Registrations are now open for
Qantas Spirit Of Youth Awards 2011/2012

The Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards (SOYA), the leading award for Australia‟s best emerging artists, designers, and creatives, has today unveiled an exciting new format which will see SOYA become a year round initiative.

Talented Australians aged 30 and under across eleven creative fields – fashion, interactive content and gaming, written word, visual design and communications, film and video, photography, visual arts, craft and object design, music, architecture and interior design and animation – are invited to submit their work for a chance to receive financial support in the form of $5000 in cash, as well as a rare 12-month mentorship opportunity with leading luminaries from the international creative community. This year, winners will also be sent on the trip-of-a-lifetime to premiere industry only events at the forefront of their fields.

For 2011/2012, SOYA announces a stellar line-up of inspirational mentors; Marc Newson (Design), Nicky and Simone Zimmermann (Fashion), Robert Luketic (Film and Video), Polly Borland (Photography), Lee Groves (Music), Elizabeth Ann Macgregor (Visual Arts), Vince Frost (Visual Design and Communications), Ashley Ringrose and Brad Eldridge (Interactive Content and Gaming), Markus Zusak (Written Word), Brian Zulaikha (Architecture and Interior Design) and Marco Marenghi (Animation). As success stories in their respective fields, these industry leaders know that getting a break and having the right doors opened can help launch a creative career.

Celebrating its eighth year, SOYA has been instrumental in unearthing and nurturing young artists, designer, and creatives, helping them expand their horizons, build up their business and learn the ropes from some of the greatest creative minds in the world. This year, SOYA has also introduced four additional categories: Animation, Interactive Content & Gaming, Architecture & Interior Design and The Written Word.

Remarkable SOYA winners to date have included fashion labels Dion Lee, Antipod!um, Friedrich Gray, Romance Was Born, musicians Wolf & Cub, My Disco, Oh Mercy and Fergus Brown, designers Motherbird, artists Rebecca Baumann, Danielle Freakley and Grant Stevens, photographers Penny Lane, James Brickwood and Nirrimi Hakanson, among many others.

SOYA is open for submissions from November 8, with one new creative category closing every month. All submissions can be made through the new SOYA365 hub at

Creative Categories
In 2012, closing dates and categories are as follows:

  1. Fashion Friday, 9 December 2011
  2. Interactive Content & Gaming Friday, 13 January 2012
  3. Written Word Friday, 3 February 2012
  4. Visual Design & Communications Friday, 2 March 2012
  5. Film & Video Friday, 30 March 2012
  6. Photography Friday, 4 May 2012
  7. Animation Friday, 1 June 2012
  8. Craft and Object Design Friday, 6 July 2012
  9. Music Friday, 3 August 2012
  10. Architecture & Interior Design Friday, 7 September 2012
  11. Visual Arts Friday, 5 October 2012

The program will close with a People‟s Choice award, voted by the community from the top ten in each category throughout the year.

Creative Destinations
Winners will travel far and wide with Qantas taking them around the world to global creative hotspots. Full list of destinations are as follows:

  • Fashion London Fashion Week
  • Interactive Content & Gaming South by Southwest
  • Written Word PEN World Voices
  • Film & Video Edinburgh Film Festival
  • Visual Design & Communications Cannes Lions
  • Photography Les Rencontres D’Arles
  • Animation Animal Logic internship
  • Craft and Object Design London Design Festival
  • Music CMJ
  • Architecture & Interior Design World Architecture Festival
  • Visual Arts Edinburgh Art Festival

About SOYA
SOYA is Australia‟s leading grants program for emerging, young creative talent. SOYA is part of Qantas‟ Sharing The Spirit program. In 2010 SOYA attracted over 10,000 submissions from artists, designers, filmmakers, photographers and musicians.

Categories & Mentors
SOYA‟s greatest strength is its mentorship component. The SOYA mentorship offers winners the unique opportunity to sit down with leaders in the creative industries and draw on their talent and expertise, discuss their own career development, get access to high-level contacts and create strategies for building their own brands.

For mentors, it‟s a chance to engage with the new generation of creative talent in Australia and help nurture the creative icons of tomorrow.

