Message From the Chairman – April 2019

Whilst looking around the Festival site of the 2019 MyState Bank Australian Wooden Boat Festival, on numerous occasions I was spoken to by well-wishers: those to whom I spoke came from Hobart; they came from all other parts of Tasmania; they came from interstate; and a number to whom I spoke came from overseas. They all said basically the same thing.  They were incredibly impressed with our event; they loved the content, the atmosphere, and the fact that there were so many things to see and do.  Each and every one of them was happy; they were enthusiastic; and keen to move on to the next thing to have a good look at.

The outcome of the Festival is due to the incredible work put in by so many people. There are far too many individuals to specifically mention by name, but everyone who so cheerfully contributed to the cause should properly congratulate themselves and their colleagues for such a fantastic effort!  And what makes things even more rewarding and remarkable, is that most of those who contributed to the success of the event were volunteers.  These were people who gave up so much of their time and effort to ensure that our event was an outstanding success.  And remember, these volunteers just didn’t give up the time covered by the Festival; they were also involved in a significant amount of preparatory work, and many were also involved in the dismantling of the site in the aftermath of the Festival.

I must thank, and congratulate, our General Manager, Paul Cullen, for his outstanding efforts with respect to the Festival.  As usual, his enthusiastic and cheerful disposition, and his hard work, ensured yet another outstanding and successful Festival.  From me, the Board, and all of us at AWBF – a huge thanks!

I should also thank and acknowledge a number of our senior management group that are retiring from the Event.  Our media manager, Daryl Peebles, has been with us for many years.  Daryl, who likes to tell as all that he came from “Upper Penguin”, has always been a cheerful and fantastic contributor and media manager.  He will be sorely missed. Bob Catchpole takes up the reins for the next festival.

One of our founders, Cathy Hawkins, who has contributed so much to the Festival in so many ways, ever since it began, has decided to retire.  She will be sorely missed; Cathy, thank you for all of your efforts over the past 25 years.  Suzy Managian, who has organised and delivered the ever-popular Quick ‘n’ Dirty Boat Building Challenge over several festivals, has decided to pass on the torch and we are very grateful for the good humour and enthusiasm Suzy brought to the role.  Our Photography Manager, Rob Oates, is responsible for the immensely valuable photo catalog built up over several festivals and continues to contribute his expert help, but a move to New South Wales prompts his decision to hand on this role for the 20121 festival. Thank you all for your tremendous contributions.

Now the time has come to sit back, and think about the success of the Festival. However, it is also the time to further develop the plans we have already been working on with respect to the Festivals in 2021 and beyond.  The Board have some exciting ideas, details of which will be revealed later!

So, finally, again, thank you one and all for your help and efforts, and to all of those who came and enjoyed our Festival.  I hope to see each and every one of you again next time round, and beyond!


Steve Knight OAM


Australian Wooden Boat Festival Inc.

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