Caravan Industry Award winners at National Conference 2021

The awards recognise outstanding contributions to sector...

Earlier this month the Caravan Industry Association Australia announced the seven recipients of its prestigious national caravan industry awards at a Gold Coast event to celebrate individuals and organisations who have shown the highest dedication to the sector throughout 2020.

RMS was celebrated as a double recipient of these sought-after industry awards.

The awards included- the Eric Hayman Award for Excellence as well as the Richard Davis OAM Award, Chairman’s Award, Gerry Ryan OAM Award for Innovation and RV Boss Future Leaders Award that collectively recognise outstanding contribution to the industry, to the association and to the future of the industry.

Eric Hayman Award for Excellence: the industry’s most prestigious award went to Peter Buttigieg, RMS. This award recognises extremely influential and hardworking industry leaders who have made a positive impact over the years.

“The Australian caravan park industry has much to thank Peter for because at a time when no one wanted to embrace computers or software and maintained their love affair with “the book”, he battled on. He was a visionary for his time and proved that informed decisions and office efficiencies could not be made properly without access to data.

“Between 2003 and today, RMS has established offices in the UK, North America, China, India and Singapore. Starting as a one office business, 7-8 employees and a handful of customers, they now employ over 200 who maintain 6,000 clients in 30 countries.

“The success of thousands of businesses around the world was made possible by the pioneering work performed by Peter Buttigieg and the teams he assembled”.

RMS, a long-term industry supporter that despite their huge international success, continues to be true to the caravan park industry that they love

The Richard Davis OAM Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Peak National Body: went to RMS.

“RMS have been a national industry sponsor of the national industry body and attended the national industry conference every year from its first origins over 25 years ago.

“They have assisted the association in the development of their internal computer systems and were the first to assist with the collection of caravan park data which is now the envy of many other tourism associations.

“They are passionate about the industry and been an enormous support for the association over many decades”.

Geoff and his wife Jenny celebrate the achievement

Eric Hayman Award for Excellence Winner 2019: went to Geoff Olholm.

“The Australian Caravan Parks Industry will long be indebted to Geoff Olholm for his contribution to its ongoing development.

“Cairns Coconut Caravan Village opened to caravan travellers at Easter 1987 and for the next 30 years it continued to innovate, push boundaries and grow into what is regarded by many as Australia’s best caravan park, receiving many allocates and awards.

“He was to the forefront of the ‘battle’ with the motoring clubs’ Star Ratings system which had been based on what the Clubs thought a park should be rather than what the market was looking for.

“Geoff and his wife, Jenny, sold Cairns Coconut holiday resort four years ago however they are still highly sought for advice by other park owners and managers who recognise them as some of the best operators in the industry”.

This year the Chairman’s Award celebrated two worthy recipients for outstanding contributions industry…

Award accepted by Angie Bell MP and presented by Chairman Grant Wilckens

Chairman’s Award 2020: The Hon Greg Hunt MP

“This was awarded to the Minister for Health, The Hon Greg Hunt MP, in recognition of his contribution to the Caravan Industry Association of Australia initiative to provide a Defibrillator subsidy program, which has so far saved two lives across the country thanks to the federal government support through $1 million investment”.

Award accepted by Norton Whitmont and presented by Chairman Grant Wilckens

Chairman’s Award 2020: Theo Whitmont

“Theo has owned and operated industry leading holiday parks in NSW and QLD for 20 years. He has a deep operating knowledge of the ‘coal face’ and has a demonstrated ability to interpret a business from the consumer’s view and thus navigate the ever-changing demands that are placed upon small business in the tourism arena.  He is always willing to lend an ear and is sensitive to needs of park owners, community operators and those involved in the wholesale, retail and manufacturing sectors of the industry.

“He has over 30 years experience operating manufactured home estates and has been the lead industry consultant to the NSW Government in relation to industry reform and legislative change, particularly with regard to the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 and Regulation.

“Theo was first elected to the Board of CCIA NSW in 2008 and later served as the President of the Association between 2009 and 2020.  He continues his commitment to our industry as a current serving member of the Board”.

David Schneiders from Pedders Suspension and Brakes accepting the award from Gerry Ryan OAM

Gerry Ryan OAM Award for Innovation: Pedders Suspension and Brakes

Congratulations to the team at Pedders Suspension and Brakes for the important recognition of their innovation with the LoadRyder Onboard Scales. Pedders LoadRyder Onboard Scales are a cost-effective solution that delivers critical real-time vehicle weight information to the operator, enhancing safety and compliance for all road users”.

Justin Hales, Camplify receiving the award from Luke Trouchet CEO of RV Boss

RV Boss Future Leaders Award: Justin Hales Camplify

The award recognises and rewards dedication and outstanding achievements from the industry’s up-and-comers.

“Justin founded Camplify in 2015 after identifying the need for localised sharing of assets to benefit both owners and hirers of RVs.  He has led innovation at Camplify to become the biggest RV rental company and digital platform in Australia. Since its origin, Justin has also expanded internationally and has since scaled to 3 additional countries.

“Over the past 5 years Camplify, has been building a brand, a community and growing the Camplify platform to generate revenue and expand the customer base”.

The celebration of these worthy recipients was enjoyed by over 500 delegates who attended the 2021 Caravan Industry National Conference Gala Dinner on Thursday 6 May at RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast.

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