2023 ProPrint Awards: Top 10 winners in the Printer 50 category

Above: Durst Oceania managing director Matt Ashman attentive as the Printer 50 winners are announced (Durst Oceania is a proud Platinum Sponsor for the 2023 ProPrint Awards.)

Although the 2023 ProPrint Awards have been and gone, the accolades live on and in this, the first in a three part series, we provide the bios of all the Printer 50 winners, beginning with the Top 10.

Formerly known as the Power 50, this peer-voted award was run for the first-time last year and recognises senior print leaders. Full details on the criteria for this award can be found here.

The top ten Printer 50 winners are:

Adam Parnell and Andy Fryer (winners)
Directors, Easy Signs

Adam Parnell & Andry Fryer

In 2006 Adam and Andy launched printing and signage company Easy Signs in Sydney, and since adopting an online sales model, have transformed a humble start-up into a thriving industry leader.
Under their visionary leadership, dedication to quality, and customer-centric approach, the company operates out of an impressive facility in Sydney, and has expanded to the phillipines and Pennsylvania, USA, which recently celebrated its first year in business.
With a strong technical background, Adam and Andy continually invest in the latest state-of -the-art machinery to ensure that Easy Signs supplies consistent, high-quality products to its customers at the lowest cost. Their aim is to reduce the cost of local manufacturing to return work to Australian shores. The duo has been recognised outside of print, notably in the Australian Financial Review’s Fast100, Smart Company Smart50 and the AFR’s Most Innovative Australian Manufacturing Award in 2019.
Their commitment to efficiency and innovation; and delivering a repeatable and exceptional experience for every client drives ongoing excellence and exemplifies entrepreneurial triumph.

2 Keith Ferrel
General Manager – Operations | CACTUS IMAGING

Keith Ferrel

Over thirty years ago, Keith and Warwick Spicer started Cactus Imaging, one of the leading Grand Format Production companies in the Asia Pacific region, which has led the way in sustainability when printing billboards. In 2000 Keith was one of the drivers in setting up the very successful India facility in Chennai. He has served on the HP Customer Advisory Board and in 2016 was elected to the Global Board of Dscoop.
Keith is currently on the Board of FESPA Australia, has been elected to the FESPA Hall of Fame and in 2014 was awarded the FESPA World Printer of the Year. In 2021 he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Print Awards for services to the Print Industry. Keith is well respected and is often called to speak at many world print events.

3 Matt Aitken

Matt Aitken

Matt is recognised for leading Australia’s largest print and diversified marketing company and his role as president of the PVCA. In addition, he is driving IVE’s ESG (environmental, social and governance) strategy with an advisory firm and will start the process to make the transition to 100 per cent renewable energy in 2024. Matt has overseen multiple acquisitions including that of Ovato last year which saved many jobs and protected the catalogue and magazine industry from major structural collapse.

He has also helped achieve two consecutive years of growth on all key financial metrics for IVE Group. Matt is the deputy president of the Cronulla Surf Club and supports initiatives including Man Anchor, Liptember Foundation and Nelune Foundation.

4 Abbie Graham
Designer/Printer | KWIK KOPY NEWCASTLE

Abbie Graham

Abbie was the 2021 Heidelberg LIA Graduate of the Year in NSW. Since completing a pre-press apprenticeship, she has been expanding her knowledge in digital print production at Kwik Kopy Newcastle.

Abbie is a talented member of the print industry, and according to her peers applies the highest of standards to her work, and has an amazing knowledge of printers, artwork, design, and signage.

5 Andrew Hall
Managing Director | FACTORY ONE

Andrew Hall

Andrew has been in the print and signage industry for around 15 years when he started out at Signcraft. Since taking the reins of Factory One five years ago he has been able to continue the celebrated reputation the business has built over the years while implementing new processes based on his own experience and success in the industry. He has since managed to double the turnover of the business (even during COVID) and brought on several blue-chip clients, such as Lion Co and Camera House. He attributes much of this incredible achievement to his team since he believes that people are the core of a business. Factory One has recently relocated to premises three times larger than before as it continues to expand and grow.

