“Our leading manufacturers deserve to be congratulated for their contribution to the Victorian economy and our state’s international reputation,” Theophanous said.

The Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame was set up by the Bracks government in 2001 to recognise and celebrate manufacturing excellence in Victoria. 

“This was part of an overall strategy to encourage manufacturing in Victoria and establish the state as a recognised centre of manufacturing excellence in the Asia Pacific,” the Minister said.

“The Hall of Fame celebrates those who have the foresight, creativity and energy to take Victorian manufacturing to the next level and whose innovative manufacturing solutions have made them world leaders.”

The event has grown substantially since its inception in 2001, when it had 450 attendees. This year over 820 guests attended.

“Part of the success of the gala dinner is that it is an event which brings the leaders of all manufacturing sectors together under one roof to celebrate the overall value of manufacturing in Victoria,” commented Minister Theophanous.

In the past six years, the Hall of Fame has inducted seventy-six companies based in Victoria. It has also named four Young Manufacturers of the Year and fourteen honourees.  The inductees come from a range of specialist areas, including aerospace, automotive, defence, marine, food, technology and printing.

According to Minister Theophanous, the event is considered the highlight of the manufacturing calendar in Victoria. “It offers those in the industry the opportunity to network as well as recognising its outstanding achievers. The event also provides an excellent opportunity for positive media coverage of achievements in local manufacturing.”

Prospective inductees need to satisfy stringent criteria. “All companies nominated for Hall of Fame recognition must have a manufacturing plant located in Victoria and/or demonstrate specialist design services directly connected to Victoria's manufacturing industry,” the Minister said.

“The minimum requirement for consideration is that, over the last five years, the company has won three recognised awards or achieved recognition against specific competitive international standards.”

This year, for the first time ever, an industrial design firm – Charlwood Design – was inducted into the Manufacturing Hall of Fame. Charlwood Design focuses on sustainable product innovation and the design of consumer, medical and capital goods. Paul Charlwood is also president of the Victorian branch of the Design Institute of Australia.

Charlwood commented that while the purpose of the event is to celebrate manufacturing success stories, it is also a great opportunity to promote the benefits of design. “It is able to share the spotlight, creating closer relationships between the manufacturing and design sectors,” he said.

“It is one of the few networking opportunities that currently exist. Manufacturing and government have realised design's ability to innovate is of great value not only to manufacturing but to all areas of business. Just about every Australian state government and most economies in the developed world now see creative industries as a key part of their futures.”

This year's other nine inductees came from a range of industries, including those involved with automotive and medical systems.

Compumedics, inducted for its achievements in biomedical manufacturing, is a global technology leader in computer-based patient monitoring and diagnostic systems. The company has a focus on sleep medicine and neurology. In 1989, Compumedics designed and installed Australia’s first fully computerised sleep clinic at Melbourne’s Epworth Hospital.

David Burton, founder and executive chairman of Compumedics, became known on the world stage after designing the portable systems chosen by NASA in 1995 for two separate contracts involving preparation for Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions.

And, pitted against considerable international competition, the portable system won the right to supply diagnostic equipment to the largest sleep study in the world: the US-funded Sleep Heart Health Study.

Four inductees have an automotive focus. HM Gem Engines is a re-manufacturer of car and industrial engines, which exports to Indonesia, Thailand and Saudi Arabia. The company recently took over twelve Repco engineering machine shops nationwide and is refurbishing them as re-manufacturing sites for commercial engines.

Albins Off-Road Gear, established in 1979 in Ballarat, produces ‘off road’ racing parts for the motor sport industry. Directors Kerry and Ivan Albins, with partner Steve Nicholson, design and manufacture the parts.

Ninety per cent of their products are exported, predominantly to the US.

Dair Industries supplies components that are difficult or costly to import, such as park brakes and pedals, car jacks, hinges and strikers, to large companies in the automotive sector, including Holden, Toyota and Ford.

Trimas Corporation manufactures Hayman Reese tow-bar units and Rola roof racks and accessories for the automotive aftermarket and original equipment manufacturers in the automotive industry.

From the defence industry, Thales Australia Land Systems (TALS) was inducted for its design and production of armoured-vehicle platforms for defence forces globally.

Torian Wireless was awarded for their innovative iRoamer Technology, which enables access to internet radio content anywhere in the world from a consumer electronics device.

Note Printing Australia (NPA), established in 1912 to print bank notes, was rewarded for its impressive performance in the secure printing of passports and bank notes. The group introduced the world’s first successful polymer banknote series in 1996.

Of the seventy-seven denominations issued worldwide, NPA have printed fifty-three at their Craigieburn site. In 2005, NPA designed and manufactured the world’s first biometrically enabled ePassport.

Specialising in the collection and processing of recyclable materials – paper and cardboard, glass plastic and metal, Visy Recycling also joined the group of inductees. Visy focuses on generating economic, environmental and social benefits through recycling and reprocessing materials.

Three manufacturing leaders were added to the prestigious Hall of Fame honour role: medical-diagnostics pioneer, and executive chairman of Compumedics, David Burton; furniture manufacturer Lee Kidman; and Andrew Stobart, CEO of cable manufacturer Olex Holdings.

Dr Peter Campbell, a thirty-three-year-old production engineer at Volgren Australia, was named Young Manufacturer of the Year.  

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