QLD/NT Excellence in Franchising Awards Showcase Franchising’s High Achievers


The Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) recognised franchising’s best in Queensland and the Northern Territory at the FCA 2018 QLD/NT Excellence in Franchising Awards presentations in Brisbane on Thursday night.

Winners at the event included Dione Mauric of Finn Franchise Brokers, Sunshine Coast and North Queensland, who was named the QLD/NT Multi-Unit Franchisee of the Year and Russell Hampton of Hire A Hubby, Bayview, who took home the award for QLD/NT Franchisee of the Year, two or more staff.

Pool and spa maintenance network, Poolwerx, also had a successful night, with Michelle Graham of Poolwerx, Ashgrove/Keperra, being named the QLD/NT Franchise Woman of the Year and Poolwerx Business Development Manager Stephen Halls winning the QLD/NT Field Manager of the Year Award for 2018.

Dione Mauric joined Finn Franchise Brokers as the network’s second franchisee and a decade later remains passionate and positive about the sector and its ability to help families achieve their small business goals.

“We are very proud to receive this award for the second year,” says Dionne. “We believe that franchising provides a fantastic model for families to fulfill their dreams of having their own business. We’re very honoured to receive the award but we’re very, very proud to be able to help so many families change their lives on both the Sunshine Coast and in Northern Queensland.”

“I think the key ingredients to be a successful franchisee are really being passionate about your brand, being passionate about what you’re doing and really being involved in your business and leading it from the front,” Dionne says.

These qualities, along with a positive relationship with his franchisor, have also been key components of QLD/NT Franchisee of the Year, two or more staff Award winner Russell Hampton’s success.

Russell joined Hire A Hubby after a 24-year career in management at Woolworths. The decision to walk away from a well-paid corporate job was made easier with an income guarantee from Hire A Hubby backing his success as a franchisee. And that success has followed, with Russell rapidly growing his Bayview business into the best performing Hire A Hubby franchise nationally.

“When I joined the franchise, Brendan Green, who is the CEO of Hire A Hubby, actually flew up from Sydney to Brisbane, so I had the opportunity to meet him from day one. We worked on a plan from there,” says Russell.

For Michelle Graham, who has been a Poolwerx franchisee for 15 years, it’s the network’s systems and structure as well as a culture of inclusiveness that have helped to achieve her business goals.

“Franchising gives you a structure that I don’t think you would find in any normal business,” says Michelle.

“And you’re not on your own. We’ve been with Poolwerx for a long time, and along the way we’ve had them for guidance and systems support, which has been massive for running our own business and achieving our goals.”

For Michelle, who is involved in two Poolwerx advisory councils as well as being a mentor for women within the Poolwerx network, the feedback and assistance process between franchisees and the franchisor is a two-way street.

“Poolwerx is an inclusive environment. We’re in this as a team to get the best profitability for every franchise partner. Because at the end of the day, if you’ve got good profitability, then the business is more attractive for incoming franchisees,” says Michelle.

QLD/NT Field Manager of the Year for 2018, Stephen Halls, is another long-term franchising professional, having spent 17 years in the sector both as a franchisee and in senior franchise business development roles.

“It’s quite humbling to win this Award because obviously you don’t do jobs like this for the recognition. I’m passionate about franchising and I’ve been doing it for a long time,” says Stephen.

“In my role, it’s just nice to see people who just like me, many, many years ago have invested in their life and a dream. It’s also great to be able to showcase the Poolwerx brand, because if it wasn’t for the brand and the leadership and the great team, I probably wouldn’t have received the award.”

Following their success, all winners have qualified as finalists for the MYOB FCA National Excellence in Franchising Awards. The Gala Awards Dinner will be held in Melbourne on Tuesday 16 October at the culmination of the 2018 National Franchise Convention.


QLD/NT Multi-Unit Franchisee of the Year: Dione Mauric, Finn Franchise Brokers, Sunshine Coast and North Queensland

QLD/NT Single Unit Franchisee of the Year, two or more staff: Russell Hampton, Hire A Hubby, Bayview

QLD/NT Franchise Woman of the Year: Michelle Graham, Poolwerx, Ashgrove/Keperra

QLD/NT Field Manager of the Year: Stephen Halls, Poolwerx