6 Aaron Lusch

Aaron Lusch

Aaron is recognised for his leadership of Platypus, a commitment to investing in employees (which has expanded from 115 to over 150) and processes; and positioning the company as a leader in the sustainable fibre packaging industry.

Platypus holds ISO 14001 certification, FSC and PEFC certifications. Its acquisition of the Ovato packaging business has bolstered its portfolio and brought new talent into the organisation.

7 Angelo Varnakulasingham

Angelo Varnakulasingham

Angelo has 42 years of screen printing and large format printing experience and is passionate about training and teaching others in the printing trade. He mentors inmates that would have never considered printing as a trade before they leave custody and become successful printers for small businesses.

After 11 years at Long Bay, he has developed the workshop to a fully functional printing business with modernised technology and equipment. This has greatly increased productivity of 30 inmates producing a range of products from graphic design artwork, signage on acrylic, timber, or metal; promotional merchandise and much more. Angelo was awarded the CSI Excellence Award – Print Business Division Award in 2022.

8 Adam Middleton

Adam MIddleton

Adam Middleton’s print journey began in 1998 with an apprenticeship that sparked his fervour for grand format printing. Over two decades, he has delved into every corner of the industry, from mastering technical support to orchestrating print media installations.

Over the past 12 months, he successfully acquired Runtime Design, marking a pivotal step in expanding the company’s operations. Additionally, he led the acquisition of Australia′s first JHF FB5900. Amid these advancements, the business experienced an impressive growth of 46 per cent. Adam also recently oversaw the completion and final approval of the company’s purpose-built lenticular machine, which features four spot channels – a project he personally designed.

9 Dayne Nankervis

Dayne Nankervis

Dayne is recognised for his solid leadership and commitment to business improvements for CMYKhub. Constantly embracing new technologies, he purchased the first DigiLase 4.0 with DigiJet 330 finishing solution from ABG at Labelexpo 2023. In 2022 CMYKhub entered the label printing market, investing in an HP Indigo 6K digital press and a new hybrid 3.2m wide EFI VUTEk h5. Dayne helped purchase the RMGT 970PF-8 LED, an Australian first, from Cyber A/NZ. Other purchases include two Zund cutting tables to further enhance CMYKhub’s wide format offerings, and the new Komori RP 8 colour, which is press ready for the company’s factory to be completed by June 2024. This year marks the most significant investment phase CMYKhub has had in eight years.

10 Nigel Spicer
General Manager | CACTUS IMAGING

Nigel Spicer

Nigel is a strong business leader and highly respected in the industry. Under his leadership, Cactus Imaging has continued to strengthen with new capability enhancements added. In 2022 he received the Excellence in Innovation Award from the OMA for the development of Eco Banner, Australia’s first 100 per cent recyclable billboard, which is now recognised as an industry staple. He is also invited to speak at various international and domestic print conferences, whilst also driving the thought-provoking ‘This Billboard Did Not Print Itself’ outdoor campaign. He says that watching his team grow and achieve amazing results has been one of his important achievements.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Note: All category winners will be published in the December 2023 issue of ProPrint.

If you would like more information about the ProPrint Awards, including sponsorship enquiries for 2024, email: carmen@proprint.com.au or call 0410 582 450.


Massive thanks to our sponsors – without them we could not run these awards!

Platinum Sponsor – Durst Oceania

Gold Sponsors – Ball & Doggett, FUJFILM Australia, HP, IVE Group, Kwik Kopy Australia, Pozitive and Visual Connections

Silver Sponsors – Böttcher Systems, Bright Print Group, Cactus Imaging, Canon Production Printing Australia, Graph-Pak, Konica Minolta, KURZ, Lamson Paragon, OKI, PAKKO, Ricoh, and Spicers

Auditing Partner – PFK

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