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by Philip Scott

The first of what will become an annual Sabona Business Network (SBN) Awards dinner was held on May 21 in Brisbane, Queensland. Thanks to our friends Shandell and Rialet of Entelect Solutions the décor was spectacular. The theme was African (naturally) and the venue just looked spectacular. Sabona flew special guests in from as far as Perth (Douglas Horak, our Perth SBN coordinator) and Melbourne (our guest speaker, Pete Niemandt, author of Things I've learnt about Immigrating to Another Planet) and quite a few from Sydney. Most of our coordinators had never met each other, so this was a perfect opportunity to get to know one other and share some ideas.

Pre-dinner drinks with everyone dressed up smartly and standing around chatting was quite an awesome sight. The venue was alive with expectation of what was to come. Once all the guests were seated I welcomed everyone to the dinner with my usual repertoire of witty one liners (I do not necessarily have consensus on this). I introduced our local South African artist Kevin Waite who kindly donated three different sized limited edition prints of his painting "The Look" for our fundraising raffle. Through the night $640 was raised to go towards the Fortier family's medical expenses. We enjoyed a lovely entrée after which the coordinators were introduced and each presented with a Sabona Time Management Diary from Craig Martini. These were a huge hit.

While enjoying our mains the ever inspirational Peter Niemandt gave a short talk to motivate us all into achieving great things. He shared the most inspiring story with us: Do yourself a favour and Google "Team Hoyt". When you see that, you'll know that anything is possible... including making a successful new life in a new and strange country!

After dessert Springbok Foods was presented with a special award from Sabona for the exceptional support they have provided to the Southern African community for many years. Thank you and congratulations Fred and the boys... you're doing us proud!

After this we announced the winners and presented them with beautiful crystal trophies. The winners were Charmaine Wheatley from Curves Kiama, Mark Grabe from OzNetworx, Fred Ericsen-Miller from Springbok Foods, Shandell Riley and Rialet le Roux from Entelect Solutions and Craig Burton from SOS Mail Solutions. More information about our winners can be found in this issue.

It was an exceptional evening for many reasons. Thank you to all who joined us and thank you to our SBN coordinators Douglas Horak, Cathy Robinson, Morné Barnes, Melanie Pope, Dorien Erasmus, Shandell Riley, Rialet Le Roux, Sandra Crossland, Felicity Smit and Mark Grabe for your efforts in helping to grow the SBN network!

Guests reluctantly left the venue having made great new contacts and having had a wonderful time. Fortunately our interstate guests only had to travel about 50m to the Travelodge hotel where Sabona put them up for the night.

Make sure you don't miss the next SBN Awards evening. It's going to be even BETTER!

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Posted by Philip Scott
25 Jun 2009

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