NIOA, Agri Labour win at Telstra business awards

Rural recruitment agency and gun dealer shine at Queensland business awards


Medium business award winner, Rob Nioa, speaking at the awards presentation dinner on Friday night.

Medium business award winner, Rob Nioa, speaking at the awards presentation dinner on Friday night.

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Agri Labour Australia and NIOA Firearms were among the winners at the 2017 Telstra Queensland Business Awards.

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Agri Labour Australia, a recruitment agency tailored to Australia’s agricultural industry, and NIOA, Australia’s largest, privately-owned supplier of arms, ammunition and associated accessories, were among the winners at the 2017 Telstra Queensland Business Awards.

Announced at a gala dinner in Brisbane on Friday night, Agri Labour Australia took home the small business award while NIOA was the medium business award winner.

Well-known Longreach fitness trainer, Joy McClymont and her Off the Track Training business was a finalist in the new business category, which was won by Family Doctors Plus, a Brisbane-based general practice that went on to become the overall Telstra Queensland Business of the Year for 2017.

Luke and Casey Brown started Agri Labour Australia in 2010 as an answer to the labour shortfall in regional Australia that makes it challenging for agricultural employers to attract candidates with the right skills.

Luke and Casey Brown collecting their award for best small business.

Luke and Casey Brown collecting their award for best small business.

Born and raised in the country to parents who worked on the land, Luke and Casey were acutely aware of this struggle and tailored their new business to Australia’s agriculture industry.

The brothers believe the company is set apart by their understanding of how farming projects operate, and their knowledge of the diverse and ever-changing recruitment needs of rural Australia, whether it’s an 800-strong team for a seasonal project or a single skilled employee for a month.

Casey said they were especially proud of their recently launched Agri Veterans, a service to place veterans in rewarding and stable jobs in agriculture to help them transition back into civilian life.

As reported by Queensland Country Life, clay target shooter and hunter, Bill Nioa began exploring the possibility of establishing his own ammunition distribution business after being frustrated by the service he was receiving.

Starting out as just a dedicated corner of the service station he owned, the NIOA firearms outfit has now grown into the country’s largest, privately owned supplier of arms, ammunition and associated accessories.

The business supplies customers across the military, law enforcement and sporting sectors, offering a wide range of high quality products from international suppliers, as well as responsive support in the way of spare parts, repairs and technical advice.

Off the Track Training principal, Joy McClymont with her finalist award, presented at the state awards gala dinner.

Off the Track Training principal, Joy McClymont with her finalist award, presented at the state awards gala dinner.

The Telstra Business Awards are celebrating their 25th year and Telstra Small Business Executive Director, Brendan Donohoe, said the winners demonstrated what it tookto become ‘that’ business – a leader in their field, a name that is trusted and admired and an organisation that inspires others.

“The Queensland winners all have innovation at the heart of their operations and have harnessed the latest advancements in technology to drive the next phase of their business strategy,” he said.

​Family Doctors Plus was started by Dr Fiona Raciti and Dr Maria Boulton with a goal to empower people to optimise their health and take charge of their wellbeing.

They were disillusioned with the proliferation of the “five-minute medicine” approach and use community education as their number one remedy, holding regular events, which are proving highly popular, including puberty information sessions and school-readiness seminars.

The winners of the Queensland awards will join other state and territory category winners at the 2017 Telstra Australian Business Awards in Sydney on August 25.

Other winners include:

  • Mountain Bikes Direct, an online bike retailer –  2017 Telstra Queensland Micro Business Award
  • Youngcare, a charity aiming to bring change to the disability housing sector – 2017 Telstra Queensland Charity Award
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