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Australian Event Awards winners announced at Sunshine Coast ceremony

Australian Event Awards winners announced at Sunshine Coast ceremony
September 22, 2016

The first Australian Event Awards to be held on the Sunshine Coast has seen over 300 people from across the country gather to recognise the best events in Australia and achievements by Australians in the worldwide events industry.

Held last night (Wednesday 21st September), the Award winners recognised a mix industry veterans and first time finalists. Byron Bay Bluesfest, Margaret River Gourmet Escape, Mumbrella360 and Santos Tour Down Under all took home gongs to add to their collections, for Best Regional Event, Visit Sunshine Coast Best Tourism Event, CIM Magazine Best Meeting or Conference and Best Sporting Event respectively.

Meanwhile, Shane International Events & Entertainment were thrilled to win Best Achievement in Entertainment with their first entry into the Awards for their work on The Magical Gift of Mother Earth at the 2015 Royal Adelaide Show, and DG Global made a stunning Event Awards debut, taking home both Event Producer of the Year and Event Management Company of the Year.

Commenting on the Awards, co-chair of the judging panel and Opera Australia Chief Executive Craig Hassall stated “this year's winners continue to demonstrate the strength of our national industry.

“The events and achievements highlighted as the year's best continue to demonstrate strong planning, innovation, creativity and fearlessness in facing potential challenges that inevitably crop up in the delivery of their projects."

The Event Awards 2016 Entertainment Partner Apples and Pears Entertainment's two acts were a hit with attendees, with Sarah Rowan-Dahl creating a stunning artwork through the evening as the show rolled on around her and Kimberley Heberley's beautiful voice providing a sweet prelude to main course. Meanwhile, drumming outfit Junkyard Beats contributed the show-starting bang.

The ceremony was MC’d by writer, director, producer and Logie winning actor Rob Carlton, provided by Event Awards Partner Saxton Speakers Bureau.

South Australia’s Tourism Minister Leon Bignell was on hand to collect South Australia’s second consecutive State or Territory Award as the state was once again recognised as the best in Australia for events.

Victorian events veteran and industry advocate Peter Jones received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

In his acceptance speech, Jones stated “I’ve always felt it’s important to contribute in some way to the industry that is part of my life.

“Any industry is only as importantas the people who support it and that is evident with all of you being here tonight for the Awards.”

David Grant, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 was remembered with a moving tribute before Katerina Grant introduced the David Grant Creativity Project to those assembled. A fellowship for young people in the events industry, the David Grant Creativity Project aims to enable those under 30 in the events industry to grow their knowledge, skills, inspiration and experience so they may make their own unique and innovative contribution to the industry, much as David did throughout his career.

Birdsville Big Red Bash won the final award of the evening, Australia’s Favourite Event after nearly four weeks of public voting.

The Australian Event Awards recognise the best of the national events industry, regardless of event size, audience or purpose. 23 categories were presented at this year’s ceremony, awarding the best events and achievements between 1st July 2015 and 30th June 2016.

The Awards will be held on the Sunshine Coast again in 2017 and 2018 after Visit Sunshine Coast and Sunshine Coast Council won a nationwide bidding process in early 2016 to bring the Awards to the coast.

2016 marks the first time the Awards have been held in a regional area since they were founded in 2009.

Australian Event Awards Winners and Finalists by category.

Best Sporting Event
Winner: Santos Tour Down Under 2016
The Adelaide Commonwealth Bank Day-Night Test, Cricket Australia
International Champions Cup Australia 2015 at the MCG, Melbourne Cricket Club, TLA Worldwide and TEG Live
Nutri-Grain IronMan / IronWoman Series 2015/2016, Sold Out National Event Management

Visit Sunshine Coast Best Tourism Event
Winner: Margaret River Gourmet Escape 2015, IMG Culinary
Santos Tour Down Under 2016
Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival
Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016

Best Charity of Cause-Related Event
Winner: Youngcare Simpson Desert Challenge 2016
Melbourne Reclink Community Cup
Wharf4Ward 2015, Sony Foundation
The Gibb Challenge, Karunjie Event Management

