Hard to believe that Saturday eves Queensland Multi Media Awards hosted in Cairns at the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino was a landmark twentieth anniversary event. Yup … already twenty years of acknowledging and rewarding the work of Queensland’s regional media and advertising industry.
For some long forgotten reason I missed that first year of the awards (then named FNQ Media Awards) in 1996 … but do remember taking home the ‘Best News Photograph’ award the next year 1997. The winning image was of a then 6 year old Tjandamarra O’Shane – a victim of a burning petrol attack in his school playground that left him clinging to life with burns to 70% of his body. The pic was made outside Cairns Court on the day that his attacker Paul Wade Streeton was sentenced to life in prison.
Since that first QMMA win in ’97 I have had a fair chunk of excuses to attend the annual awards evenings … and haven’t missed a year since.
At the culmination of Saturdays celebrations I came home with two more awards – ‘Best News Photograph’ for “Mourning Our Dead Brothers and Sisters” (an image of the surviving siblings at the Murray Street murder scene – judges comment – “A tragic moment mourning, poignantly and sympathetically captured”) … and … ‘Best Editorial Image’ for “Disk Meri” (portrait of a PNG bar girl – judges comment – “A timeless and beautiful portrait illustrating a complex and difficult story”).
The QMMA crew – in particular stalwart Anita Plos – should be congratulated on their amazin’ work, persistence and dedication organising these important media awards over two decades … and here’s to the 21st!
My two winning images © are below and may also be found on an earlier blog post here.