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City’s Best Businesses Recognised

Central Sydney | 29 August 2008

Atlassian’s Soren Harner (centre) with colleagues
Atlassian’s Soren Harner (centre) with colleagues

by Robert Burton-Bradley

PYRMONT’S Doltone House was a buzz with excited winners of the City of Sydney’s Business Awards last night, with IT company Atlassian taking out the top gong.

The carbon neutral event had a strong focus on sustainability and green friendly practices, with recycled table centre pieces, and carbon friendly meals.

Atlassian director of engineering, Soren Harner, who accepted the company’s award, said it was an honour to take out the top accolade the city could provide a small business. “I think it's great, it’s an honour,” he told Central, who was the event’s proud media sponsor. “We have got a lot of awards around the world for our software, but being a smaller business it’s great to get some recognition at home.”

The company, which also also won the IT category, praised the City’s strong focus on the environment at the awards and in judging. “I like that this is a carbon neutral event,” Mr Harner said. “We have about 20 per cent of our people cycling to work so it’s great to see the city getting behind the environment.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said this year’s awards saw an enormous number of entries, as well as a record number of attendees to the Gala Awards Dinner. “A thriving and creative small-to-medium business sector is very much part of our vision for Sustainable Sydney 2030, so it’s encouraging to see the impressive level of participation, the commitment of time, energy and imagination these awards generate.”

Twenty-two businesses from categories including financial services, innovation, disability inclusiveness and retail fashion were voted the best in their field by public voting over the past two months, before going through a formal judging process.

Small and medium businesses who nominated for the Awards encouraged customers to vote using SMS or the Sydney Business Awards website, saving paper and expanding their social networks. Along with winners in each of the 22 categories, 2008 saw the creation of a new recognition of businesses trying to do their part for the environment – the Lord Mayor’s

Sustainability Award, which was won by G and Cosmos magazines, in recognition of not only spreading the message of environmental sustainability through their publications, but also embodying the messages they publish.

CEO and founder of Luna Media, publisher of G and Cosmos magazines, Kylie Ahern, said she was thrilled at the win. “I’m thrilled because we started the business, myself and my partner Wilson da Silva, in 2004 and we only started with one mag called Cosmos and G and Cosmos Online.

“And because we are science publishers we wanted to produce a magazine that showed people they can make a difference to the environment there’s many things you can do for the environment. It's a thrill for us we have 14 staff most whom live in the local area.”


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