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Cream of Australian retailers assemble for 'Americian Express Rewards for Excellence" awards.

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Media Release


June 16, 2006

The Hon Gary Hardgrave MP, Australian Minister for Vocational and Technical Education, will join more than 400 guests at the annual National Retail Association’s “American Express Rewards for Excellence" tonight in Sydney.

The key industry event has celebrated the innovation, hard work and successful initiatives in Australia’s thriving retail industry since 1995.

“This is a great opportunity to honour and reward the commitment and hard work of businesses operating in the retail and service industry and to showcase outstanding, innovative and successful activities and initiatives for customers and industry,” Mr Hardgrave said.

“The Rewards recognise organisations that have worked towards developing best practice initiatives in areas critical to business success. The event aims to foster a stronger and more successful retail-service industry in order to meet the needs of an increasingly competitive marketplace.”

Mr Hardgrave will present a trophy to the winner of the Best Training/Human Resource Initiative and the winner of the Merit Award.

“The Australian Government is a proud supporter of this highly regarded event, and provides $20,000 sponsorship for recognition of excellence in training in the retail industry,” Mr Hardgrave said.

“This is part of the Australian Government commitment to supporting vocational and technical education and career options for all Australians, particularly the 70 percent of young Australians who do not go straight from school to university.

“It is a great honour for all of the 82 American Express Awards for

Excellence finalists and I wish them continued future success,” Mr Hardgrave said.

For more information on Australian Government initiatives please go to:, and

Media Contact: Mr Hardgrave’s Office: Nikki Voss 0402 896 100 Dept Education, Science and Training: Clare Gunning 02 6240 7556


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