RDANI innovation award goes to Tenterfield True

INNOVATORS: Dennis and Jen Gascoigne, Harry Bolton, Kushla Gale, Linda Tilman, Adam Marshall, Caitlin Reid, Peter Petty, Terry Dodds and Anna Stephenson at the Innovation Awards.
INNOVATORS: Dennis and Jen Gascoigne, Harry Bolton, Kushla Gale, Linda Tilman, Adam Marshall, Caitlin Reid, Peter Petty, Terry Dodds and Anna Stephenson at the Innovation Awards.

The process to arrive at Tenterfield Shire Council’s Tenterfield True marketing brand has won Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI)’s retail, tourism and leisure category at the Innovation Awards announced in Armidale on Friday, November 24.

While Hillier Design and beef jerky manufacturer Dan Ford have been named in previous years, this was the first time council has nominated itself for the recognition. Business development manager Harry Bolton said the Tenterfield True branding process was considered a worthy nominee, given its success in engaging with the community to set a direction for the shire’s tourism marketing.

“We thought the process and outcome was worthy of recognition,” he said.

“The award reflects well on what council is doing with tourism and business in the community.”

The Tenterfield True branding project was developed with an innovative level of connection between the council, Tenterfield Business Chamber and local business community, with 45 businesses represented at two community workshops. The new brand was launched in August using social media, a prominent Brisbane photographer and locals with engaging stories representing Tenterfield True as brand ambassadors.

Mr Bolton said the award reinforces the importance of receiving recognition for a job well done, as Tenterfield’s own business awards aim to do, although the Innovation Awards are more narrow in their scope.

“But there’s a lot of innovation happening in Tenterfield, particularly in retail,” he said.

Council won its category over the Art Shack of Wallabadah and The Guyra TroutFest. Highly Commended Certificates were awarded to The Blair Athol Boutique Hotel and Day Spa, Inverell, the Dragon Phoenix Resort, Moree and Uralla’s Thunderbolt Festival.

TENTERFIELD TRUE: Tenterfield Shire Council's business services officer Harry Bolton and chief executive officer Terry Dodds with the spoils of winning RDANI's Innovation Award for council's Tenterfield True branding.

TENTERFIELD TRUE: Tenterfield Shire Council's business services officer Harry Bolton and chief executive officer Terry Dodds with the spoils of winning RDANI's Innovation Award for council's Tenterfield True branding.

With this year’s Tenterfield Excellence in Innovation award already under their belt, Dennis and Jen Gascoigne as  Blue Sky Contracting went on to be named a finalist in RDANI’s Manufacturing and Engineering category for their Civil Pro software.

Tenterfield’s tourism officer Caitlin Reid said council’s innovation award puts Tenterfield in the scope of influential parties, with tourism and major events minister Adam Marshall present at the awards.

“He can see what’s going on in the region, and that’s fantastic,” she said.

Ms Reid said the Tenterfield group at the presentation ceremony, which included representatives of the Tilma Group which led the award-winning process, were approached by Boggabilla’s Chillamurra Solar Farm people interested in pursuing a similar project.

“We proved it works,” she said.

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