Passion for Food Excellence Wins Award Recognition

Don Hancey (right) with local seafood produce Damien Bell

WA Food Ambassador, Don Hancey was last night recognised when he won the Seafood Industry Promotion Award, sponsored by Baker Refrigeration, at the 2019 Western Australian Seafood Industry Awards.

The Awards event, recognising excellence in the WA seafood industry, was held at The Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle and opened by the Minister for Fisheries, the Hon. Dave Kelly MLA in front of an audience of industry participants and representatives of various stakeholder groups.

Don Hancey said over the last 30 years of his 45 years as a chef, restaurateur and food ambassador – he has been employed on or orchestrated hundreds of events based around the Western Australian food, wine and tourism businesses.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience – promoting not only beautiful Western Australian produce but the producers and harvesters themselves,” said Mr Hancey.

WA Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) Chair, Dr Ron Edwards, said Mr Hancey had demonstrated excellence in developing and undertaking a promotion activity that has contributed substantially towards improving the public profile of seafood and the industry.

“Passion is the best word to use when describing Don Hancey.  Don loves nothing more than working with quality local producers to help grow their businesses, their opportunities and create innovative ways to present, showcase and market their produce.”

“He also has a holistic view on food production and is interested in the process from ocean or soil to plate and on to the consumer.”

“In WA’s seafood industry he has helped to promote the sector to the community through events, tutorials, media announcements and more. His love for our great, sustainable seafood industry is showcased through his dedication to ensuring that industry voices are heard.”

“As an industry body, we recognise the importance of acknowledging those individuals and organisations who make a substantial contribution to benefiting our industry, and Don Hancey is certainly incredibly worthy of this Award,” Dr Edwards concluded.

For further information regarding the awards, please contact:

Danika Gusmeroli

Communications Officer

WAFIC office: (08) 9432 7777

Mobile: 0434 963 179



Dr Ron Edwards

WAFIC Chairman

WAFIC office: (08) 9432 7777

Mobile: 0408 925 805


Don Hancey

Mobile: 0418 931 770



About the Seafood Industry Promotion Award

Presented to an entity that has demonstrated excellence in developing and undertaking a promotion activity that has contributed substantially towards improving the public profile of seafood and/or the seafood industry.

Judging criteria:

The activity:

  • addressed a high priority for the seafood industry
  • was end-user driven and produced outcomes that contributed towards improving the public profile of seafood and/or the seafood industry
  • was challenging, required a high level of innovation and direct action to achieve the planned outcome

About the Awards Event

  • The event is supported by a number of sponsors including; National Australia Bank (Gold event sponsor), Fisheries Research & Development Corporation (Silver event sponsor) and Western Rock Lobster Council (Silver event sponsor) as well as sponsors for each of the individual awards, including Austral Fisheries, Bailey’s Marine Fuels, Baker Refrigeration, Bendotti Exporters, Geraldton Fisherman’s Cooperative, ConocoPhillips Australia, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development WA, Endeavour Foods, Francis A Jones, INPEX, Mareterram, MG Kailis Group, Santos and Woodside.
  • Award event attendees enjoyed an array of fresh, local and sustainably caught Western Australian seafood prepared by celebrity chefs and kindly donated by sponsors including; Austral Fisheries, BellBuoy Seafoods, Bendotti Exporters, Blom Fishing, Brown Dog Fishing Co, Cone Bay Barramundi, Endeavour Foods, Fins Seafood, Larner’s Oysters, Leeman Fish & Chips, Mendolia Seafoods, MG Kailis Group, Ocean Grown Abalone, Ocean Wild Tuna, Paspaley Pearling Company, Running Wild Fishing Co, Shark Bay Cockles, Shark Bay Seafoods, West Australian Octopus all served in compostable packaging provided by Ward Packaging.
  • Highly regarded “celebrity”’ seafood chefs cooked at the event including; Gurpreet Bagga (Sauma Northbridge), Naomi Bulner (Steve’s Fine Food), Neil Forbes (Black Pearl Oyster Shucking), Don Hancey (WA Food Ambassador & WAFIC Seafood Ambassador), Gord Kahle (Cook & Mason), Stuart Laws (Showcase Events WA), Kenny McHardy (Manuka Woodfire Kitchen), Brendan Pang (2018 Masterchef Contestant), Melissa Palinkas (Young George), Alejandro Saravia (Uma), and Nic Wood (Santini Bar & Grill).
  • The event was held on Thursday 25 July 2019 at Fremantle’s Esplanade Hotel.