Last week saw me in Sydney for the culmination of what has been a very exciting and intense selection process for the annual British Council 'Realise Your Dream' Awards. For the past eight years this award has sent a hand picked selection of emerging creatives from across all creative fields around Australia to the UK to pursue their own self guided career and creative development programs. With key support from Virgin and the NAB, each winner is awarded a return flight to the UK and a $8000 cash passport to help them along with their pursuits, as well as personal assistance from the British Council and their vast field of networks to help make the trip as rewarding and eye opening as possible.
This year saw an excess of 600 applications from around the country apply for the coveted prize. From the initial application stage, 17 semi finalists were chosen to present their folios and their 'dreams' to a panel of highly respected creatives and business leaders, with an eventual 10 finalists selected to gather in Sydney for yet another interview in front of what i can only say was an extremely inspirational and poker faced panel. Having traveled from Melbourne, the very generous British Council and Sir Stamford Hotel happily put me and a couple of other out-of-towner finalists up for two nights.
Over the two days we were given the chance to meet and mingle with the other finalists, all an incredibly driven, friendly, talented and passionate bunch as well as have the opportunity to glean insight from a variety of leaders from a myriad of creative and business fields, who were more than happy to offload invaluable advice and wisdom on to us. The awards night was held at the MCA which quite possibly holds one of the most romantic rooftop views of Circular Quay and the harbour that i have ever seen, (oh apart from the 28th floor view from the NAB board room, but that was just obscenely spectacular).
With bubbles and divine snacks abound, the night got underway, with a total of 5 awards being given out. Its at this point that i'm ridiculously excited to share that i was one of the five recipients of the 2010 Realise Your Dream awards, and what was truly the icing on the cake, it was handed to me by a true champion of the independent Australian jewellery community, Liane Rossler from Dinosaur Designs. The rest of the night is a bit of a blur i have to admit, with much gushing, shaking of hands, meeting great people, toasting and chatting all while keeping one eye on the canapes the other on the clock, as an imminent early morning flight loomed over me like a midnight pumpkin.
I arrived back in Melbourne the next day to open Bad Beasts with Karla Way, and since then, i've only just starting coming round to things and getting my head around the state i left my bench in and the backlog or orders i left in limbo.
As plans for the UK get underway i'll start posting bits of info up on the blog. At this stage it looks like i'll spend majority of my time in London, but where, when, who, what and for how long will unpack itself as i start putting the wheels in motion. All very exciting indeed!!!
Follow this link for more info on the award, the 10 2010 finalists and the five winners.