of your business, including media coverage, press releases, and featured articles.
  • Promotional Campaign showcasing the excellence of your business on Australian Owned’s premium digital and social media channels, featuring customised content and targeted advertising to reach a broader audience.

Furthermore, the winner of the ‘Australian Owned™ Business of the Year Award’ will receive extensive promotion via the Australian Owned digital and social media assets.

Don’t miss this opportunity to showcase your business excellence. Nominations close on 2 April 2023.

[Nominations are now closed]