Beefing up Brisbane’s economy to win Lord Mayor’s Business Award

BRISBANE-BASED innovative beef producer, Australian Country Choice – a company whose products feed 7.1 million Australians a day – proved to be “a cut above the rest” in the 2016 Lord Mayor’s Business Awards on Friday evening, October 28.

The company that has developed one of the world’s largest beef supply chains won the overall Optus Business Platinum Award in the 2016 Lord Mayor’s Business Awards (LMBA), after earlier taking out the HSBC Doing Business in Asia award. The Platinum Award was the crowning announcement at the LMBA Gala staged at Brisbane City Hall and hosted by Lord Mayor Graham Quirk. 

Australian Country Choice CEO David Foote summed it up as he accepted the award. Mr Foote noted that the traditional company in a ‘traditional industry’ – one of the country’s major food exporters and the prime beef supplier for Coles supermarkets across Australia – may have developed in a traditional way through “one owner, one bank and one city” but it has done so by innovating as constantly and furiously as any technology start-up.

Australian Country Choice is part of the Lee Group Pty Ltd, a private family owned enterprise which commenced in Queensland as H.J. Lee and Sons in 1958. It now has headquarters in Brisbane’s Australia Trade Coast precinct under the stewardship of Trevor Lee and fourth generation family members. 

Employing more than 1400 staff, Australian Country Choice has more than 270,000 beef cattle grazing on 2.5 million hectares of land across 15 Queensland locations. Stock is transported to one of the company’s three feedlots before being processed at Australian Country Choice’s world-leading Cannon Hill beef processing facility. 

The company’s various products can be found at major supermarkets on Australia’s east coast as well as the retail and food service sectors across the major cities of north Asia.

Cr Quirk said the 10 winners of the 2016 Lord Mayor’s Business Awards ranged from small to medium business to some of Brisbane’s largest companies.

“I congratulate all of the winners tonight. They highlight the amazing depth and entrepreneurial spirit of Brisbane's business community,” Cr Quirk said.

“The Lord Mayor’s Business Awards have become a benchmark for the excellence, success, innovation and entrepreneurial flair that are the hallmarks of Brisbane’s business community.

“The achievements and contributions of this year’s recipients and Brisbane’s business community over the past decade have been integral to the continued growth of our $146 billion economy.

“These are the businesses and individuals that play a critical role in fostering Brisbane’s reputation as a hub for innovation, investment, education, conventions and tourism in the Asia Pacific region.” 

The Lord Mayor’s Business Awards are staged by Brisbane Marketing and are the only awards in Brisbane to include businesses and individuals across all industries and sectors.

Cr Quirk said award sponsors this year included Optus, ANZ, Australia TradeCoast, Brisbane City Council, Brisbane Times, Clayton Utz, Channel Seven, Energex, 4BC, HSBC, BDO, Singapore Airlines, Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd, Staging Connections, ISPT and Sirromet Winest.


Other award winners and finalists in the 2016 Brisbane Lord Mayor Business Awards were:


ANZ Made in Brisbane Award for High-Growth Business Start-up

Winner: RedEye.


  • Conweigh
  • Entersoft
  • Happen
  • Haystack Australia
  • Like a Photon Creative
  • PetCloud
  • Prettygreat
  • RedEye

HSBC Award for Doing Business in Asia

Winner: Australian Country Choice


  • Brisbane Airport Corporation
  • Charlton Brown
  • Domino’s Pizza Enterprises

Brisbane Times Award for Business Innovation

Winner: EM Solutions


  • Domino’s Pizza Enterprises
  • Like a Photon Creative
  • Scooter Tutor
  • Shelter Management
  • Vuly
  • Watkins Steel

Australia TradeCoast Award for Small Business Growth

Winner: FivePointFour Holdings


  • Global Sourcing Services
  • Point to Point Education
  • Tritium

Port of Brisbane Award for New Investment

Winner: Tritium


  • Daisho Co
  • DEXUS Property Group
  • Iglu
  • Richmont Hospitality

Clayton Utz Award for Corporate Citizenship

Winner: Stephen Dibb Jewellery


  • Datacom Systems
  • Queensland Rugby Union
  • Treasury Casino & Hotel

Energex Award for Sustainability in Business

Winner: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre


  • Daisho Co
  • The University of Queensland
  • UnitingCare Queensland

ISPT Award for Digital Strategy



  • PetCloud
  • Shelter Management
  • Travel Money Group

Singapore Airlines Award for Young Business Person of the Year

Winner: Jock Fairweather – Little Tokyo Two


  • Edda Hamar – Undress Runways
  • Joe Andon – Vuly Trampolines
  • Jordan Duffy – Buckham & Duffy Consultants
  • Jordan Grives – Fonebox Australia
  • Penelope Twemlow – Energy Skills Queensland

Channel 7 Award for Business Person of the Year

Winner: Joe Andon, Vuly Trampolines


  • Andrew Gourley – Red Frogs
  • Ben Bradshaw – SponsoredLinX
  • Godfrey Mantle – Mantle Group
  • Jess Huddart – Josephmark



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