City businesses in the swim at lucrative awards

City businesses in the swim at lucrative awards

Sydney swimsuit brand aussieBum has made a huge splash at the 2017 Sydney City Business Awards, taking out three awards at last night’s gala event, including Regional Business of the Year.

AussieBum founder and director, Sean Ashby, was on hand to receive the Excellence in Business, Excellence in Export and the overall Regional Business of the Year gongs at the City of Sydney-sponsored regional awards held in Town Hall last night.

The company was one of eight Sydney businesses honoured with awards at the ceremony with Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

The City of Sydney has boosted its sponsorship of the annual NSW Business Chamber Business Awards program, committing $80,000 a year for three years to create the expanded awards program as principal partner for the Sydney City region.

“These awards help showcase the diversity and achievements of our dynamic business community. I’m sure all the businesses will use their prestigious wins to create new opportunities for growth locally and globally,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Small-to-medium sized businesses are the lifeblood of the city’s economy, representing 85 per cent of our businesses and contributing an estimated $20 billion to the local economy.

“We have supported business awards programs since 2004 and sponsors the Excellence in Small Business category across NSW. This is another great opportunity to further promote Sydney’s outstanding local businesses and see they receive recognition at a state level and beyond.”

NSW Business Chamber CEO, Stephen Cartwright, congratulated aussieBum on their win, saying that the company was a great NSW success story.

“It has used innovation in both design as well as its marketing strategy to have a presence across the globe, and is a source of great motivation for many similar businesses across our state.”

AussieBum has made a splash locally and internationally as a menswear designer, manufacturer and online retailer, exporting to almost 150 countries around the world.


Mr Ashby said the award win was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate their success with colleagues and other business owners.

“To be recognised in a forum like this is a real sense of achievement and validation,” Mr Ashby said.

“Coming together with other businesses that we hold in high esteem is an opportunity that will inspire us to grow.”

Another big winner at the Sydney City Awards was Surry Hills-based digital marketing firm, Digital Crew, and the company’s director and co-founder, Ophenia Liang. Digital Crew won the Excellence in Small Business award and Ms Liang was named Young Entrepreneur.

Ms Liang was inspired to enter the awards after hearing what a positive impact winning the Sydney City awards has proved for a 2016 winner, Sitback Solutions.

“My friend, Paul Armstrong, won three awards last year and went on to win Employer of Choice at the state awards. After hearing how the win had created a lot of brand awareness and driven new business for them, I thought, ‘I’d really like that too’,” Ms Liang said.

“The Sydney City awards are a very important platform for business – it brings people and businesses together and gives businesses exposure at a national level. This recognition is important for all businesses.”

Inner-city-based business, Red Earth, was honoured with the Excellence in Social Enterprise award, which was added as a category for the first time this year.

Red Earth creates opportunities for city high school students to live with Indigenous communities in remote areas to learn about their culture, live with local youngsters and volunteer on projects.


Red Earth Director, Arthur Alla, said the award win was a great opportunity to take the business to the next level.

“It’s really important for young businesses to have this wonderful stamp of approval that allows us to go out into the broader business community and say, ‘This is what we’re doing, and we think we’re onto something good here’,” Mr Alla said.

Winners of the 2017 Sydney City Region Business Awards:

Young Entrepreneur: Ophenia Liang, Director, Digital Crew

Young Business Executive: Alex Hardy, Senior Manager, Prosperity Advisers Group

Excellence in Small Business: Digital Crew

Excellence in Social Enterprise: Red Earth

Employer of Choice: Polyglot Group

Business Leader: Shane Phillips, CEO, Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation

Excellence in Business: aussieBum

Excellence in Export: aussieBum

Excellence in Innovation: 5B Australia

Start Up Superstar: Kids Club Elizabeth Street

Regional Business of the Year: aussieBum


For interviews and images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Relations Advisor Belinda Wallis M: 0467 810 160

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, please phone 02 8974 4165 or email