Tambo Teddies won the 2019 Queensland Multicultural Awards for business!
The Business category of the awards is to ‘recognise the outstanding achievements of a business in creating employment or other opportunities that value and promote diversity and inclusion.’
Tambo Teddies has a long history as the market leader in handcrafted sheepskin teddy bears in Queensland’s outback. However, in a town of only 400 residents we found it impossible to secure the staff required to expand and grow the business, we knew we needed to develop an alternative to the existing production model. Working with Multicultural Development Australia, we created our regional sewing hub in Toowoomba, 750km from Tambo and working in partnership with Multicultural Development Australia to provide employment opportunities for newly arrived refugees.
It was a huge risk for our little business to take this step but we are delighted it is paying off – we have bears on the shelves and can fill our orders and seek out new stockists. We have been able to increase our production from 50 units per week to over 250. The Hub is allowing our business to expand and at the same time providing employment for some of Toowoomba’s new residents.
Our Regional Sewing Hub hit the right spot, we were among a group of outstanding businesses but managed to take out the top prize. And what excitement there was at our table at the Gala Awards event which was held at the Royal Convention Centre in Brisbane. Tammy and Alison along with their husbands were joined by Kahlil, his wife and Dilo and his sister for the evening which was a combination of cultural entertainment and presentations. The entertainment ranged from Nepalese dancing to a round of Pub Choir.
In thanking Multicultural Queensland for the award, Alison stated, ‘It is key to our business that our bears are Australian made, and now they are being made by some of Australia’s newest residents’. We are incredibly proud of our Hub and to be able to assist disadvantaged people by providing meaningful employment, basically having a positive impact on their lives.
Queensland Multicultural recognise the valuable contributions of Queenslanders who support and promote an inclusive, harmonious and united Queensland community. We are so proud to have been recognised in this way.