Thursday, February 29, 2024

Brisbane multicultural business leaders honoured

More than 480 multicultural business leaders gathered at Brisbane City Hall on Friday night to celebrate the Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Business Dinner and Awards.

Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner, praised the calibre of this year’s award recipients and their contributions to Brisbane’s economy.

“I’m pleased to announce that Mr George Sha (Balanz) is the Multicultural Business Person of the Year, Mr Johnny Shin (Solomons Group Australia) is the Nick Xynias Multicultural Young Business Person of the Year, and Ms Nina Nguyen (Pakko) is the Multicultural Entrepreneur of the Year,” Lord Mayor Schrinner said.

George Sha (Balanz).

“All three winners have continued to flourish in their respective fields over the past two years, overcoming countless challenges as Brisbane continued to recover from the global coronavirus pandemic and a record-breaking flood that hit earlier in the year,” he said.

Hailing from Shenzhen China, South Korea, and Malaysia respectively, the winners proved their entrepreneurial abilities across the banking and finance, tax and legal and manufacturing sectors to generate incredible results both locally and nationally, the Lord Mayor said.

Nina Nguyen (Pakko).

“Through these challenging times, we’ve seen our multicultural business community unite to raise funds, clean flood-affected properties and donate goods.”

“Our multicultural business leaders were critical when it came to offering support for residents and boosting morale in our community and these awards are just one of the ways we can recognise our multicultural business community and their outstanding contribution to our economy.

“This year’s winners are an inspiration to emerging entrepreneurs and I’m honoured to formally recognise their exceptional talent, innovation and successes.”

The proceeds from the night will support the Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Business Scholarship Program, which provides recipients with vital training and support to help them start or expand their own businesses in Brisbane.

Johnny Shin (Solomons Group Australia).

Lord Mayor Schrinner said the scholarship program offers a range of business training and mentoring courses to help recipients grow their businesses and aspire to be future business leaders in our community.

“A huge congratulations goes to over 40 recipients of the 2022 Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Scholarship Program.

“I look forward to hearing about your accomplishments and success stories.”

Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Awards for Business 2022 winners

Multicultural Business Person of the Year  

  • Mr George Sha, Balanz, Spring Hill

George Sha moved to Brisbane from Shenzhen China in 2001. He has more than 17 years’ experience in banking and finance industry. He co-found Balanz in 2014 which is now one of Australia’s leading finance broking firms that delivers customised finance solutions for businesses and their key people. Balanz has placed and managed more than 6 billion dollars of debts to date, with 20 team members and 3 offices across Brisbane, Sydney and Townsville. Balanz aims to source most suitable finance solutions for as many Australian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as possible.

Nick Xynias Multicultural Young Business Person of the Year

  • Mr Johnny Shin, Solomons Group Australia, Brisbane City

Johnny Shin is the Managing Director and founding partner of Solomons Group Australia. Solomons is a multicultural and multidisciplinary firm providing top-tier advice in investments, tax and legal advisory services for corporate and high-net-worth clients across the Asia-Pacific region. Johnny was born in South Korea and migrated to Australia in 2002. Prior to establishing Solomons Group in 2019, Johnny has spent close to decade working for number of leading financial institutions like Macquarie Bank and Ord Minnett. Under Johnny’s leadership, Solomons has established a reputation of providing quality advice, genuine care and always having client’s best interest at heart. This has led to multiple Institutional mandates from multinationals making Solomons one of the fastest growing advisory firms in Australia.

 Multicultural Entrepreneur of the Year  

  • Ms Nina Nguyen, Pakko, Geebung

Nina Nguyen was born at a Malaysian refugee camp to Vietnamese immigrant parents; they first arrived in Sydney in 1991 and later resettled in Brisbane. Motivated by passion to help her parents’ farming business, Nina founded Pakko in 2017, a manufacturing company where a box is never just a box. Pakko is on a mission to lead a manufacturing renaissance in Australia that embraces innovation and sustainability while supporting the growing needs of Australian businesses. Nina supports diversity and inclusion within the workplace and community and is an Ambassador for Inspiring Rare Birds, Brisbane. In 2022 Nina was awarded the prestigious Telstra Best of Business Award for Progressing Australia and regularly contributes as an author for Inside Small Business.

2022 Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Scholarship Program Recipients

Institution NameScholarshipRecipients’ Name
AICDAICD Company Directors Course(Ashley) Wai Ng
AICDAICD Company Directors CourseVanessa Lao
Career Employment AustraliaFashion MentoringKylie Holland
Export CouncilExport 101 Training WorkshopJagdish (Jack) Prakash
Export CouncilExport 101 Training WorkshopSabrina (Yuanna) Hu
Export CouncilExport 101 Training WorkshopPaivi Piotto
Export CouncilExport 101 Training WorkshopAdam Goodfellow
Export CouncilExport 101 Training WorkshopCorrine Moran
Export CouncilExport 101 Training WorkshopNelson Zungo
Export CouncilExport 101 Training WorkshopTugrul Durali
Export CouncilExport 101 Training WorkshopMohamed Ali Yousuf
Export CouncilExport 101 Training WorkshopAraceli Sanchez
Export CouncilExport 101 Training WorkshopSera Tuqiri
Export CouncilExport 101 Training WorkshopPatricia Po-chun Chun
Griffith UniversityBachelor of BusinessCaillian Chai
NIETGraduate Diploma of Strategic LeadershipAngela Mora Quintero
NIETGraduate Diploma of Strategic LeadershipMohib Ullah
NIETGraduate Diploma of Strategic LeadershipXiaoxi Qiao
NIETGraduate Diploma of Strategic LeadershipSherifaye Kargo
NIETGraduate Diploma of Strategic LeadershipAngie Patricia Buitrago Parra
RhodesEmotionally Intelligent LeaderCamille Bianca Punzalan
RhodesEmotionally Intelligent LeaderHirofumi Haga
RhodesEmotionally Intelligent LeaderSimone Trentino
RhodesEmotionally Intelligent Leader(Vish) Bhavish Uttamchandani
RhodesEmotionally Intelligent LeaderJaysee (Waraporn) Sunapho
RhodesEmotionally Intelligent LeaderEkaterina (Kate) Nethercott
TAFECert IV in Entrepreneurship and New BusinessMartha Katherine Vega Trivino
TAFECert IV in Entrepreneurship and New BusinessDan Jebsen
TAFECert IV in Entrepreneurship and New BusinessAmy (Ziyun) Mo
TAFECert IV in Entrepreneurship and New BusinessNikolas Seow
TAFECert IV in Entrepreneurship and New BusinessHettiakandage Fernando
TAFECert IV in Entrepreneurship and New BusinessSera Tuqiri
TAFEStart your own businessIsaeli Dayaina Villafanes
TAFEStart your own businessJesus Alberto Mendez
TAFEStart your own businessAlia Haddad
TAFEStart your own businessNina Magtibay Mendoza
TAFEStart your own businessSimona Cudlmanova
TAFEStart your own businessDavid Leon Garzon
TAFEStart your own businessPatricia Po-chun Chun
QUTBachelor of BusinessEsther Abiya

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