News & Media

Gippsland’s Jewel is shining!

Lardner Park was announced the 2017 Gippsland Tourism Business of the Year at the Federation Business School Gippsland Business Awards gala event held in Traralgon on the 25th of August.

With 55 years of rich history in social and business tourism, Lardner Park strides forward with strong technology focus and agribusiness stewardship. Annually hosting well in excess of 100 events and over 200,000 visitors to the destination property, it is also home to Farm World and Beyond the Valley music festival. Lardner Park is a jewel in the Gippsland tourism crown with several million dollars per year driven in regional economic impact from these activities.

With the establishment of Asia Pacific’s first Centre of Drone Excellence at Lardner Park, this engages a new audience of international businesses, students, fun-flyers, agribusiness operators and commercial drone users, requiring visitors to be accommodated and presents tourism visitation opportunities to the wider Gippsland region.

Feedback from the judging panel was that it was “A strong application that ticks all the boxes. They have a good vision for growing the business which will have a flow on effect for the community,” judges added, “A unique facility for Gippsland which will collaborate with others to attract business and visitors to the region.”

Nicola Pero, Chief Executive Officer of Lardner Park says “Both humbled and proud, our entire team is very excited to be 2017 Gippsland Tourism Business of the Year. It reflects hard work and contribution of our management team, Committee and Board, sponsor partners, community service groups, our clients and calibre of events held at the venue, and quality with which they are delivered. Lardner Park is embarking on an aggressive path of growth and diversification whilst still remaining firmly connected to our agribusiness roots. Tourism and technology are symbiotic to the expansion of agribusiness in Gippsland and Lardner Park seeks to be an integral part of that. Recognition must go to all the volunteers, Committee and management team, but also to partners who helped us get to this point from Baw Baw Shire Council, Commonwealth Bank and BP Evans Petroleum”.

A voluntary Board and Committee ensures 100% is reinvested back into Lardner Park’s operations and development, supporting service clubs with reduced rentals for events, and providing schools, service and sporting clubs with important fundraising opportunities.

Andrew Schreyer, Board Chair of Lardner Park said “I am thrilled with Lardner Park’s win in the tourism category at the Gippsland Business Award. The award is recognition for the hard work and dedication of the team at Lardner Park who go above and beyond to deliver the best outcomes for the organization. The future of Lardner Park has never looked brighter”.

Centre of Drone Excellence (CoDE)

Lardner Park and The Institute of Drone Technology have entered into an MOU to establish the Centre of Drone Excellence (CoDE) here at Lardner Park.

Drones are an integral part of the future and are delivering enormously positive impacts for farmers and agribusiness as part of the technology driven intensive farming future.  CoDE will deliver training and licensing; future drone camps; collaborative engagement with policy and regulatory contribution and associated technology development.  Nicola Pero, CEO of Lardner Park noted:

Lardner Park has a long, rich history and connection with agribusiness sectors.  The world of agribusiness is increasingly advancing with technology driving and supporting intensive farming practices and efficiencies for farming outputs.  We are in turn increasingly incorporating technology into Lardner Park with our facilities and aspects such as the Steer Trial where customer and public engagement is enhanced with digital technologies.  Smart farming is the way of the future so it is appropriate we look to developing alliances that support the establishment of such entities as CoDE so we can continue to facilitate information, present new technologies and industry best practices, and highlight new opportunities for agribusiness sectors, and more broadly industries in Gippsland. Lardner Park is a perfect location for CoDE from both a geographical perspective and industry connection aspect, and offers considerable collaborative avenues to be explored with facilities in Gippsland providing education, training and technology development in other areas.

WIN News Gippsland 26th July 2017

Lardner Park welcomes Business Events Victoria

Business event organisers were treated to the best of Gippsland and Phillip Island on Business Events Victoria’s famil to regional Victoria on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 March.

The group’s first stop was Mercure Warragul which is centrally located in the heart of Warragul. Opening in late 2015 the hotel has injected a fresh energy to the town, with its contemporary designed rooms, quality fittings, multipurpose function rooms, a gym, restaurant, lounge, and complimentary WiFi.

A few minutes out of town was our second stop at Lardner Park, one of Australia’s premier regional exhibition venues and truly versatile in its delivery of over 120 events annually. The group was treated to a birds-eye golf buggy tour of the grounds and showcased the benefits and opportunities of hosting events in regional areas. A lakeside wine tasting with  smooth tunes provided by ‘DJ Nige’ and  his Kombi ‘Deidre’, pasta making demonstration with head chef Leigh Marino,  followed by a scrumptious lunch featuring gorgeous Gippsland produce rounded off this unforgettable site inspection.

Lardner Park is nestled within the spectacular surrounds of West Gippsland. The state-of-the-art venue is ideal for meetings, conferences and corporate functions. As the group were shown, the Lardner Park team can tailor functions to meet individual needs and go out of their way to provide unique opportunities for any group.

Continuing east, we arrived in the Latrobe Valley and visited three venues in Traralgon – Comfort Inn Traralgon, Bridges on Argyle and Century Inn Traralgon. All three venues in this business hub show the true versatility of regional Victorian facilities and local owners’ continual commitment to upgrade and rejuvenate.

