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Mint a hall of famer

THE cream of Western Australia’s tourism industry was formally recognised at the recent 2003 Western Australian Tourism Awards gala presentation, held at Burswood International Resort Casino.

The awards are organised by private-sector body Tourism Council WA (TCWA) and celebrate excellence in tourism across 27 categories, in addition to the prestigious Sir David Brand awards.

A record number of entries faced the judges this year, resulting in 123 finalists.

For the first time in several years there was a winner in each category of the awards.

Awards chairman Kevin Harrison said the standard of entries this year was high, which he attributed to the TCWA Quality Assurance program, established in 1996, which had worked to educate and set benchmarks throughout the industry.

“This is now producing tangible benefits for accredited businesses, for the tourism industry and the travelling public,” he said.

Mr Harrison said the winners had demonstrated tourism excellence and strong business management.

“Normally we find most of the winners are business focused, have business plans, human resource and work safe policies,” he said.

The Perth Mint was awarded this year’s coveted Sir David Brand award for tourism – an award that recognises outstanding achievement by an organisation in promoting or servicing the Western Australian tourism industry.

The achievements of the 104-year-old mint were further recognised through its induction into the hall of fame, having consecutively won the ‘tourism retailing’ and ‘heritage and cultural tourism’ categories at the State awards for the past three years.

Perth Mint is the State’s first tourist attraction to be inducted into the hall of fame twice in the one year since the awards’ inception in 1997.

In the individual awards, Pat Barblett received the Sir David Brand medal for extraordinary personal and professional effort and contribution to tourism through her (mostly) volunteer work in the eco and cultural sector of the Australian tourism industry.

Mrs Barblett has sat on 25 boards and committees over the past 25 years, including the Conservation Commission, National Trust, Rottnest Island Board and Authority and the Forum Advocating Eco and Cultural Tourism (FACET).

The Sir David Brand young achiever medal was awarded to Craig Green from the Peel region, while Gary Muir from WOW Wilderness Eco Cruises in Walpole won the FACET golden guide award.

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