Business and Tourism Awards

Buisness and Tourism Awards 2019.jpg

The Glenelg Shire Business and Tourism Awards are held bi-annually to celebrate the remarkable quality and expertise of our local business and tourism sector.

2022 Winners

Council congratulates all the award winners at the 2022 Glenelg Shire Business and Tourism Awards Gala Awards Night, with a particular congratulations to Business of the Year South Portland Pharmacy.

South Portland Pharmacy

Service excellence and “putting care back into healthcare” have provided the winning-formula to claim the 2022 Glenelg Shire Council Business of the Year Award, sponsored by ACE Radio.  

South Portland Pharmacy, owned by proprietor John Nakhiaportia, claimed the coveted title with judges highlighting the unwavering support the business gives back to Portland on a regular basis.  

Mr Nakhiaportia’s commitment to his community is such that he typically works 70-80 hours per week, sometimes opening his pharmacy out of hours to service a customer’s emergency needs. This commitment also extends to providing medical centre type services to reduce the workload and queuing at the Portland Hospital, medical centres, and GP clinics. 

Not for profit Small Business Mentoring Service mentor Ross Jennings judged the operation, noting the Pharmacy had excelled in all nine judging categories, highlighting its excellent strategic planning, financial management, access and inclusion and overall community benefit.  

“The South Portland Pharmacy is not your typical discount chain pharmacy that you would find in most suburban shopping centres,” Mr Jennings described. 

“The proprietor John Nakhiaportia grew up in his parent’s pharmacy in Egypt and therefore his business vision and mission reflects the Christian values and commitment to providing medications that meet the individual customer’s remedial needs.  

“John’s business vision and mission could be best described as putting the care back into healthcare.” 

  • Tahlia Warren-Brand from Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation was recognised as Young Achiever of the Year, recognising a high achiever aged 25 years and younger.  

Tahlia has been employed in various positions with the corporation and has since advanced to her current role in media and marketing, building a strong repore with internal and external stakeholders.  

Tahlia was noted by the judges for being an “exceptionally passionate and committed person making a real difference in her community”. This couldn’t be reflected more in Tahlia’s interview, which she described her role as “a privilege to be able to work for the community and foster connection to country.” 

  • Dartmoor General Store’s Brooke Ropitini was named the Employee of the Year, an award sponsored by WDEA Works, and was credited for her selflessness and putting the community at the core.  

In the words of the judges, to call Brooke just an employee “would be a gross understatement, as she is involved at all levels of the business”. Brooke acts more like a business partner and her exceptional work to improve sales, and support the owner both business and personally, shone through. 

She was described by the judges as being “100 per cent for the store and the Dartmoor community.” 

A full list of award winners, and sponsors for each category, are listed below.





Manufacturing Trades and Construction


Southern Canning and Mibus Bros

Primary Industry


Westerly Downs

Large Retail or Service

Casterton News/Portland Observer

Assets Real Estate

Small Business

Quest Apartments

Compleat Angler and Crams Glass

Micro Business

Rural Financial Counselling Service

South Coast Pest Solutions

Community Enterprise

Portland Exhaust Centre

Cycling without Age

Health and Wellbeing

Portland District Health

South Portland Pharmacy

Business Innovation

Portland Signworks

Macs Hotel Portland

Tourism Accommodation

Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism Limited

Quest Apartments

Tourism Hospitality

Committee for Portland

Royal Hotel Portland

Tourism Festival, Event, Service or Attraction

Fruitbowl Productions

Tyrendarra Agricultural Show

Young Achiever of the Year

Stax of Storage

Tahlia Warren-Brand

Employee of the Year

WDEA Works

Brooke Ropitini

Business of the Year

ACE Radio

South Portland Pharmacy


A panel of judges from the Small Business Mentoring Service conducted the independent judging process with the finalists, with businesses scored against categories such as financial management, access and inclusion and strategic planning. Each finalist received a one hour private mentoring session to discuss their business, their application and be offered ideas about how they may be able to improve their business moving forward.

Gala Awards Evening

The awards were presented at a sold-out gala dinner tonight at the Portland Golf Club, hosted by former Rockwiz host and media personality Brian Nankervis, with entertainment from Triple J and south west Victoria recording artist Tom Carty.  

The 2022 Glenelg Shire Business and Tourism Awards were proudly supported by Principal Sponsor ACE Radio, and Major Sponsors Quest Apartments Portland and WDEA Works.