Jim Watkins was unquestionably the driving force behind the establishment of the AME (Australia), and without his vision and early enthusiasm, there is no doubt we would not be where we are today.
Unfortunately, Jim passed away unexpectedly in late December 2002 and did not witness the result of his hard work, particularly the first International AME Conference to be held outside North America - in May 2004.
To ensure that Jim's outstanding contributions to manufacturing excellence are remembered, the AME (Australia) created the Jim Watkins Award, to be presented as appropriate to any individual or company determined to have made a significant contribution to the manufacturing industry.
Ray was one of the founders of Continuous Improvement Training in Australia and has influenced many individuals and business across the country, from Major Cities to Remote Cities and Mining Towns. It could be said that Ray has influenced more businesses and individuals in Australia than almost anyone else. He has in fact taught most of today's trainers and practitioners.
From the very basics to the more advanced units of Lean Training and Competitive Systems and Practices, Ray has applied his quiet and engaging style to enormous effect for over 30 years.
As Managing Director of OPTIM he and his team, including Jim Watkins, lobbied the VicGov and founded the MECV, whilst Jim was founding the AME Australia. OPTIM was Jim’s vehicle for his all to short contributions to Australian Industry, inspired and supported by Ray. Many of the MECV Kaizen Events were conducted by Ray and had a profound influence on the productivity of member companies and the participation and effectiveness of their employees.
As Ray changes pace towards retirement in 2020, he has founded an innovative new L&D model with Peter Sanbrook. The ASBIG program is gaining recognition in Regional Victoria though Councils and the State Government and is significantly improving the outcomes learning and apply the principle of Lean.
2017 - not awarded
2016 - Jenny Gray
Jenny Gray is the CEO of Zoos Victoria. Jenny's journey through education and business has taken her across the globe from her home country of South Africa to Australia. Jenny is passionate about animal welfare, environment along with science and technology.
Once introduced to the possibilities of a Lean journey, Jenny soon saw the benefits to best business practices, education of staff and benefits within the working environment. Jenny and her team at Zoos Victoria are reaping the rewards of their Lean journey with better work standards and practices resulting in increased numbers of endangered species.
Jenny is a tireless worker whose energy and passion for the animals and the environment is evident to anyone who meets her.
2015 - Victor Caune
Victor has been involved in a range of different industries including Education, Training and Development, Mining, Manufacturing, Consulting and Networking for over 40 years. For the past 20 years he has managed his own training and consulting business focused on training, lean implementation and organisational change, introducing the concepts of lean and operational excellence.
Victor has always been passionate about networking, sharing and helping others whether working inside organisations, or from an external perspective. Over the years, Victor’s knowledge of manufacturing companies in Victoria, has been of invaluable assistance to members seeking to find positions within the industry.
2014 - Barry Budge
Barry heads the procurement team at Toyota, responsible for the local Supplier Development Program. He was a keynote speaker at the first AME conference in Ballarat 2002 and regularly presents, giving generously of his time to conferences and seminars around the country. Barry regularly leads plant tours through the Altona facility. These are not the standard Toyota tour but personalised time consuming, thorough tours given because Barry (and Toyota) want to make a difference to manufacturing in Australia.
Barry’s small team of TPS practitioners work within the Tier-one supply chain every day pushing for improved systems and outcomes. Barry’s approach is one where he is constantly pushing for faster, better, cheaper, more structured, more disciplined Lean systems.
Following the announcement of Toyota’s withdrawal from Australian manufacturing Barry’s main focus is supporting his young team and the many suppliers..
2013 - not awarded
2012 - Amanda Wood
Amanda is currently South Australia State Director of Enterprise Connect. With a career spanning 20 years in the manufacturing industry primarily as Managing Director of A Class Metal Finishers (providing high quality metal finishing services to manufacturers and restorers).
Amanda energetically contributes to supporting the business world through her work with the SA Branch of Australian Industry Group, Safer Working Manufacturing Group, Safework SA and SA Youth Entrepreneur Scheme.
