The 2019 eftpos ARA Retail Awards

This year’s theme, Retail Morphosis, focuses on the progressive development of the retail sector. In recent years, the industry has undergone a revolution, becoming a highly integrated network that is evolving and changing at a rapid rate. This year’s Awards reflect the history of Australian retail, and celebrate the industry’s achievements to date.

Join us as we revisit the foundations of Australian retail, and how it has matured into a thriving, adaptable industry. We’ll also catch a glimpse of what’s in-store for the future of retail.

We look forward to seeing you there!

7:30 am – 10:00 am AEST,
Thursday 15 August 2019
Myer Mural Hall
336 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Keynote speaker Amanda Stevens is a renowned thought leader on customer experience. She combines consumer insights with research into buying behaviour, delivering organisations and business owners powerful strategies for connecting with their customers. She has consulted to some of the biggest brands in Australia, including Lendlease ,Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and the Liberal Party of Australia. An entertaining and engaging speaker, Amanda has presented at over 800 conferences in 14 countries.

Her mesmerizing storytelling style leaves her audiences with memorable messages and actionable insights. Amanda is a former Young Australian of the Year (Career Achievement, NSW), and in 2003 was awarded the prestigious Centenary Medal for Business Innovation by the Governor General. Amanda is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), and in 2018 was awarded Keynote Speaker of the Year by the Professional Speakers Association of Australia.

Steve Plarre is the CEO of the century-old Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses retail bakery chain. He is also a proud member of the ARA, and serves on the ARA Council. Steve is a 4th generation Australian retailer in a business that has navigated two World Wars, the Great Depression and his own multi-generational family challenges. Earlier generations of the Plarre family have served the Queen of England and the President of the USA in their bakeries.

Ferguson Plarre is still family owned and operated, with 75 stores across Australia. It’s a major bakery operation that produces over 100,000 cakes and savouries weekly.

Ticket Pricing
Individual tickets: $35 inc GST
Table of 10: $300 inc GST

*ARA members receive $10 discount on tickets when they enter the promotional code. ARA members please contact the ARA Membership team on 1300 368 041 and press option 3, to receive your ARA Member Promotional Code before proceeding to checkout.

Individual tickets: $45 inc GST
Table of 10: $380 inc GST

Bernie Brookes AM

Bernie Brooke’s has expertise and substantial experience in retail and wholesale operations, buying, information technology systems, supply chain, and human resource management. He is currently the Executive Chairman of Flannerys, Chairman of Collision Service Industries and CEO Institute Chairman and Adjunct Industry Fellow at Swinburne Business School.

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Radinck van Vollenhoven

Radinck van Vollenhoven is the Country Manager of Stocard in Australia and New Zealand, the leading mobile wallet with over 2.4 million engaged shoppers. Over the last decade, he has launched and scaled multiple startup businesses in the technology, retail, and media space.

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Warwick Ponder

Warwick Ponder is Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications at eftpos Australia. Since joining eftpos Australia in 2012, Warwick has worked closely with ARA to help support Australia’s retail industry. Warwick has more than 30 years of experience in communications and a passion for Australian business.


Robyn Batson

Robyn is the Group People & Development Manager and has been with the Sussan Group (Sussan, Sportsgirl & Suzanne Grae) for 15 years. Robyn has an extensive human resources background within the retail and fashion industry, and is responsible for the strategy and providing strategic advice within the business on people & development initiatives and matters.


Peter Wilkinson

Peter Wilkinson is Chairman of Forever New Clothing Company. Peter acts as an advisor to companies. He has also held several board positions for Coles Myer Limited, The Just Group, and David Jones. Peter was the inaugural President of the ARA and President of the Intercontinental Group of Department Stores.


Alla Buinowicz

Alla Buinowicz been the Managing Director at Taking Shape for 15 years. With over 35 years of experience across design, buying, merchandise planning, marketing, and brand management, Alla is passionate about Australian and New Zealand fashion and is dedicated to inspiring and dressing women with curves.

The eftpos ARA Retail Award Categories 2019

The 2019 Manhattan Associates Excellence in Customer Experience Award acknowledges the importance of not just customer service, but also the entire customer journey.
The 2019 Pronto Retail Innovator of the Year Award recognises an innovative approach to retail products, services or operations. The innovation must result in either increased efficiency and/or effectiveness of a process or service.
The 2019 Store Fit-out Award recognises the commitment made by great retailers in the industry to design or re-design their store concepts and demonstrate standards of excellent visual execution.
The 2019 Daylight Agency Excellence in Retail Marketing Award acknowledges the 24/7 marketplace and understands the dramatic shift in retail marketing methods.
The FCB Retail Employer of the Year recognises the leading employer of choice within the retail sector. The winner demonstrates a strong track record across a diverse range of business operations.
The 2019 Rest Retail Business Woman of the Year Award is the newest addition to this year’s ARA Australian Retail Awards. The award aims to celebrate and recognise the extraordinary achievements of female leaders propelling the industry forward.
The Diploma of Retail Merchandise Management was developed the bridge the skills gap for buying and planning roles in the industry. The ARA would like to recognise and reward the student who has dared to do as much as he/she was able to throughout the course.
The Rest Young Retailer of the Year Award is one of the most prestigious awards in the Australian retail landscape.Winning the Young Retailer of the Year Award will play a major part in your future career.
The 2019 eftpos Digital Commerce Retailer of the Year Award has now been given its own category, due to the exponential growth in online retail market. Similar to in-store customer experience, a strong online presence is now crucial for driving consumer engagement.
The 2019 eftpos Franchise Group of the Year Award acknowledges excellence in the $146 billion franchise sector across Australia. Like all other retail service providers, the franchise sector has faced challenging trading conditions over the past five years.
The 2019 eftpos Independent Australian Retailer of the Year Award is recognised as a leader in the retail sector.The winner of the award will be able to demonstrate a strong track-record in cutting-edge marketing strategies, innovative staff management programs and strong leadership qualities.
The 2019 eftpos National Retailer of the Year is recognised as a leader within the retail sector, inspiring their peers and making a significant long-term contribution to the industry’s vibrancy and sustainability.
Our 2019 ARA Retail Award Sponsors: