A Glen Innes art gallery has been announced as a finalist for its second state-wide award in a year days after it celebrated its second birthday.
Wendy and Lloyd Hornsby of Gawura gallery were today announced as shortlisted finalists to win one of the NSW tourism awards.
The gallery, which features both Indigenous and non-Indigenous art, will join Vivid Sydney, the Bathurst Winter Festival and the Tamworth Country Music festival at the finals in Sydney.
"To be in that category is just enormous isn't it?" said Wendy Hornsby.
"Here's Glen Innes and there's Vivid in Sydney, goodness me.
"I'm blown away I can't believe we made the finals!"
Wendy said she's ecstatic to be able to bring good news to a town suffering its worst drought in decades.
"The whole place is doing it tough. After we got a silver award our tourism numbers increased exponentially.
"And of course then we push them down into town so hopefully this has been good for the whole town and not just for us.
"We're just a little place in the northern highlands of NSW doing the best we can and we've got a lovely little town that offers lots for tourism, so hopefully if this gets them there than that's fantastic."
She said one of the biggest strengths of the gallery is being able to offer a positive vision of Aboriginal culture, which she says can often be stereotyped by media. They are competing in the excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism category.
Other local competitors include Nundle Woollen Mill, which won gold last year for cultural tourism and the Tamworth country music festival, bronze in major festival and events.
Armidale city centre motor inn and Faraway Domes at Warialda have also been named as finalists.
There are 146 entrants from across NSW.
"The NSW Tourism Awards are the most prestigious awards in the tourism industry, with a long history of celebrating and recognising business excellence, innovation and outstanding customer service by tourism operators," said NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Joe Townsend.
The winners of the 2019 NSW Tourism Awards will be announced at a Gala Dinner on November 14 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney. Gold Medal winners in categories 1 to 25 go on to represent NSW at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, to be held in Canberra in March 2020.