Mentor: Zimmermann (Nicky and Simone)
Iconic Australian fashion label Zimmermann started with Nicky Zimmermann making dresses in her parents‟ garage and selling them at Sydney‟s Paddington Markets. Nicky‟s sister Simone saw potential in the label and in 1991 she joined the growing Zimmermann business as Managing Director. In 1996, the sisters set a new benchmark in swimwear design when they launched their show-stopping collection at the inaugural Australian Fashion Week. This move launched Zimmermann onto the global fashion stage and the label has been coveted in Australia and internationally ever since.
Zimmermann has achieved a compelling following and strong international stockist list including Barney‟s, Saks, Bloomingdales, Intermix, Net-a-Porter and David Jones, as well as 12 flagship stores Australia-wide.

Interactive Content & Gaming
Mentor: Soap Creative (Ashley Ringrose and Bradley Eldridge)
Ashley Ringrose founded Soap Creative in 2002, an independent digital creative agency, with a team of more than 60 people and offices in Sydney and LA. An avid gamer and game creator, Ashley has been responsible for the game design and build of over 50 online “advergames” and has overseen game designs ranging from small single play games to massive, multi-user games. As a Partner at Soap, Brad Eldridge is responsible for business and management decisions for the company‟s growth and future. His responsibilities extend to nurturing the wider creative team and culture while managing a client portfolio that includes 3 Mobile, Streets, LYNX, 20th Century Fox, Activision and FOXTEL.
Brad has spoken at the AGIdeas conference in Melbourne. He has judged the IAB awards and AIMIA awards and has appeared on the Gruen Transfer Pitch segment. Eldridge has also lectured at Charles Sturt University, St George TAFE, Enmore TAFE and regularly attends events at those institutions to sing the praises of digital as the No. 1 employment choice for students.

Written Word
Mentor: Markus Zusak
Markus Zusak first made waves in the literary scene when publishing The Underdog in 1999. Five novels later, Zusak has asserted himself as one of today‟s most innovative and poetic novelists. With the publication of The Book Thief, which has been translated into over thirty languages, Zusak was dubbed a „literary phenomenon‟ by Australian and U.S. critics. Zusak other works include: The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, Getting the Girl, and I Am the Messenger. He is currently working on his new book, Bridge of Clay, set for release in 2012.
Zusak has been the recipient of prestigious awards such as: 2006 Printz Honor for excellence in young adult literature, 2003 CBC Book of the Year Award (Older Readers) and the 2003 NSW Premier’s Literary Award (Ethel Turner Prize).

Visual Design and Communications
Mentor: Vince Frost
Based in Sydney, via London and Canada, Vince Frost began his creative ascent in 1989 working for Pentagram London, becoming their youngest Associate just three years later at age 27. Starting his own creative studio, Frost Design, in 1994, he has created award-winning work for clients as diverse as The Independent newspaper, Nike, The Spice Girls, Macquarie Bank and Sydney Dance Company.
Vince‟s work links the divide between art and commerce, and includes anything from postage stamps to magazines, books, identities, TV advertising, art direction, online and the built environment. His career arc has been documented in a retrospective at the Sydney Opera House and in a 500-page book, and by Awards from many design societies across the globe.

Film & Video
Mentor: Robert Luketic
Robert Luketic made his feature film directorial debut in 2001, with the smash hit Legally Blonde. Starring Reese Witherspoon as blonde sorority queen turned lawyer Elle Woods, Legally Blonde was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards (Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy). Currently, Luketic is set to direct the heist caper, Brilliant featuring Eric Bana, which revolves around a small-time criminal who joins accomplished thieves in a diamond robbery. Most recently, Luketic directed the popular 2010 romantic thriller, Killers, starring Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher.

Previously, Luketic directed the successful 2009 romantic comedy, The Ugly Truth, starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler, action/adventure drama 21 starring Oscar® winner Kevin Spacey, Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth and Oscar® nominated Laurence Fishburne and Monster-in-Law, starring Jennifer Lopez and Oscar® winner Jane Fonda.
Born in Sydney, Australia, Luketic studied at the prestigious Victorian College of Arts – School of Film and Television (VCA), where he wrote and directed the award-winning short film, Titsiana Booberini.

