Well, we’ve sent off our submission to the Tasmanian Tourism Awards for AWBF 2019 and that’s a major pile of work off the desk. Running to 12,500 words (and much as we’d like to let pictures tell the story, you are only allowed 25 of those) and 54 pages, it’s an extremely detailed investigation into how the festival works. Right down to the nitty gritty of waste management and technical specs, the judges want to be convinced that they have the right detail to compare entrants in 25 different tourism categories, from a little bed and breakfast in Sheffield to walking tours in the wild Southwest wilderness. Gold medal winners in each category go on to the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards. Our best showing in that contest was back in 2015, when we took the Bronze Medal in the category Major Events and Festivals. Tasmania has always punched well above its weight in the national tourism awards, walking off with dozens of medals in recent years, much to the annoyance of bigger states and territories. We’ll let you know how we get on.
With the help of our outstanding Office Manager, Bronwyn Hansson, we are clearing the decks and sorting the records in preparation for handover to the next General Manager, expected to take place sometime in the next few weeks. There are 25 years of records on file, some of them going back to the days of hand-written applications and Polaroid photos, but also an enormous archive of electronic records documenting more recent years. That adds up to terabytes of information to be cleaned, sorted and uploaded into the Cloud. It forms a remarkable history of a wonderful event that’s grown from a casual gathering of friends into one of the largest maritime events in the world. How do we know that? Well, here’s journalist Bruce Stannard, writing in AFLOAT magazine:
‘The Australian Wooden Boat Festival is now recognised as one of the great maritime festivals of the world. It is in so many ways unique: an unbeatable historic venue coupled with a magnificent spectacle both on the water and at the dockside, plus the genuine warmth and hospitality of the people of Hobart all add up to a kind of must-do biennial adventure that draws enthusiasts from across Australia and around the world. The four-day festival is at its core a celebration of our nation’s maritime culture. It is a voyage upon which all wooden boaters embark with the utmost enthusiasm. Long may it be so.
– Bruce Stannard, AFLOAT Magazine, April 2019 issue