After an afternoon tea refuel at Century Inn, we headed for our overnight stop – RACV Inverloch.

RACV Inverloch is set in the heart of Victoria’s spectacular South Gippsland coast with sweeping views of Bass Strait and Anderson Inlet. The state-of-the-art purpose-built conference and events centre is suitable for groups up to 300, with a variety of accommodation options from luxury ocean facing rooms to quality family-friendly cabins.  After check-in and a quick refresh, the group spent a relaxed evening over drinks, canapes and a sumptuous two-course dinner while dusk set over the Bass Strait horizon.

Leaving Gippsland early on Friday morning for Phillip Island, the group got ready with a  pulse-racing Go Kart experience at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit Go-Kart Track, built as a scaled replica of the 4.445km world famous Phillip Island Circuit.

The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit is truly a unique and complete venue for corporate and incentive meetings.  A variety of flexible areas in the pit building caters for all conferencing needs from a selection of state of the art, unique meeting spaces catering for over 1,300 delegates in theatre style or over 760 dining guests to one of Victoria’s largest regional trade expo areas measuring 2000m2.

A quick trip in the bus brought the group to Ramada Phillip Island which offers the ideal setting for meetings, incentives, conferences and events. Situated on 65 acres of picturesque and well-maintained bushland grounds, you will enjoy exemplary service, excellent resort facilities, a large choice of accommodation and two interconnecting conference rooms, catering to up to 192 delegates.

Our final stop on the famil itinerary was at the impressive Silverwater Resort. Think spectacular bay views, light filled conference and function rooms, fresh country air, clear starry nights, prime networking space, and spacious apartment accommodation.

Perched on the rolling hills of San Remo, the gateway to Phillip Island, the resort is a short 80 minute drive from Melbourne.

Boasting conference facilities for up to 500 delegates, Silverwater Resort offers a unique function, meeting and conference experience with five major function rooms. The purpose-built conference rooms embrace modern technology and offer flexible layouts, natural light, and modern AV equipment.

Gippsland and Phillip Island #ididntknowyoucouldconferencethere

Farm World 2017

Visitation to the 50th Anniversary of Farm World, held at Lardner Park, has brought a smile to many faces. Crowd numbers are not far off those in 2016 which was a record attendance last year.  Nicola Pero, CEO of Lardner Park noted,

This is very enthusing given last year was in the school holidays and the past year has been one of challenge for many in the agriculture sector.  Our aim is to seek to schedule Farm World to always be in the school holidays in the future – of course this is impacted by Easter and many other major events. The weather had an impact on Thursday and Friday however several farm machinery exhibitors noted the quality of buyers was strong during those days.  Saturday and Sunday attendance certainly made up with weather almost perfect for walking the Farm World site over the weekend with many exhibitors celebrating great sales levels. 2017 was a sell out for exhibitor sites and a number of exhibitors called into the office on Sunday evening to express satisfaction on their sales results.

The Women in Agriculture Luncheon had an excellent attendance with 175 guests and sponsorship from Telstra, Commonwealth Bank and The Weekly Times. The guests thoroughly enjoyed sharing the personal journeys of the speakers Rebel Black and Emma Germano, with further insightful shares from Commonwealth Bank’s Nicole Brown speaking on Women in Focus, Natalie Collard sharing her perspective from the Telstra Business Women’s Awards, and Annette Houlahan from the McGrath Foundation.

Kevin Dale hosted the Official Luncheon with a trip down Farm World memory lane and a chat with a wide range of people involved over the year.  Attendances were impacted a little by the fact it was also sadly the final day of closure for Hazelwood coal plant with so many people from the Valley, politicians and media obviously being present in the Latrobe Valley to show their support.

The Farm World Equestrian Expo was very popular in its second year with maximum entries by competitors, Olympic level riders such as Russell Johnstone and Gavin Chester an Olympian himself as the course builder.  The Masterclasses were hugely popular and something we will be looking to expand on for next year.  Mounted Games on Sunday was new with crowd engagement really positive and many non-equestrian people getting excited with the Sunday program.

The Gippsland Jersey Milk Off Challenge showed to be a huge hit with high patron interest, excellent media engagement, and people clamouring to be a milk off participant!  They put on a terrific presentation, enabling engagement with a lot of dairy farmers as well as imparting knowledge and information to non-dairy people about commercial dairy farming and its economic importance to the region.

Reflecting the theme of Food & Fibre 2017, the Food & Fibre Fiesta was tremendously well received with presenter demonstrations including pasta making, native bushfoods and composting being a hit and something we will continue to build on for next year, also reflecting the growth of the horticulture industry.

Nicola Pero said in conclusion,

Farm World would not be possible without the incredible support of the community groups that step up to assist with marshalling, ticket sales, ticket scanning, parking and so much more.  The Lardner Park Committee were in full force this year and we are thankful for all the hours that everyone puts in to ensure Farm World can be successfully hosted year on year. We’re very happy with the attendance – although like all events you always want more!  Given this year was not in the school holidays and a slight dampening of spirits with the weather, we believe the changes in programming that were made this year were embraced by the public and we’ll be looking to expand upon these for next year.  Farm World is during the school holidays in 2018 and we are confident of attracting a bumper crowd and delivering more new programming.”