This was, in many ways, the Ethnic Business Awards’ ‘Year of the Family Business’.

The participation of families was a feature of many of the nominee businesses and many of the finalists, too. There were over 330 entries from all over the country, making it the most successful year so far.

This was also a year when the Awards expanded to include a Media Award – an appropriate development given the great strides forward that were being made with the broadcasting of the now hugely successful presentation event.

A headline at that time read:


This great achievement was accomplished when the ABC and SBS Television, along with ethnic community radio stations, combined to bring the Awards live to not only Australia’s own general audience and multicultural population but also to Asia, via the ABC’s ‘Asia TV’ network.

The ceremony, which was hosted by Mary Kostakidis at the Sheraton Wentworth in Sydney, could now be watched by millions across Australasia.

This huge viewership, along with an enthusiastic live audience on the night, witnessed the major awards going to a Croatian born bus company operator, and an Italian born brick-maker.

The other two awards – for Product Diversity and Ethnic Media – went to Malaysian born Fred (Siew Heng) Tan of Tixana Products, and David Nhat Giang, publisher of Vietnamese newspaper, Chieu Duong.

While presenting the awards during the night, the NAB’s then Chief General Manager, Mr Allan Diplock, said that many successful migrant-owned businesses have dared to be different.

“They have dared to believe Australia remains a land of opportunity for people prepared to work hard, have a go, and deal with people fairly and equitably,” he said.

That was certainly borne out in the stories of the finalists, again featured in film clips, as the evening unfolded.