2010 Australian International Design Awards Supporting Innovation

Richard Marles's picture

On a very rainy Friday night in Sydney on 4 June it was my pleasure to open the 2010 Australian International Design Awards.  This blog is based on the speech I gave on the night.

This year saw a record number of entries. Not only did this make the judges’ job much harder, but it shows the depth of the design community, how many people are passionate about innovative design, and it shows the prestige and increased competition associated with these awards.
Innovation and innovative design makes our world a better place. It creates new and better products. It creates high skill, high wage jobs in new industries. And it contributes to an economy that is strong, vibrant and creative.
Australians are great innovators and designers, and much of our cultural identity features some truly iconic designs. An Australian designed the ute, to provide farmers with a vehicle that could carry stock during the week but drive the family to church on Sundays. The Victa lawn mower and Hills Hoist can be seen in back yards across Australia. And I think there may have been a few fortunate people in the audience at the Awards who have travelled in a Qantas A380 experiencing the comfort and functionality of last year’s winner, the Qantas A380 economy seat.
Each of these classic designs has contributed to our social and cultural make up, and their longevity demonstrates just how sustainable they are.
This is the challenge for today’s designers – to create functional designs that meet a social or cultural need in an environmentally sustainable way.
The Australian Government is about creating an Australia that is innovative and sustainable.
We are about providing an economic and social environment where creativity is encouraged, valued and protected.
Life continues to throw up new challenges and good design enables us to evolve with new solutions for them.
IP is part and parcel of design. A great design isn’t a guarantee of commercial success. But, a great design protected by a registered design has a better chance of commercial success. IP Australia is actively working to increase the levels of IP awareness and understanding amongst the designs community in Australia.
This work has contributed to an upward trend in the usage of the registered designs system. Design registrations in 2008/09 rose 25 per cent compared to the year before.
The 2010 Australian Internaitonal Design Awards aren't just about winners. They are about recognising an entire design community, about fostering the energy and enthusiasm of all designers, and it is about encouraging designers to reach their full potential.
Congratulations to all of the 2010 winners and finalists.
Richard Marles was elected to Federal Parliament as the Member for Corio in November 2007. In 2009, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry. He began his career with law firm Slater and Gordon. In 1998, he became Federal Assistant Secretary of the Transport Workers’ Union where he was responsible for bargaining with national transport companies and managing the union’s activities in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. In 2000, he became Assistant Secretary of the ACTU and ran the Working Hours Case which gave workers the right, for the first time, to refuse unreasonable amounts of overtime. He was a member of the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission and led the ACTU’s work on OHS. He was Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Affairs from February 2008 to June 2009.