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HR Awards celebrated in gala event

The HR Awards 2011 have been handed out during a gala ceremony and party at Sydney's Hilton Hotel.

Video transcript below:

Donna Sawyer, HR Awards 2011
Donna Sawyer:
 A record crowd of more than 650 HR professionals made their way to the Australian HR awards to celebrate the achievements of the best in their industry. Held at Sydney’s Hilton Hotel, the black tie event- praised the inspirational work of HR teams across the nation awarding excellence in Human Resources & Business Development.  The night was attended by Who’s who of HR industry. The awards hosted by one of  Australia’s favourite television presenters Shelly Craft.  This year’s Australian HR Director of the year is Alec Bashinsky from Deloitte.  To Discover was pleased to present the award to Alec, who says HR plays a key role in growing any business.

Alec Bashinsky, Deloitte
Alec Bashinsky:  Smart CEOs really get the importance of having a really important strategic HR leader in business, because that’s what shapes the business, helps their acquisitions and actually grows the business. And really hopefully out of all of this, we actually are bringing our employees along for the journey. So yeah I am delighted with the award. 
Donna Sawyer:  And proving there are plenty of opportunities for up and coming HR professionals, the Australian HR rising star of the year went Felicity Poe, who is the Employee Relations and Performance Manager at Hamilton Island.
Felicity Poe, Hamilton Island Enterprises
Felicity Poe:  Fantastic opportunity.  I am sure there will be many doors opening, and there will be lot in the, particularly tonight there is a lot of networking, a lot of opportunities.
Donna Sawyer:  Sharon Tan, Head of Global Recruitment for ANZ got the hotly contested title of Australian HR Manager of the year. She was delighted to take the honour and says she is lucky to work with a dream team.
Sharon Tan, ANZ
Sharon Tan:  Feels fantastic, I have really a great team, always supportive, makes my life easy, makes my job really easy, so fantastic.
Donna Sawyer:  It was also a great night for Foxtel which won Australian HR team of the year. Emma Hogan, Director of People and Culture at Foxtel says understanding the business is a vital component of the HR role in an organisation.
Emma Hogan, Foxtel
Emma Hogan:  We need to know to know the price of our product, we need to know what the new release content is, we need to know what’s coming soon and I make sure my team are abreast of all that.  If you don’t know that stuff, you don’t have any credibility in the business.  So I think credibility of understanding the results in business first and then everything you can deliver from a people and culture perspective second.Donna Sawyer:  Paul Hitchcock, Corporate Express CEO has been named Australian HR champion.  He says it is important for CEOs to understand and evalue the hard work of their HR teams.
Paul Hitchcock, Corporate Express
Paul Hitchcock:  I think embrace HR,  really understand the value HR can deliver to your business and if you are not confident about the capability of HR team, maybe you have got the wrong people, you know but embrace it, get on board, use HR to really help drive your business.
Donna Sawyer:  Another highlight of the night was FedEx Express, Australia winning the Employer of Choice [Kong] for a company with more than 1000 staff members.  Managing Director Kim Garner says the award is a fantastic honour.
Kim Garner, FedEx Express Australia
Kim Garner:  We are actually honoured and privileged to receive the award, the [Accumulate] Employer of Choice award.
Donna Sawyer:  There was smiles and cheers all round as the HR industry let its hair down and partied the night  away.  The perfect celebration for a prestigious event  that continues to grow. This is Donna Sawyer reporting from the Australian HR Awards 2011.