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Irish Chamber

Innovators sweep the board at the Irish Australian Business Awards

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Innovative and disruptive technologies were the theme of the night at the Irish Australian Business Awards with several of the winners well on their way to creating global disruption with their products.



Utillix picked up the Start-up Award for an app that has been described by the google maps of the underground.  It is a world first app that maps subsurface utilities and infrastructure. It is changing the landscape of the construction industry.  It is backed by IBM and already expanding to Asia, Europe and the US (after less than a year of operation).  

“I think that we won because our product is innovative, no-one else is doing what we are doing and it is globally scalable,’ said Oliver Morrissey, Utillix CEO. “This accolade gives us recognition for the work that we have been doing over the last 12 months and it validates our product.”


The International Trader Award went to CurrencyFair, an online peer-to-peer currency exchange market place that is leading innovation in global payments. Its two main offices are in Ireland and Australia. “The competition was very tough, I think we won because we provide real solutions to real people and it makes a difference to their lives.” said Sean Barrett, co-founder of Currency Fair. 


AFK Agency (formerly Mobeseek) a mobile agency started in an internet cafe in Balmain, Sydney in 2009 by Dublin born entrepreneur James Sugrue picked up the prize for SME.

“We had never entered for an award like this before and after 7 years in operation, it was the right time. It is great for the team both in Sydney and in Dublin to have this recognition and it is really good for the Australian Irish relationship” said Mr Sugrue. 


Top Knot Joinery won the Established Business Award. Founder Eoin Daniels was full of ambition when he moved to Australia from Waterford over ten years ago.

"I was 24 with one employee knocking on doors around Sydney, dropping in business cards to shops, pubs, hotels and building companies to try get some customers to give me work. Over the last 10 years I have formed a fantastic team of passionate and dedicated individuals who continue to evolve and drive the company to new heights." said Eoin.


Jack McGuire, a building services engineer at Lehr Consultants International, won the Young Professional Award.

“I received my qualifications in the height of the recession and it was impossible to get a job in Ireland,” said Jack. “When I came to Sydney I joined LCI where I was tasked with taking the firm to the next level of innovation with technological advances.”


Siobhan White won the Young Entrepreneur Award for her Hypoxi business in Queensland.

“I opened the health and wellness studio four years ago and have built this into a successful business from the ground-up,’ said Siobhan. “When I started Hypoxi Body Boutique Bulimba I had no clients and now have approximately 8,000 clients across the two studios,”


The culture of innovation among the Irish and Australian business community prompted the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce to start the Irish Australian Business Awards.

“We were discovering more and more stories of success, innovation and leadership throughout the Irish Australian business community that weren't being shared or recognised. Great people were doing great things but they had no platform to celebrate their success and inspire others.” said Barry Corr, Chamber CEO. 


Two of Australia’s best known business leaders, Qantas CEO and Managing Director, Alan Joyce and Optus Chairman, Paul O’Sullivan are both Irish and praised the awards for recognising the next generation of business leaders.

Group CEO of Qantas, Alan Joyce, has been in Australia for more than 15 years. 

“Ireland has a long history of innovation and Australia is a country that has always been open to new and exciting ideas, so I’m very proud to see the next generation of Irish-Australian innovators being recognised,” said Mr Joyce.

“The latest generation of Irish Australian business professionals have a well-deserved reputation for innovation, creativity and vision,” said Optus Chairman Paul O’Sullivan who moved permanently to Australia 22 years ago. 


For some photos of the winners, please see

Irish Australian Business Awards