SSAA Members gathered in Melbourne on Thursday 16 November for the highly anticipated 2023 SSAA Awards for Excellence presented by VISY Boxes and More at the Grand Hyatt. Recognising outstanding achievements across various categories, each sponsored by industry leaders, the event showcased the innovative spirit, commitment to sustainability, and community engagement within the self storage sector.
Award submissions were critiqued by an experienced, independent judging panel who made a particular point of emphasising how difficult they found it to judge between such strong submissions this year.
Excellence in Community Engagement sponsored by USC Containers
Winner: National Mini Storage for their ‘Creating Space’ Initiative
- Peter Jex-Blake (Self Storage Gisborne)
- Storage King Blacktown
National Mini Storage earned this award with their ‘Creating Space’ initiative, a program designed to provide charitable sponsorships to local community groups. Offering cash prizes and free storage units for a year, this initiative earned acclaim for its significant impact and focused support to create tangible change amongst the community.
The judges remarked that this initiative is, “A great way to aggregate previous giving into an initiative with increased impact. Focused and generous community support program that creates an opportunity for real impact.”
Excellence in Sustainability sponsored by Storco
TAXIBOX’s commitment to sustainability shone through their range of sustainability initiatives. Their ‘Plant-A-Tree’ project, offsets their carbon footprint whilst their ‘Recycling our covers’ program repurposes their bright black and yellow tarpaulin covers into unique products, reducing waste and promoting a circular economy.
The Judges remarked, “Taxibox are to be commended on their approach to Corporate Social Responsibility. The project demonstrates meaningful and creative social initiatives involving their broader team to ensure maximum ownership for the projects.”
Excellence in Innovation sponsored by PTI Security
Winner: StoreLocal for their ‘Virtual Experience’ and ‘In-Store Kiosk’ Innovations
StoreLocal secured the Excellence in Innovation award for their ground-breaking ‘Virtual Experience’ and ‘In-Store Kiosk’ innovations. Transforming customer engagement and experience, these initiatives set new industry benchmarks, making storage more accessible and engaging while simplifying customer interactions and increasing operational efficiency.
The judges remarked, this, “Demonstrates a genuinely new innovation for the Australasian storage industry, focusing on the customer experience. The innovation has the potential to brighten up the storage experience and bring to life the (sometimes) sterile storage environment.”
Excellence in Industry sponsored by R6 Digital
Winner: TAXIBOX for their U-Haul USA International Partnership
TAXIBOX’s strategic partnership with U-Haul’s U-Box revolutionises international moving and storage, setting a new standard for efficiency and reliability. This collaboration offers customers a seamless door-to-door experience between Australia, the USA, and Canada for a fixed fee.
The judges remarked, “Taxibox have recognised a gap in the market and taken advantage to provide a service linking storage and removals internationally. This innovative initiative has a strong business model underpinned by leaders in the USA industry. A partnership and approach deserving of the Excellence in Industry Award.”
Best Facility Expansion or Upgrade sponsored by Highway Frontage
Winner: U-Store-It Para Hills West
- Self Storage Gisborne
- Storage King Bassendean
U-Store-It Para Hills West impressed the judges with its visionary expansion project, transforming an existing warehouse into a state-of-the-art, multi-story facility which added more than 3000 square metres of net lettable area. With a desire to revolutionise the self storage experience, the expansion featured advanced technologies like the Nokē Vault smart access system and carried a focus on security and operational efficiencies throughout the design and execution of the project.
The judges remarked that this was, “A significant expansion and automation project achieved in a short timeframe within an existing facility. A testament to a strong vision, team execution, and effective project management.”
Facility of the Year (Up to 150 units) sponsored by Southwell Lifts & Hoists
Winner: Self Storage Gisborne
Finalist: Stash-It Self Storage Hamilton
Self Storage Gisborne emerged as the Facility of the Year (Up to 150 units), showcasing excellence in design and security, with a standout feature of 60 contemporary, well-lit ranch-style units that allow for easy access for large vehicles. The facility’s commitment to community engagement, notable staff contributions, and continuous growth made it a standout candidate for this prestigious award.
The judges remarked that, “The Owners and Manager clearly know their local market well and have grown their business in tune with demand and price drivers to maximise profitability.”
Facility of the Year (150 – 500 units) sponsored by VISY Boxes and More
- Bass Coast Boat & Caravan Storage
- StoreLocal Pacific Pines
StorageX, a newly converted facility amongst Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs, impressed the judges with its high-quality features. This impressive conversion, turning a former taxi depot into a high performing storage facility, highlighted StorageX’s industry research as a new entrant to the sector. The facility also offers a secure, walk-in vault that has been accredited by Victoria Police for gun storage.
The judges commended the StorageX team for their deep industry research and considered approach, evidenced in this stand-out facility.
Facility of the Year (Over 500 units) sponsored by Janus International Australia
Winner: National Mini Storage Ormiston
- Rent A Space Queanbeyan
- Storage King Perth Airport
National Mini Storage Ormiston secured the top spot in the Facility of the Year (Over 500 units) category. Recognised for its contemporary design that includes a five-level facility featuring an innovative drive-through loading bay, paired with management’s strategic approach to offering commercial leases to floors that are being staged for fit-out, this facility stood out as a shining exemplar in the self storage industry.
The judges commended National Mini Ormiston’s skilled approach to site development and commercialisation, plus the evidenced clear commitment to customer centricity and investment in their people.
Service Member of the Year presented by the Self Storage Association of Australasia
Winner: Cushman & Wakefield
- R6 Digital
Cushman & Wakefield received the Service Member of the Year Award for their exceptional contribution to the industry showcasing their expertise and commitment to an informed industry through the Self Storage Performance Indicators (SSPI) initiative. The newly created SSPI series tracks the performance of close to 270 self storage facilities in six major markets within Australia and New Zealand, and the research is conducted pro-bono for the benefit of the industry and its stakeholders.
The judges remarked on Cushman & Wakefield’s exceptional contribution, particularly highlighting how sector research and transparency are key foundations of a maturing asset class and an outstanding service to all in the industry.
Manager of the Year sponsored by Storman
Winners: Rosemary Angyasy of Jim’s Self Storage and Priya Khatri (accepted by Scott Johnson in her absence) of Rent A Space Marsden Park
- Farag Marey, Rent A Space Girraween
- Michael Hurney, U-Store-It Para Hills West
A tied result in the Manager of the Year category showcased the outstanding efforts of Rosemary Angyasy and Priya Khatri, with the judges unable to split the finalists
Rosemary has been an invaluable asset to the self storage industry since 2005, demonstrating unwavering commitment, expertise and adaptability in her role at Jim’s Self Storage. Her exceptional leadership, exemplified by revenue growth and strong operational performance amidst the challenges of the pandemic, showcases her innovative strategies and empathetic approach to customer service.
The judges remarked that Rosemary’s exceptional manager skillset, “Demonstrates an innate ability to inspire and motivate, fostering a culture of innovation, collaboration, and continuous improvement.”
Priya’s 7-year journey in the self storage industry from an accounting background demonstrates her dedication and adaptability, leading to remarkable operational performance at Rent a Space Marsden Park. Her customer-centric approach, outworked through exceptional service and active listening, has garnered stellar customer feedback.
The judges noted that Priya’s diverse background equips her with a unique blend of financial acumen, operational expertise, and customer-centricity, making her exceptionally well-suited to excel in her self-storage management role.’
The 2023 SSAA Awards for Excellence presented by VISY Boxes and More celebrated the industry’s best, highlighting the dedication, innovation, and commitment that continue to drive the self-storage sector forward.
Congratulations to all the winners for their outstanding contributions!