Mildura City Heart will usher in a new era for one of the Mallee’s most iconic events this month when it hosts The Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph for the first time.

Mildura City Heart is the traders association for the 367 businesses within the Mildura CBD precinct, and following a competitive tender process by Mildura Rural City Council earlier in the year, was successful in securing the event for the coming three years.

Chairman Ryan Hammerton said Mildura City Heart looked forward to continuing the success achieved by previous event organisers.

“Saturday August 19 2017 will see The Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph kick off its inaugural year under Mildura City Heart stewardship, and it follows years of substantial efforts by past committees based at Ouyen and Merbein,” Mr Hammerton said.

The event initially started in the Mallee town of Ouyen when former Victorian premier, Jeff Kennett, stopped by the local bakery for a vanilla slice and declared it the best he’d ever had.

Local community group Ouyen Inc. then started working with Australia’s baking industries and suppliers to create a nation-wide search for Australia’s best vanilla slice, and after 10 years of running the event passed the baton on to Merbein Development Association, which then ran the event for five years.

“I am disappointed I cannot attend this year’s Vanilla Slice Triumph"

"This is not only a great event but has been responsible for huge job growth in bakeries around the country. Have fun, bake well – a vanilla to you!” Mr Kennett said.

Mildura Mayor Glenn Milne congratulated Mildura City Heart for ‘taking up the baton’ and continuing the event.

“This a fantastic event for our region and not only injects valuable visitor and tourism dollars into our district, but helps raise awareness about Sunraysia and what we have to offer,” Cr Milne said.

“A big thank-you must go out to Ouyen and Merbein for their past efforts in launching, building and then successfully continuing this event, and I look forward to seeing it develop and evolve under the direction of Mildura City Heart.”

Chief Judge of this year’s competition, EOI Peerless Foods’ Corey Howard, said the shift to the Langtree Mall this year had brought with it a change in format.

“We have been pleased to work with Mildura City Heart in continuing this event into the future. Whilst the competition component has been stripped back to only the professional categories in this transition year, we are delighted with the volume of entries received to date”, Mr Howard said.

Bakeries that wish to obtain information about entering the professional, professional innovative, or apprentice sections of the competition can obtain information from www.milduracity.com.au

The Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph will be a fun-filled day of family activities, entertainment, displays of the competition entries, cooking demonstrations with Stefano de Pieri, and will also include a ‘Vanilla Slice Market Hall’ where the public can purchase vanilla slices from.