Many volunteers of the Australian Wooden Boat Festival put their hands up to help out with the Australian Antarctic Festival, which was produced by AWBF on behalf of the Mawson’s Huts Foundation in September 2016. Project leaders Kel Aldred, Andrew Brassington, Lyndon Bounday and Daryl Peebles were among the professional AWBF crew who applied their event management expertise to deliver the four-day program on time, under budget and with a perfect safety record. Office Manager Bronwyn Hansson kept it all under control, Tim Oxley built the website and lots of AWBF regulars chipped in to make it all happen. We also made many new friends from the Australian Antarctic Division, IMAS, P&O Maritime, Mawson’s Hut Replica and the Bookend Trust. (Funny how quickly some of our new friends were smartly signed up to help out with the 2017 AWBF – we don’t waste talent!)
Thousands of hours went into producing an event that saw 900 Tasmanian school kids tour the icebreaker Aurora Australis, another 2,000 people tour that ship and the French supply vessel L’Astrolabe and the new facilities at IMAS (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies). A big exhibition at Princes Wharf One demonstrated how important Hobart’s link with the Antarctic industry really is and a shiny red helicopter attracted scores of kids who now want to learn to fly one in Antarctica.
All the hard work paid off when Hobart City Council announced that the Antarctic Festival had won the HCC Australia Day Community Event of the Year Award for 2016. The award recognises the tremendous support from across the Antarctic community that allowed us to highlight Hobart’s status as an important gateway to Antarctica.
Thanks to everyone who pitched in to make this festival so successful. We believe we have the best events team, and the best volunteers in Tasmania and this award belongs to them.