Now in its ninth year, the Australian Event Awards are considered the most prestigious accolade of its kind amongst industry experts, event organisers, tourism and government leaders from around the nation.
In recognition of the outstanding contribution he has made to the Australian events industry throughout his career, Ignatius Jones will receive the esteemed Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Australian Event Awards at The Events Centre in Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday 13 September 2017.
Jones joins an honours list of Australians behind some of nation’s most significant events over the last half century who have been recognised by leaders of the events industry on the judging panel. Past Lifetime Achievement Winners: Peter Jones, Ron Walker, Meri Took, John Trevillian, David Grant, Di Henry AM, Sandy Hollway AO, Mary Lopez AM, John Allen AM, Lena Malouf CSEP AIFD, Peter Rix, David Atkins OAM and David Churches.
Ignatius Jones is one of the world’s leading major event directors, and has been the Creative Director of Vivid Sydney since 2011. He was a major creative force behind the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies and, as its first Artistic Director, was instrumental in creating the world-famous Sydney New Year’s Eve.
Jones was Artistic Director of the two biggest events of 2010, the Opening Ceremony of Shanghai 2010 World Expo and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. He was also Artistic Director of the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade from 2011 – 2016.
Jones is also one of the few people who can claim to have directed the Opening Night of a Country – after staging the Independence Ceremonies of East Timor in 2002. He was also a founding member of the 1980s art-rock-punk-cabaret band Jimmy and the Boys.
There are 65 other finalists (events, companies and individuals) represented in the “best of” categories following a rigorous review process of hundreds of entries conducted by the expert Judging Panel throughout July and August. 32 of the best sporting, tourism, charity, corporate, arts, music and cultural events are amongst the list of top national finalists selected representing every state and territory in Australia for this year’s Australian Event Awards.
Amongst the national Finalist events are Santos Tour Down Under 2017, White Night Melbourne and White Night Ballarat, The Perth Scorchers BBL|06 Home Season 2016/2017, Vivid Sydney 2017, Daikin North QLD Elite Rodeo 2016, the Sunshine Coast Environment Council’s World Environment Day Festival 2017, The Sun-Herald City2Surf 2016 Presented by Westpac, Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience, Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 2016, Byron Bay Bluesfest 2017, Blayney Hay Bale Art Challenge 2017, TEDxSydney 2017 and Splendour in the Grass 2016 to name just a few.
Organisers from the Australian Event Awards noted that over 5.7 million people attended the 32 finalist events with music festivals and sporting events having a significant economic impact on a local and national basis. Between Santos Tour Down Under, Blues on Broadbeach, Byron Bay Bluesfest, Splendour in the Grass and Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, it is estimated that over $240 million (AUD) was injected into local economies from these events staged between June 2016 to July 2017.
“The industry extends from tourism events pumping money into local economies and new events activated in regional areas, to national sporting, musical and cultural festivals attracting hundreds of thousands of people, and others raising awareness and funds for important causes – Events have an enormous impact on the lives of everyday Australians,” says Co-chair of the Australian Events Awards Judging Panel, Sandy Hollway AO.
“These national Awards put a spotlight on industry suppliers and organisations delivering incredible entertainment, technical know-how, design, creativity, management and innovation – achievements often conducted quietly by people behind the scenes.”
Following the presentation of the Australian Event Awards on Wednesday 13 September, a two-day Event Symposium (14 – 15 September) will be staged for people working inside the industry. The Symposium is open to the public – anyone with an interest in events can attend. For more information, visit: www.eventawards.com.au for details.
Image: Ignatius Jones (supplied)