WA resource push lifts awards representation

THE Australia Business Arts Foundation (AbaF) Business Arts Partnerships Awards have attracted 28 entries from the local industry, an increase of more than 250 per cent on last year.

The State’s strong resource sector is one of the industries leading the way.

The WA entries in the awards represent nearly 15 per cent of the total entries.

AbaF (WA) state manager Henry Boston said the big increase was the result of an active representative on the ground in WA and the training programs that AbaF ran throughout the year.

“Last year we did two-and-a-half-day workshops for 30 cultural organisations,” Mr Boston said.

“We talked about how you recognise sponsors’ needs and how much value in terms of publicity you get through doing the award program.”

Cultural organisations are already familiar with the State arts awards, which have been running for more than a decade, however this is only the second year for the AbaF awards.

Mr Boston said the success of the first year had bolstered businesses’ confidence in the awards.

“Let’s not forget the success we had last year and that’s supported business confidence in the quality of the awards,” he said.

The 2001 AbaF Partnership of the Year Award was won jointly by Australia Post and Sydney Festival, and Hamersley Iron and Black Swan Theatre Company.

The geographic isolation of WA and the large resource industry has produced some interesting partnerships here, Mr Boston said.

“I think the resource companies are leading the way,” he said.

“I think there is a great wind of change moving through resource companies.

“I recently had someone from a resource company say that they are no longer looking for a licence to operate; they are looking for a licence to grow.”

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