Famed Australian dancer, actor and event producer David Atkins will join Sydney 2000 Olympic mastermind David Churches on stage in Sydney tomorrow night at the 2010 Australian Event Awards, where the pair will be presented with Lifetime Achievement awards for their incredible creativity, innovation and dedication to Australia’s iconic events culture.
This prestigious award comes just weeks after the 10th Anniversary of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, an event which brought the two together, with David Churches working as a key advisor to Sydney’s host bid and a Senior Director of Games Planning, and David Atkins working as the artistic director and producer of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
Sandy Hollway, co-chair of judges for the Australian Event Awards said “This is the first time a lifetime achievement award has been given for those working across the Events Industry in Australia and I couldn’t think of two finer recipients. Both David Atkins and David Churches have made a magnificent contribution to events in Australia and in so doing have done much for the way Australia is perceived overseas and indeed for the way Australians feel about themselves. It is great that as Australians we now have a vehicle to reward the kind of herculean effort that goes into staging a successful event and the great rewards that flow from it for all of us.”
Recognised as one of Australia’s entertainment legends, David Atkins has produced some of the largest live events of the decade, including most recently the 2010 Vancouver Opening Ceremony, for which he was awarded three Emmy awards. He has starred in, produced, directed, choreographed and created more than 20 musicals in Australia and internationally, including Hairspray-The Musical, which opened in Melbourne over the weekend.
“From the Olympics and World Expos, to Australia’s Favourite theatre productions and musicals, David Atkins has raised the bar in global live event production and put Australian event professionals on the world stage. Now he’s one of the most sought-after event producers around the world. If you want a great ceremony for your event and you hire David, you know you’re going to get it,” said Mr Hollway.
David Churches, who describes winning the Sydney 2000 Olympic Bid as both the highlight and the beginning of his career in events, has also made an exceptional contribution to the events that we all love and remember so well today.
“Both the Sydney 2000 Olympics and the Paralympics changed my life as they did for so many Australians. We knew the people of Sydney would come out onto the streets for the Games and I look back on the incredible atmosphere that was everywhere, the city was sparkling and I thought – we’ve done it,” said David Churches.
Originally an architect and urban designer, David has also played a key role in the development of Australia’s emerging export industry for expertise in event production.
“The Olympics and Paralympics are a symbol of how one strand of Australian events has really grown and matured. In their legacy we see an incredible amount of talented and innovative event creators and planners expanding their careers overseas, and there is barely a major international event happening around the world that doesn’t have an Australian working on it!”
While David Atkins and David Churches prepare to accept their Lifetime Achievement Awards, dozens of events across Australia are also competing for well deserved recognition with finalists in the 2010 Australian Event Awards including Sydney’s New Years Eve celebrations, the Australian Open 2010, the Biennale of Sydney, Peats Ridge Sustainable Arts and Music Festival and AC/DC’s Black Ice World Tour.
David Atkins and David Churches will be presented with their Lifetime Achievement Awards at the ‘Australian Event Awards’ at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre on Thursday 7 October.