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Judging Panel Announced for Australian Event Awards


By Gwen O’Toole

The recently launched Australian Event Awards have simultaneously opened submissions and announced some of the industry judging panel yesterday (June 1).

The 2009 Australian Event Awards is a new national awards program, designed to reward innovation, recognise excellence and unite the entire Australian Events Industry. Entries are open to any event staged between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009.

With entries now open, the co-chairs of the judges have announced the industry experts in Australian events joining the independent industry judging panel.

Led by CEO of the Sydney Olympic Games Organising Committee, Sandy Hollway, and John Allen, Foundation Director of the Australian Centre for Event Management, the judging panel features highly skilled industry leaders from all across Australia, and all areas of the events industry.

“The Australian Event Awards is an overarching awards program recognising the full scope of excellence in Australian events, and encouraging innovation and creativity across the entire events industry,” said Allen.

“The Awards marks an important program in spelling out the achievements of our thriving industry to the wider community. As we announce the first members of our judging panel for this year’s Awards, we are thrilled to see experience and expertise from states all over Australia, and all sectors of the industry.”

“The Australian Event Awards presents a visible and clear way of asserting there is an identity to our events sector and will provide a value for the whole industry, not just those who win it,” added Hollway.

The first round of event experts joining the panel includes international events expert Prof Don Getz, Visiting Professor at the School of Tourism, University of Queensland. Gertz, a leading scholar and former editor-in-chief of Festival Management and Event Tourism: An International Journal is also on the editorial board of many international journals focussed on event and convention tourism.

Also announced is former South Australian Tourism Commission CEO, Bill Spurr, also a Board member of the Adelaide Entertainment Centre; The Adelaide Festival Centre Trust; Sealink Travel Group and the Adelaide Fringe. Major Event Planning CEO, David Churches has joined the panel after his extensive role in the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and Sydney 2008 World Youth Day. David also worked on London’s 2012 Olympic Bid and is principle technical advisor to the Tokyo Olympic Bid committee.

Assisting with the judging in the category of Best Marketing Campaign is John Moore, managing director of Global Brands Group, the organisation responsible for marketing the successful Sydney 2000 Olympics and finally Steve Brown, event designer, producer and marketer at Visible Event Management. Among many things Brown is a member of the South Australian Festival and Events Association and of the South Australian Government’s Minister for Tourism’s advisory group, he currently works with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra as its creative producer.

“The Industry Judging Panel have made the judging process as transparent as possible, making category guidelines and judging criteria available online. Entrants should note that innovation in event techniques, knowledge or practices will be particularly rewarded across all 23 Award categories,” said Allen adding that regardless of an event’s size or budget, “if you are doing something new and interesting in your field – we want to hear about it.”

The entry process, organisers say, will be easy, inexpensive and entirely hosted online, allowing entrants to edit and save their submission several times until the cut-off on Monday 27 July. The cost of entering is $220 per application, with discounts applying to some categories.

For more information about the Australian Event Awards including judges full bios and event submission categories and criteria or to register for updates, click here.