Wednesday, June 27, 2007

At last Sydney takes major events seriously - maybe

John O'Neill has finally been named by Premier Dilemma to head the NSW Major Events organisation and the Melbourne media has gone into meltdown claiming that he will be targeting Melbourne's iconic events.

This quote from The Age...
"Victoria's Formula One and motorcycle grands prix and the Australian Open tennis are in the sights of a new major events corporation announced by the NSW Government.
Officials from Sydney have held talks with formula one supremo Bernie Ecclestone to poach the plum motor racing events, according to reports today."

Meanwhile there was not a whisper in the SMH. So essentially this is more of an issue for Victorians than it is for Sydneysiders.

So let's look at the options - The F1 Grand Prix is currently held on what was originally designed as a car racing circuit. It is near the CBD but not in it. Where would Sydney hold such an event - Centennial Park, Randwick Racecourse? Don't think so. The obvious choice would be Eastern Creek - definitely suitable but not as appealing as Albert Park. And the Motorcycle GP - once again Eastern Creek just doesn't have the appeal of Philip Island

The Australian Open is a Melbourne institution so forget that one.

John O'Neill currently heads the Australian Rugby Union and they are about to hold a Bledisloe Cup match at the MCG, so he obviously recognises the claim that Melbourne is the Sports Events capital of Australia

So what about major arts events - well as long as Sydney has nothing to match the Sidney Myer Music Bowl Melbourne has nothing to worry about on that front either.

But Sydney does have one of the best large event spaces in the world - it's called Sydney Harbour.

So rather than trying to do a Jeff Kennett, O'Neill would be much better off looking to new initiatives for Sydney - on or off the harbour.

Ideas anyone?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Interfaith dialogue?

Yesterday I attended the Interfaith Dialogue organised by the Law Dept of the Australian National University as part of the tour by the Dali Lama.
A few things that struck me.
The presentation attracted over 4000 attendees to the AIS arena - pretty standard for an ANU Law lecture quipped the instigator of the the event.
The scheduled starting time was 2.30 pm and although only about 75% of the audience were seated by then it started bang on time, with stragglers still coming in 30 mins later. And it finished at the scheduled time of 4.00 pm. A lot of conference and event organisers would do well to follow this trend.
The next was that although it was described as "Interfaith Dialogue" only the Abrahamic religions were invited to be involved in the dialogue with the Dali Lama. It would appear that the organiser, a western convert to Buddhism, couldn't see past his own history.
Each of the speakers read from prepared notes, so when the Dali Lama approached the lectern without notes he read the one taped to the top of the lectern "Do not lift the lid on this lectern" - it brought the house down.