17 JUL 2012

A Malaga business that was specifically established to manufacture power load testing
equipment that would survive Australia’s hottest temperatures has been named the 2012 Telstra Western Australian Business of the Year.

UON Pty Ltd, which also won the Commonwealth Bank Medium Business Award, was joined by Mosmans Restaurant on Perth’s Swan River, East Perth video and communications production company Lush TV, Bibra Lake emission monitoring business Emissions  Assessments, and tandem jump business Skydive Jurien Bay as winners of the 2012 Telstra Western Australian Business Awards.

The failure of European-built load banks, designed to endure the testing of large electrical power systems and generators in the harsh Australian climate, prompted Mark Keogh and partner Shaun Matthews to meet mining industry demand by launching a niche product manufacturing business in 1998.

Following his partner’s departure in 2006, Mr Keogh rebranded the company UON Pty Ltd and expanded the range of products and services on offer.

UON has grown from 10 staff to more than 150 in the past six years and now provides solutions for the supply, management and control of site power, air and water, particularly for the mining industry. Its products range from load bank testing to pumping solutions and power management switchboards.

Telstra Business Group Managing Director and Telstra Business Awards Ambassador, Will Irving, said UON Pty Ltd had many attributes that made it a stand-out among the 23 finalists in 2012. “Judges were very impressed with UON in particular the rigour in managing the business which has led to their successful
growth and expansion, and they described their site visit as exceptional,” he said.

The Telstra Australian Business Awards were launched in 1992 to recognise the achievements of small and medium businesses and to encourage strategic planning for business growth.

“I’m pleased to see that each year we uncover outstanding small and medium businesses, such as UON, and I encourage all Western Australians to nominate businesses now for the 2013 Awards,” Mr Irving said.

Matt Comyn, Executive General Manager of Local Business Banking, Commonwealth Bank, said: “Small and medium businesses are fundamental to the overall strength of our economy and these awards reflect the diversity and breadth of entrepreneurial talent which exists in Australia. One key characteristic evident among all finalists was their ability to adapt to the ever-changing business landscape and find new ways to drive their business forward. UON Pty Ltd in particular demonstrated a commitment to innovation and success, and this
Award is testament to that.”

The winners of the 2012 Telstra Western Australian Business Awards announced tonight in Perth are:

Telstra Western Australian Business of the Year
UON Pty Ltd, Malaga

HTC Start Up Award
Mosmans Restaurant, Mosman Park
Mosmans Restaurant has fast become one of the premier dining locations on Perth’s Swan River after new owners bought the business in 2008, refurbishing the restaurant, introducing a contemporary seafood a la carte menu and employing more floor and kitchen staff, including six chefs. Judges said the restaurant
overcame the challenges of a start up and was excelling in all key elements of a successful business.

News Ltd Micro Business Award
LushTV, East Perth
With a combined 25 years of broadcast experience, James and Alex Lush relocated from the UK to Perth in 2004 and opened a media training consultancy that, with the advent of improved digital technology, now provides video productions, corporate communications strategies, media and crisis training and presentation skills training. Judges praised their passion and commitment and the quality of their offering and customer relationships.

MYOB Small Business Award
Emission Assessments Pty Ltd, Bibra Lake
Increasing regulatory monitoring and the pending carbon tax gave Giacomo Collica a chance to capitalise on his 20 years of emission monitoring experience by launching an independent testing service, auditing and monitoring product business. Judges said Emission Assessments was the only Australian company with full capabilities for waste, land and air pollution assessments, winning it a  diversified portfolio of major clients.

Commonwealth Bank Medium Business Award
UON Pty Ltd, Malaga

Regional Award
Skydive Jurien Bay, Jurien Bay
Launched in 2009, Pete Lonnon’s skydiving business has really taken off. Aiming for 500 tandem jumps a year, it now averages 300 jumps a month with customers treated to beach landings at Jurien Bay. Judges said the business has solid  fundamentals, was well-located, offering customers an outstanding experience, and has a strong desire to influence the growth of the local community.

1300Australia / Telstra Phonewords People’s Choice Award
Billet Engineering, Kalgoorlie
The business specialises in hydraulic cylinder and associated component repair and manufacturing for the mining, earthmoving and civil construction industries of the Goldfields and the north-west of Australia.

Open to all entrants in the 2012 Awards, the People’s Choice Award is decided by a public vote, allowing customers, staff, suppliers and colleagues to show their support for their local businesses.

The winners of the Telstra Western Australian Business Awards will be judged against category winners from other states and territories in the lead up to the national Telstra Australian Business Awards to be announced in Sydney on 29 August. Winners of the 2012 Awards receive a share of $500,000 in cash and prizes and become part of an exclusive national business alumni.

For more information about the Award winners or to nominate for the 2013 Telstra Australian Business Awards, visit