Tuesday 24th September 1996 -
Australian Internet Awards

We spent most of the morning shopping at Australia's largest shopping centre at Parramatta, the Westfield Shopping Town. We bought several things including an Enya and Loreena McKennitt music CD, a couple of CDs for Alex's computer and new shoes for Scott - for tonight's big do.

After a quiet afternoon at Toongabbie we dressed for the big night.

Alex and Viv in black with Heather in burgundy and cream outfits...

It was a remarkably ordered process for such a big event.... even the taxi arrived on time to take us to the Parramatta Ferry.

The Parramatta Ferry has got to be the best value scenic travel in Sydney... strongly recommended for anyone visiting the city it takes you from Parramatta under the Sydney Harbour bridge, to Circular Quay on The Rocks in the very heart of Sydney. For a family of four (including two children) the hour long trip costs $11.20 (one way).

We had the opportunity to take a couple of pictures while waiting for the ferry.

Young Alex looked real cool in his black tie outfit.... getting admiring looks from the other passengers waiting for the ferry.

The Museum of Contemporary Art on the Rocks in George Street is quite an amazing old building... but not as amazing as the "living statue" posing at the entrance to the foyer.

After a short wait and drinks at 7.30pm we were allowed into the banquet hall where all the tables had been laid for the 300 or so guests.

Alex drew an enormous amount of attention, at just six he was the youngest person at the award night by at least twelve years...

Viv (Alex's mummy) sat next to Mrs Mel Bohse a judge in the Final Judging Panel... a lovely lady who was delighted to meet Alex. There were lots of people there - about 300 in all, but no one within fifteen years of young Alex.

The inaugural Internet award ceremony was kicked off by Gregory Hywood, Publisher-Editor-in-Chief of the Australian Financial Review (thumbnail on left). He was followed by Charles Wright, (right) the man from the Australian Financial Review who was the initiator of the award evening.

The editor promised that the awards would become an annual event.

The big moment arrived at 9.30pm and what a moment it was, with Alex's Koala trouble web site taking out the award in the category for the Best Web Site for Children up to 15 years. It was a popular choice missed by young Alex who had fallen asleep. Alex was hoisted (asleep) onto his daddy's shoulders so that the people gathered at the awards ceremony could see the creator of Max.

When Alex woke up shortly after, he and his dad posed with his treasured award, dad held the all important Max - Alex's little fluffy koala that was behind Koala trouble... and the little koala's adventures.

We got to meet with the Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr, (right) who talked about the future role that the Internet would play in the education system...

Bob Carr said that there are now 90,000 computers in New South Wales schools... a mind boggling number. The future, he stressed, would see a computer on every child's desk...

We also met Frank Blount, the Chief Executive Officer of Telstra, (left) Australia's multi-billion dollar telecommunications company.

Blount talked about the future predicting that by the year 1998 Internet traffic would exceed the number of ISDN calls made in Australia!

In this picture Blunt seems to be putting "the heat" on one of his staff.

At close to midnight, with a now wide-eyed Alex grasping onto his magnificent award we caught a taxi, arriving back at Toongabbie in the early hours of the morning.

It had been a wonderfully successful day enjoyed by all.... not least Alex and Max (of course)!

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