The MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival 2015 has been named the Australia Day Community Event of the Year by the Hobart City Council. The award recognises the tremendous contribution made by AWBF sponsors, supporters, contractors and volunteers to the Tasmanian community as a whole, and to the city of Hobart. The award will be presented at the Australia Day celebrations on Tuesday 26 January at the Sandy Bay Regatta. ‘We are very proud to receive this award’ said AWBF Chairman Steve Knight, ‘and it is a fitting acknowledgement of the wonderful effort all of our people put into keeping the festival free, friendly and great fun.’ General manager Paul Cullen said the most important effect of the award was the fact that it brings to light the thousands of hours of unpaid volunteer work that make the festival possible. ‘There’s no way that you could mount an event on this scale, with more than 200,000 visitors, without the generosity and enthusiasm of the local community. It’s great to see so many people helping out to welcome visitors from all over the world.’ The MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival is now widely recognised as the largest wooden boat festival in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the largest maritime festivals in the world. Post festival surveys revealed the 40% of the festival’s visitors were from interstate and overseas, driving a major benefit to Tasmanian tourism.
Organisers say they are delighted to see the festival gaining an international reputation. Steve Stone, a professional film maker from Maine, USA was a guest at the 2015 event and has produced a heart-warming portrait of Hobart with his short film ‘Tasmania’s Warm Embrace’. AWBF fans can see the video using this link: Off Center Harbor
Photo: Just a small group of AWBF volunteers at Constitution Dock in February 2015 – (c) Rob Oates, Ballantyne Photography