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MEDIA RELEASE - Narrawong gallery wins business of the year

2 August 2019

Internationally acclaimed art, breathtaking views and servings of an old-fashioned vanilla slice have provided the winning-formula to claim the 2019 Glenelg Shire Council Business of the Year Award, sponsored by AceRadio.

Narrawong’s Bay of Whales Gallery and Coffee Shop, owned by award winning artist Brett Jarett and his partner Gerri Torpy, claimed the coveted title with judges highlighting the pairs “outstanding” efforts developing the two-year-old business.

It was a long dreamt vision to open Mr Jarrett’s home studio to the public to share his inspirational wildlife paintings whilst sharing Ms Torpy’s traditional culinary talents, notably her beloved vanilla slice recipe which is hitting the taste buds of art lovers.

The gallery, situated on Narrawong’s Mt Clay overlooking spectacular coastal views, has its walls lined with Mr Jarrett’s wildlife paintings, with visitors able to watch the acclaimed artist at work, whilst enjoying the country atmosphere.

Not for profit Small Business Mentoring Service mentor Clinton Bugg judged the operation, noting the gallery had excelled in all nine judging categories, highlighting its excellent strategic planning, marketing and promotion, access and inclusion and overall community benefit.

“This business has singlehandedly managed to revitalise a small community by offering a simplistic product in the highest of quality. They are enticing visitors by not just offering a product, but an entire experience,” Mr Bugg said.

Glenelg Shire Mayor Cr Anita Rank praised the Bay of Whales Gallery and Coffee Shop which claimed the overall title from a record 61 nominees, making it the most successful award program to-date.

The awards were presented at a sold-out gala dinner tonight at the Portland Golf Club, hosted by former Portland local, acclaimed comedian and actor Jackson Tozer with entertainment from Triple J famed artist Nancie Schipper and magician Dom Chambers, who is a semi-finalist in the current series of America’s Got Talent.

“We are extremely proud of the efforts of our business and tourism community who work tirelessly providing excellent customer service, outstanding products which are assisting to put this region on the map,” Cr Rank said.

Fresh from returning from Baku accepting a UNESCO World Heritage inscription, Budj Bim Cultural Landscape Ranger Aaron Morgan was recognised claiming the Young Achiever of the Year award, sponsored by Civil Contractors Federation, recognising a high achiever 25 years and younger.

Judges noted Mr Morgan’s passion for self-improvement, indigenous culture and country. Despite leaving school at 14, Mr Morgan has worked tirelessly building his skills to forge a successful career as a senior ranger, acting as an ambassador for the unique cultural landscape.

Goodman Group Lawyers’ Kathryn Oswald was named the Employee of the Year, an award sponsored by Assets Real Estate, credited for her reliable and honest behaviour, acting as a motivating influence for the broader team.

Described by judges as an “employer’s dream”, Ms Oswald has managed the establishment of the Portland office, a branch of a successful metro operation, whilst completing her law degree, operating a small hobby farm and raising a young family.

Highlights of the evening are available for view on the Glenelg Shire Facebook page.


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