Ballarat’s Best Ideas Announced

A ‘Paint the City’ initiative, a bread delivery subscription service, and a cookbook of the city’s most popular dishes have been named Ballarat’s best ideas.

The ideas were provided to businesses and organisations in the Ballarat’s Best Ideas competition, held between April 17 and May 14, 2021.

The competition called for members of the community to share their positive ideas to support Ballarat businesses and organisations through the Suggest it platform.

The three winning ideas, selected from hundreds submitted by the Ballarat community, are:

• Haymes Paint Shop Ballarat received the idea to run a campaign to ‘Paint the City’, working with local organisations to repaint Ballarat’s historical buildings on Sturt Street

• 1816 Bakehouse received the suggestion of creating a bread subscription service where orders are delivered weekly

• Plate Up Ballarat received the idea to create a cookbook of Ballarat venues’ best dishes

The recipients of the ideas were awarded $500 to help bring the ideas to life, while the idea givers also won $500 to spend at any member business of Commerce Ballarat.

The quirky but creative idea for Kryal Castle to hold a charity race to the top of Mt Warrenheip, with participants dressed as knights and squires, received an honorable mention.

The competition was run by Suggest it, in partnership with Ballarat City Council and supported by Commerce Ballarat, Federation University, Runway HQ, Ballarat Regional Tourism and The Ballarat Times.

The entries were judged on criteria of customer impact, business impact, community impact, creativity, feasibility, and the commitment of the business to implement the idea.

The entries were judged by Professor Christina Lee (Dean, Federation Business School), Tammy Fitzgerald (Acting Regional Director, Regional Development Victoria), Kelli Moran, (Economic Growth Team Leader, City of Ballarat) and Nichola Sleight (General Manager, Runway HQ).

Quote attributable to Suggest it Founder, Ben Wearne

“We were thrilled with the hundreds of creative, positive and impactful ideas that the Ballarat community submitted to support local businesses and organisations.

After repeated lockdowns, it’s clear that the community needs to continue to pull together and help our local business thrive, and this competition shows that people have great ideas and are willing to share them to support their community.”

Quote attributable to Suggest it Founder, Nick Clare

“What an incredible response from the community towards the inaugural Ballarat’s Best Ideas competition. It truly shows the impact an often simple but positive suggestion can have on an organisation.

We at Suggest it are incredibly proud to partner with multiple stakeholders to enable these ideas to be shared and now look forward to watching the legacy of the competition as the ideas come to life and the positive impact.”

Quote attributable to Mayor, Cr Daniel Moloney

“This competition showed the wonderful community spirit that we have here in Ballarat. We want to share ideas to help our businesses and city to thrive, and these ideas have the potential to make a difference in big and small ways.

“We look forward to seeing how these ideas – and the many others submitted through Suggest it and the Ballarat’s Best Ideas competition – are implemented in coming months and years.”

Quote attributable to 1816 Bakehouse, Josh Chapman (Head Baker) and Michaela Beggs (Store Manager)

“This will be great to help with our bread production levels, and managing our baker’s shifts according to demand. Such a good idea, I know that lots of our regular customers would use and loved this service.”

Quote attributable to Haymes Paint, Andrew Senyard (Head of Marketing)

“Haymes Paint was honoured to be included in the inaugural Ballarat’s Best Ideas competition through a suggestion from a member of the Ballarat community and look forward to exploring this further. Innovation is key to business success and platforms like Suggest it give the local community the opportunity play a part in the success of local businesses. Thank you to all those that provided a suggestion and congratulations to our fellow winners 1816 Bakehouse and Plate Up Ballarat.”

Quote attributable to Plate Up Ballarat, Kate Davis (Founder)

“Ballarat is a leading regional dining destination. Without events right now, a cookbook is the perfect extension for Plate Up Ballarat. I started Plate Up Ballarat to shine the spotlight on our chefs, cafes,/restaurants and to highlight our local producers. A cookbook is also the perfect way for people to discover our venues, create their own recipes at home. We have so many leading chefs in our region, and this would be a great celebration.”

Quote attributable to ‘Guru’ Kate who suggested the idea for Haymes Paint

“Suggest it is a great platform for the development of Ballarat. Fresh, interesting, unique and creative ideas from the community will inspire, motivate and invigorate local business.

I believe my idea to Paint the City, will not only beautify where we live, but will generate fabulous promotion for our city with visitors able to see the Haymes paint pallet (heritage colours) on our historic facades.”

Quote attributable to the Guru (anonymous) who suggested the idea for 1816 Bakehouse

“I’m so excited that my idea to offer a bread subscription service has been supported by 1816 Bakehouse. I believe it will make it a lot more convenient for those people who live in the outer suburbs of Ballarat to support local business and enjoy fresh bread.”

Quote attributable to the Guru (anonymous) who suggested the idea for Plate Up Ballarat

“I love the concept of a digital suggestion box so that people can share their positive ideas with local businesses and organisations. It’s great that Suggest it started right here in Ballarat too.

Plate Up is a terrific initiative to celebrate Ballarat’s terrific hospitality industry, so it seemed obvious to suggest a cookbook that brings it into our kitchens and homes!”

Suggest it is the suggestion box reimagined, providing the public with the ability to submit positive, private, and free ideas to help businesses and organisations thrive.

Members of the public are encouraged to continue to submit ideas through Suggest it to help local businesses and organisations and support Ballarat’s wide range of industries. Businesses and organisations can register for free to receive ideas. Visit

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