Celebrating Australian Business at the ABAs

AusCham Vietnam’s Annual Business Awards 2023 (the ABAs), held on March 15th 2024, celebrate the best in Australian innovation and enterprise in Vietnam, recognizing both the individuals and businesses that excel across diverse categories.

Gala dinners were held in both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi at the Sofitel Saigon Plaza and the Grand Mercure Hanoi respectively, with livestreaming coordinated between the two. MCs Justin Malcolm and Cynthia Mann – both AusCham Directors – ensured proceedings were light-hearted as guests indulged in a 4-course modern Australian-inspired dinner.

Over 200 guests attended, including key dignitaries from the Australian Embassy and Consulate-General. Ambassador Andrew Goledzinowski spoke on Australia’s ongoing investment into Vietnam’s innovation ecosystem and 50 years of bilateral relations. He also presented the award for ESG Program of the Year to the Norfolk Group.

In Hanoi, on behalf of the Embassy, Acting Deputy Head of Mission, Cherie Russell presented the Businesswoman of the Year award to Van Dang from Savvycom. 

Memorable was the heartfelt speech from outgoing AusCham President and CEO of QLM Group, Simon Pugh, who said, “Businesses large and small, who are growing, thriving, and adapting, whose stories bind together to create a strong, resourceful, and supportive AusCham network that finds a way through disruption.” 

Last year was the 25th anniversary of AusCham in Vietnam. Moving forward, it will continue its legacy in the advocacy space and via AusHub, facilitating market entry of Australian businesses into Vietnam with palpable industry growth. 

Also sharing the stage were family and friends of Chris Donnellan—Saigon’s sadly missed culinary great and mentor to many—as this year, AusCham launched the inaugural ‘Chris Donnellan Young Businessperson of the Year Award’ (Winner, Bliss by Han) in honor of his unexpected passing last year. 

Event endorsers were the Australian Embassy in Vietnam, the Australian Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City, the Government of Western Australia, Hoàng Hà Label Co., Ltd, Alchemy Wines & Spirits Asia, HMSP International (Vietnam) Joint Stock Company, Lý Gia Viên, NS BlueScope Vietnam, and Wine Australia. 

The judging panel included Victor Burrill (Business Executive Network), John Gardner (Optimum Hospitality), Mark Seymour (Asia Summit Consulting), Rachelle Thompson (Baxter) and Betty Tran (Betty Tran Consultants).  

Winners of the 2023 AusCham Business Awards are:

Business Excellence – Small Business: Artemis Digital

Business Excellence – Medium Business: Meatworks Butchery

Business Excellence – Large Business: AFG Vietnam

Business Excellence – Corporate: Corsair Marine International

ESG Program of the Year: Norfolk Group for Six Senses Con Dao

Outstanding Employee of the Year Award: Oanh Pham, Intrepid Travel

Businesswoman of the Year Award: Van Dang, Savvycom

Outstanding Leader of the Year Award: Ben Winspear, AFG Group

The Chris Donnellan Young Businessperson of the Year Award: Hannah Nguyen, BLISS by Han

Best Bar or Restaurant North Region: Spice Viet Restaurant at Flower Garden Hotel(TMG)

Best Bar or Restaurant South Region: Ministry of Men at Sofitel Saigon Plaza

Best Hotel or Resort North: Grand Mercure Hanoi

Best Hotel or Resort South: Peninsula Hotel

Best B2C Product or Brand North: Intrepid Travel

Best B2C Product or Brand South: Heart of Darkness Craft Brewery

Never miss an update about our events and articles
Tim Burrill
Membership Manager & Executive Assistant
If you would like to learn more about our events and membership, or have other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.