Amanda talks of her “fascination” for the manufacturing sector, and that fascination obviously goes beyond being a member of the sector. Over many years Amanda has been giving something of herself to the sector to support and improve its performance. As such Amanda has made a significant contribution to the Australian Manufacturing Industry.
2011 - Gary Kerr
It is fitting to note that Gary worked with Jim Watkins in the formative years of AME in Australia.
During the formative years of AME Australia, Gary’s unbridled passion and commitment to see companies prosper and adopt excellence methodologies fuelled assisting him to build and grow the AME within Australia. Gary was part of the organizing group for the first AME Australia Conference which saw international speakers presenting on a range of Lean Manufacturing topics. While AME was still in the grass roots phase of development, Gary worked with others (including Jim Watkins) to bring programs, that were working successfully in other parts of the globe, into the Australian scene.
2010 - Ian Young
In 2009, Ian led the inaugural Sustainability Insights program with the support of Sustainability Victoria. As Director of the Manufacturing Best Practice Program, Ian's focus on Lean to Green - a program which enables leaders and improvement champions of manufacturing organisations to develop an understanding of their Triple Bottom Line and the Business of Sustainability.
"Several of this year's Hall of Fame Inductees have been recognised for their commitment to a Triple Bottom Line", says Ian on receiving his award. "These organisations demonstrate that the linking of manufacturing excellence with the Business of Sustainability is becoming accepted by industry as a mainstream business paradigm".
2009 - Sandra George
Sandra’s first contact with manufacturing was in 1991 when she headed the South East Taskforce – a Federal Government initiative set up to address the then record unemployment in the Dandenong region.
Inspiring local manufacturers with the use of innovative forums and networks, Sandra and her team created an additional 3,000 jobs over the term of the program.
Recognising the importance of this initiative the City of Greater Dandenong has continued to support Sandra’s work and today it thrives under the banner of South East Business Networks. This network now includes 2,500 people from over 350 companies across Melbourne’s south. Activities are designed to raise awareness of excellence and community amongst all stakeholders and to promote manufacturing as: "clean, clever and critical".
2008 - Seamus Power
Seamus takes a lead role in Manufacturing through wide and varied support to the industry, for example, presenting at conferences on Autoliv's best practice, and opening the doors of Autoliv to visitors to see first hand best practice. His support of AME in particular has been ongoing, helping out at AME Melb conferences 2005 & 2007, and site tour 2005. He has supported other organisations in a similar dedicated fashion demonstrating his passion and energy. Other exmples include the Best Practice in Manufacturing program - presentations & tours, his involvement as a committee member for FAPM supporting automotive manufacturing sector and also the benchmarking programs run jointly by deloitte & FAPM
2007 - Calvin Miller
Calvin Miller has worked in the Victorian manufacturing industry for 29 years. Through his participation in the Mnaufacturing Best Practice Program, Calvin was one of the early adopters of Lean Manufacturing principles in Victoria. He became the founding president of the AME Australia in 2000.
2006 - Archie Cowan
Archie Cowan has accumulated almost 40 years change management experience that has afforded him excellent opportunities to develop and deliver a comprehensive portfolio of Excellence tools, practices and systems across the automotive, print and packaging industries on two continents. More recently, Archie’s role at the Industry Capability Network reinforced his desire to get more industries on the Journey of Excellence to create jobs through an export focus.
2005 - Peter Sanbrook
Peter was instrumental in the formation and building of the AME in Australia, and in his business he demonstrates very well the ethos of excellence. Peter believes in the total business approach to excellence and embodies this in his Client Service Support System, where everything combines to produce a great outcome for the end customer. Peter has been, and will continue to be, a great ambassador for manufacturing in Australia and we thank him for his ongoing support for the AME.
2004 - Gary Kakos
Dr Gary Kakos, then CEO/President of the Centre for Manufacturing, for his tireless contribution to manufacturing. Gary was also a staunch supporter of the AME (Australia) in the early days, providing meeting rooms, venues for events and much needed administrative support.