06/03/2007 - 22:00

40under40 commemorative - Celebrating a year of firsts

06/03/2007 - 22:00

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The setting sun cast a warm glow over the decks of the imposing Osman Gazi, the impressive venue for the sixth annual WA Business News 40under40 awards held last month.

40under40 commemorative - Celebrating a year of firsts

The setting sun cast a warm glow over the decks of the imposing Osman Gazi, the impressive venue for the sixth annual WA Business News 40under40 awards held last month.

Moored at Austal’s shipyards in Henderson, the fast ferry was yet another in a series of innovative venues for the awards, which previously had been held at the WA Maritime Museum and Parliament House, among other venues.

Rows of red and blue flags led the way up the boat’s ramp, where a concert band provided entertainment for the 750 guests before they boarded for the evening’s festivities.

Negotiating the boat’s steep stairwells wearing high heels proved a somewhat difficult logistical exercise for many, but was worthwhile once the final destination was reached.

Any evidence of the real purpose of the awards’ venue – actually the boat’s vehicle hold – was cleverly masked, with soft lighting and decorations giving the impression of an elongated ballroom.

A number of the awards’ alumni were in attendance in varying capacities, as judges, sponsors and guests.

Vodafone WA general manager Darren Hayes, a 40under40 award winner in 2006, was on the other side of proceedings this year, as one of 16 judges to adjudicate the awards.

He was joined on the judging panel by two other former winners – Clarity Communications managing director Anthony Hasluck and Sally Mallay Mining managing director Peter Harold.

Margaret River-based winery Wills Domain managing director, Darren Haunold, again supplied the wine for the evening, however the former 40under40 1st Amongst Equals winner was a notable absentee, having skipped the festivities to attend the birth of his first child.

Following a three-course meal, the awards ceremony began, featuring a range of winners from sectors as diverse as mining, marine services and marketing.

The awards’ ultimate title of 1st Amongst Equals went to Australian Mine Services divisional general manager Julie Smith-Massara, whose prize included two business-class tickets from Singapore Airlines to anywhere on the company’s network.

Ms Smith-Massara dedicated her award to her father, who was diagnosed with cancer last year, and said she hoped her children would one day realise that they had been the inspiration for the business, co-founded with her husband Ian Massara.

This year’s winners bring the total number of 40under40 winners to 240, an honour roll that includes some of the biggest names in WA business.

Throughout the evening, master of ceremonies and Channel 10 presenter, Tim Gossage, managed to overcome the noise created by the revellers to steer proceedings along.

Austal chairman John Rothwell caught the attention of the audience early in the evening with his speech about the Osman Gazi, which was built for an Istanbul ferry operator.

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