CIM Best Meeting or Conference
Winner: Mumbrella360
Asia Pacific Cities Summit 2015, Carillon Conference Management
Advance Queensland Innovation and Investment Summit and Startup Festival, Department of the Premier and Cabinet and Cre8ion
ASFA Conference 2015

EVENTelec Best Cultural, Arts or Music Event
Winner: Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour - Turandot, Opera Australia
Barangaroo Welcome Celebration
WOMADelaide 2016
Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016

Best Corporate Event
Winner: Dreamtime 2015 Business Session and Dinner, Belle Laide Events
Qatar Airways Sydney Launch Event, DG Global
The Emirates Marquee - Melbourne Cup 2015 - Hello Tomorrow, Kat & Co
Salesforce World Tour 2016

Best Exhibition
Winner: Hair Expo Australia 2016, Reed Exhibitions
Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience, Imagination
Be The Light for the Wild, Centenary Light Walk at Taronga Zoo, Vivid Sydney 2016, Ample Projects and Taronga Zoo
Gold Coast International Marine Expo

Coates Hire Best Community Event
Winner: Parramatta Lanes 2015, City of Parramatta
7 Sunshine Coast Marathon & Community Run Festival
Clubs & Community Awards, This Space Events &ClubsNSW
Summerset Arts Festival 2016, City of Stirling

Best New Event
Winner: Water Polo by the Sea, Sold Out National Event Management
The Adelaide Commonwealth Bank Day-Night Test, Cricket Australia
Barangaroo Welcome Celebration
NSW Regional Events Conference, King Events

Best Regional Event
Winner: Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016
Deni Ute Muster
Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival
Birdsville Big Red Bash, Big Run Events

Best Achievement in Design, Look or Theming
Winner: Ample Projects for their work on Be The Light For The Wild, Centenary Light Walk at Taronga Zoo, Vivid Sydney 2016
Imagination for their work on Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience
The Electric Canvas for their work on Vivid Sydney at Chatswood 2016
Kat & Co for their work on The Emirates Marquee - MelbourneCup 2015 - Hello Tomorrow

Best Achievement in Marketing, Communication or Sponsorship
Winner: Zadro for their work on Hotel Career Expo 2016
The Star Sydney for their work on Holden State of Origin, Game One 
Daniel Morcombe Foundation for their work on Day for Daniel 2015
Sunshine Coast Council and Visit Sunshine Coast for their work on the World is Coming Campaign

Best Technical Achievement or Innovation
Winner: Imagination for their work on Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience
Artists in Motion for their work on Hong Kong Pulse 3D Light Show - Winterfest 2015
Backdrops Fantastic Australia for their work on Connect Conference 2015
Staging Rentals & Construction for their work on Turandot, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

Best Achievement in Venue Management
Winner: Sydney Showground
Etihad Stadium
SCG Events
Luna Park Sydney Venues

Best Product or Service
Winner: Botanic Gardens Restaurant Adelaide
Best Education or Training Program
Winner: Holmesglen Institute
William Angliss Institute

Best Achievement in Entertainment
Winner: Shane International Events & Entertainment for their work on The Magical Gift of Mother Earth at the 2015 Royal Adelaide Show
A.P.E for their work on The A&P Superband
Red Thread Solutions for their work on LEGO Ninjago: The Realm of Shadows

Young Achiever of the Year
Winner: Tara Whitfield, nominated by HUMM
Emma Brown nominated by Gold Coast International Marine Expo
Thomas Staunton, nominated by Sold Out National Event Management
Ashley Hayes, nominated by Merlin Entertainments

Event Producer of the Year
Winner: Abbie McCrisken, nominated by DG Global
Vanessa Baranovsky, nominated by Event Mafia
Hailey Mason, nominated by SORTED. Projects, Events & Sponsorship

Event Management Company of the Year
Winner: DG Global
King Performance Events
Sold Out National Event Management
Kat & Co
Event Planet

Lifetime Achievement Award
Peter Jones

State or Territory Award
South Australia

Australia’s Favourite Event
Winner: Birdsville Big Red Bash
Be The Light for the Wild, Centenary Light Walk at Taronga Zoo, Vivid Sydney 2016
Deni Ute Muster
The Gibb Challenge

Images (from top): Award winners Peter Jones, Youngcare Simpson Desert Challenge 2016 and Tara Whitfield.







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