New Sunrise held its 13th annual iceworks conference in Darwin, with 300 delegates gathering for five days of networking, insights, and workshops.

The conference, which has been heralded as ‘the best yet’, was packed with keynote presentations on the economic and fuel retailing outlook in Australia and multiple supplier engagement sessions. There were presentations on New Sunrise initiatives and priorities, live cooking and coffee demonstrations, a celebration of annual award winners, as well as some magical experiences that will last a lifetime.

Set in the Top End of Australia, the New Sunrise iceworks conference opened with a moving welcome to country, followed by a night of laughter and entertainment. Supported by Asahi Lifestyle Beverages, the welcome party saw Australian cricket legend Brett Lee give delegates a first-hand recount of some personal experiences, before joining in a game of backyard cricket. The original yellow wiggle, Greg Page, joined in and took to wicket keeping duties and created a once in a lifetime opportunity for delegates to hit a six against an Australian cricket icon.

Brett Lee and Greg Page singing

Business sessions were held over two days at two locations with the first day at Darwin’s Entertainment Centre. Supplier partners exhibited in the pavilion that was transformed into a colourful Willy Wonka inspired candy world.

Managing Director of New Sunrise, Steve Cardinale opened the session with a fitting quote from Charles Darwin: “It’s not the strongest of species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change, that lives within the means available and works cooperatively against common threats.”

Delegates then heard from a selection of keynote speakers and industry leaders, including Kristina Clifton from The Commonwealth Bank, Brian Stephenson from IRI, then Mark McKenzie CEO, ACAPMA gave an update on the outlook on the fuel industry. Greg Page and Brett Lee also provided an update on Heart of the Nation and the importance of having AEDs accessible across Australia.

It was then over to the New Sunrise team, with presentations from National Merchandise Manager, Joe Alessi, National Retail Support Manager, Deb Adnum and National Marketing and Brand Manager, Andrew Cardinale on the New Sunrise key initiatives to deliver future growth by continuing to build the shopper experience and increase visibility to win the hearts and minds of Australian consumers.

The following day’s business sessions were held in The Ballroom at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Esplanade Darwin, and attendees heard short, sharp yet inspiring talks on each of New Sunrise’s key initiatives to deliver future growth. Speakers included a State of the Industry presentation from Theo Foukkare, CEO, AACS.

Theo Foukkare, CEO, AACS

Throughout each session delegates were also treated to a firsthand view of exceptional New Sunrise retailers across the country, with a series of virtual retailer videos bringing to life the plans being delivered by the group. These included Jill & Jack’s in Wilston, Mood Foods and Ampol Parklea.

A live cooking workshop

To wind down after the two big days of sessions, delegates were treated to a unique Top End experience, The Iceworks Rodeo, supported by Monster Energy. This included performances from some of Australia’s best bucking bull riders as well as adrenaline pumping flips and tricks by freestyle motor X riders, followed by a whole lot of networking, whip cracking, selfies with animals and dancing.

The conference ended with the New Sunrise Iceworks Snowball Awards and Gala Dinner where Matt Gollan at The Station Grocer took out the Snowball Retailer of the Year award.

The event was held at one of the greatest sunset viewing locations, the picturesque front lawn of the Mindil Beach Casino Resort.

It was hosted by Australian stand-up comedian, actor and writer, Peter Rowsthorn (aka. Brett from the iconic Australian series, Kath & Kim), who announced and celebrated the New Sunrise Snowball Award Winners.

Snowball Award Winners:

Snowball Retailer of the Year: Matt Gollan, The Station Grocer

Snowball Retailer of the Year Matt Gollan, The Station Grocer

Snowball Supplier Partner of the Year: Asahi Lifestyle Beverages

Snowball Supplier Partner of the Year Asahi Lifestyle Beverages

Snowball Account Manager of the Year: Joe De Petro, Snack Brands Australia

Snowball Account Manager of the Year Joe De Petro, Snack Brands Australia with Joe Alessi (left) and Steve Cardinale (right)

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