ABBC Business Award 2016

ABBC Business Award 2016

January 12, 2017

By Iftekharul Dastagir

Marking the 45 years, Bangladesh is a name of immense potential in the global arena. Today Bangladeshis are everywhere and making their distinctive marks. Australia Bangladesh Business Council (ABBC) recognized the success of Bangladeshi business community and their outstanding business achievement in Australia at the first ever BEXIMCO Pharma Presents ABBC Business Award 2016, held on 25th November 2016 at Novotel Brighton Beach, New South Wales, Australia. 14 organizations and individuals were honored under eight categories at the gala.


7,171 km away from the sovereign land of Bangladesh another small Bangladesh rose at Novotel Brighton Beach Hotel of New South Wales, Australia as Mr. Arif Kawnine, the Master of Ceremony of the BEXIMCO Pharma Presents ABBC Business Award 2016 took the stage. More than 200 guests, mostly Bangladeshi, attended the celebration of achievement of  and be their voice, creating links with business, facilitating business network opportunities for doing business in both Australia and Bangladesh.

Since inception in 2002, ABBC embarked on the goal to foster the friendship, understanding and networking activities to promote business and economic co-operation, trade investment, tourism and cultural relationship between Australia and Bangladesh.

The council is currently comprised of 12 Executive Members, among them five are the office bearers who run the organization day to day. The ABBC has achieved confidence of the local business community as the only chamber which is formally serving the Bangladesh Business Community overall. The committee members were called on stage as the torch bearer of both business development and social well-being among the Bangladesh business community.


Hon John Dowd QC and Federal Member of the Parliament Hon Matt Thistlethwaite were the honorable special guests of the event. The Chief Guest of the ceremony was His Excellency Kazi Imtiaz Hossain, Honorable High Commissioner, The High Commission of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to Australia. The esteemed guests congratulated the winners in his speech. Emphasizing on the importance of ABBC Business award the chief guest convened, “Bangladesh community is relatively new in Australia but

Through its talent, energy and drive has already made significant positive impression in the community they live. At this stage it is imperative to remain united and supportive and assist each other in all such endevours which will not only ensure greater success but also will positively contribute towards building positive image for the Bangladeshi community in Australia.”

Mr. Talal Yassine, Managing Director, Crescent Wealth; Mr. Rabbur Reza, Chief Operating Officer of Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd.; and Mr. Shariful Islam, Founder & Managing Director of Bangladesh Brand Forum (BBF) also talked on behalf of their respective organization and congratulated both the winners and finalists. All the guests congratulated ABBC to organize this event successfully.


The award was given in 8 distinguished categories. Each category winner was selected through a rigorous jury process. The nomination was open for all and any organization or individual who met the criteria under the different categories could apply for the award.

The nominations were shortlisted and presented before highly experienced independent jury panel comprised of both Bangladeshi and Australian business experts, namely: Anthony Khouri OAM, Consul – General, Peoples Republic of Bangladesh; Brian Armstrong, Fellow, Institute of Engineers Australia; Dr. Shahdat Chowdhury, Councillor, Parramatta Council; & Dr. Shawkat Alam, Professor, Macquarie University.  The jury evaluated the nominees based on – Company Background, Financial Performance, Innovation/ Creativity, Employee Relation, Community Relation & Quality Performance.

Anthony Khouri OAM, Consul – General, Peoples Republic of Bangladesh shared his perspective on behalf of the juries. He explained, “This was only the beginning, yet the quality of the nomination and level of competition is really encouraging. It was also tough for the juries to decide on the winners.”


After the formalities came the moment of revelation of the winners – the inspiring business organizations and individuals of Bangladesh business community. The restless minds could feel intense pressure of anxiety and surprise as the awards under different categories were announced.

The gala night honored 14 organizations and individuals under eight categories both as Winner and Runner-up for their outstanding Business success in Australia and contribution to the development of community.  ABBC Encouragement Award was given in two categories to inspire the progress of the aspiring entities. The Chief Guest of the ceremony His Excellency Kazi Imtiaz Hossain and the Special guests along with Mr. Rabbur Reza handed over the awards to the winners.


A tribute was given to Late Dr. Abdul Haq, a unique organiser, community leader and a beautiful soul who had lived for others! His relentless effort and work for the betterment of a wider Community is unique and unparalleled. Dr Haq has indebted the community in so many ways through his good work and initiatives. He was a true believer in our talented new generation. He introduced “Talent Day” – a day of recognition for talented students who get chance to OC (Opportunity Class in year four), Selective Schools and achieved high marks in HSC. He was doing it for more than two decades with his own effort. As an academic himself, his love for knowledge and education was paramount; his legacy in this arena will be cherished by the new generations for a long time in the future.

He never missed any opportunity to raise fund for a good cause. Dr Haq raised funds for the community whenever needed until his last day; he raised funds by organising “Pitha Utshob”, Picnic, Sports event and through many more ways. He didn’t do it for himself, he had done it for the wider community. He was also the instrumental for securing a Muslim graveyard in Riverstone cemetery and the pioneer of building the Quakers Hill mosque. He raised a huge amount of fund for the Ahsania Mission – a cancer hospital in Bangladesh.

The most remarkable of them all was the instrumental raising funds for Cancer Council, Australia by organising “Good Morning Bangladesh” since 2001 and raised more than $200k over the years! Today, Bangladeshis are well regarded by wider Australian community for his work and contribution to the Cancer Council. “Good Morning Bangladesh” is a day of celebration now where we go every year for delicious breakfast and tea to raise fund for the cancer council.


A Bangladeshi will always be a Bangali in whichever part he/she’s in and same goes for the Australian Bangladeshi. They presented the Bangladeshi culture before the international community at the gala. The crowd was mesmerized by the instrumental performance of Mr. Tanim Hayat Khan, a Sarod player and the grandson of music maestro of the Asian subcontinent Ustad Ayet Ali Khan. Tanim belongs to the world famous “Seniya Maihar Gharana“.

The recitation of Mahidul Islam Mahi rejuvenated the restless minds and everyone could connect to the verses as he went on. Following Ms. Arpita Shome, a national award holder from Bangladesh Shishu Academy for Dance, took the audiences to a different realm with rhythmic dance performance.


The ABBC organizing team and Bangladesh Brand Forum (BBF) team has put together a special publication on the occasion of ABBC Business Award 2016. The publication is comprised of goodwill message from different bodies, winner stories, and insightful articles on Bangladesh and different business aspects making it the perfect souvenir for the guests to take home. The souvenir was unveiled at the ceremony.


The evening came to an end with the Note of Thanks from the ABBC Secretary Mr. Asif Kawnine. Mr. Asif started his speech by congratulating the winners and then thanked the organizers, the patrons who’s supported the initiative from the very start, the chief and special guests for caring the evening, the jury panel for their valuable time, input and expertise for the cause, and last but not the least the partners who has been at the core of the materializing the initiatives.

The title sponsor for the award was BEXIMCO Pharmaceuticals Limited. Australia Bangladesh Sports & Cultural Association (ABSCA) supported the initiative as Gold Sponsor and HBD Services as Silver Sponsor. The Daily Sadhin Kantha was the Media Partner and Bangladesh Brand Forum (BBF) was the Strategic Partner of the award.


BEXIMCO Pharma presents ABBC Business Award 2016 is the first of its kind and the one of the many initiatives taken by Australia Bangladesh Business Council. The initial success of the award paves the way towards future success. Being widely accepted by both Bangladeshi and Australian business community, the award ceremony ended on note where it was regarded as an initiative of global community but by the Bangladeshi and for the Bangladeshi community.


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