Lake Macquarie – Winners are grinners

An innovative speech pathology service for children with communication difficulties has taken out the top gong at this year’s Lake Mac Business Excellence Awards.
Warners Bay-based A Growing Understanding was named 2023’s Business of the Year at a gala night at Belmont 16s, with judges commending its innovation, contribution to the city, community support and work culture.
It was a stellar night for the company, which also won the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award. Its founder, Lauren Haskins, took home the Outstanding Business Leader Award.
Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said A Growing Understanding was a prime example of how passion, dedication, expertise and business nous could breed success.
Lauren Haskins said she was humbled to receive the awards, “and grateful for the recognition of my team’s hard work.”
Gateshead’s firefighting equipment supplier Fire Response took out the Excellence in Small Business Award, winning accolades for its move to transition to next-generation sustainable firefighting foam. CoastXP won the Outstanding Tourism Experience – Tourism and Hospitality category for its popular small-group tours off the Lake Mac coast and around Lake Macquarie.
The not-for-profit Business Growth Centre at Gateshead was named Outstanding Community Organisation.
Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle Magazine was excited to be named finalist for Excellence in Micro Business as well as in the Outstanding Tourism Experience category.

For a full list of all the winners go to