Mentor: Polly Borland
A successful portrait photographer before moving to the UK from Australia in 1989, Polly Borland‟s practice was first established by major portrait commissions and extraordinary reportage. Since 2000 the photographer‟s art projects and exhibitions have principally recorded documentary and collaborative subjects.
Before this shift to art based projects, Borland shot regularly for numerous UK and US publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Independent and Dazed and Confused. In 1994 she won the prestigious John Kobal Photographic Portrait Award. Her work has appeared in numerous exhibitions, and a selection of photographs from a previous body or work, The Babies was exhibited at the South Bank‟s Meltdown Festival in 1999, curated by Nick Cave. The National Portrait Gallery in London, and in Canberra, have acquired a number of Borland‟s photographs for their collections, and in 2000 both galleries exhibited Australians, a major solo show of her work. Powerhouse published her first book The Babies in 2001 with an essay by the late Susan Sontag. In that same year Borland was one of eight photographers selected to photograph Queen Elizabeth II for the Golden Jubilee.

Visual Arts
Mentor: Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE
Scottish-born Elizabeth Ann Macgregor has had a career as colourful as her famous wardrobe, beginning as Curator/Driver of the Scottish Arts Council’s Travelling Gallery, taking exhibitions on board a converted bus all over Scotland. This experience fired her commitment to engaging new audiences with the work of living artists. After three years working in the Arts Council of Great Britain supporting regional galleries, she spent ten years as the Director of Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, building it into one of the most respected contemporary galleries in Britain. Since taking over the Directorship of the MCA in 1999, Liz Ann has transformed the institution – since she introduced free access, attendances have more than trebled – resulting in the MCA being names as Sydney‟s favourite museum in a Chamber of Commerce survey.

In 2000, she was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to contemporary art, in 2007 the Equity Trustees CEO award for Significant Innovation, and more recently, the 2008 Veuve Clicquot Award. She is passionate about making art accessible to everyone and is an advocate for the arts on all levels.

Craft & Object Design
Mentor: Marc Newson
One of the world‟s foremost designers, Marc Newson‟s distinctive style can be found on an enormous range of designs, from watches and furniture to restaurants, recording studios and even Qantas Club Lounges. Renowned for his use of „biomosphism‟ (a design style that uses smooth flowing lines, translucency, transparency with an absence of sharp edges) Sydney-born Newson believes designing in Australia helped his innovative work break the traditional design mould. “Coming from Australia and studying jewellery and sculpture, my design was self-taught and instinctive,” he says.
He describes his 1988 Embryo Chair as “one of the first pieces where I ever hit upon a discernible style.” In 2005, he was selected as one of Time Magazine‟s 100 most influential people of the year. His work has become amongst the highest selling in auctions. One of his three Lockheed Lounge chairs sold for $968 000 at Sotheby‟s in 2006, and £1 100 000 at a 2009 auction at Phillips de Pury & company. At the 2006 Design Miami fair he produced 12 Chop Top tables, all of which sold out in 20 minutes at an estimated $170 000.
Now, with permanent exhibitions of his work in New York‟s Museum of Modern Art, London‟s Design Museum and the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, Newson has become one of the most sought after designers in the world.

Mentor: Lee Groves
Lee Groves is a British producer/writer, composer and mixer who relocated to Sydney’s Level 7 Studios (the original 301 Studios) from London in 2007. After a remarkable and varied career spanning many years (with artists such as Black Eyed Peas, Janet Jackson, Craig David, Goldfrapp, Depeche Mode, Gwen Stefani, Dave Matthews Band and Marilyn Manson amongst many others) his first Australian project was production on Bertie Blackman’s “Secrets and Lies”, which won an ARIA in 2009.
Lee was also a founding member of UK remixers and breakbeat act Terminalhead, international act Hex Orchestra and set up UK label PuSH Recordings back in 1996. Driven by the creative spirit, energy and potential of Australian talent, Lee continues to find, develop and advise new talent as well as helping established artists achieve new creative goals.

Architecture & Interior Design
Mentor: Brian Zulaikha
Brian Zulaikha graduated in Architecture in 1967 and formed Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects in 1987. TZG has expertise in many building types and a leading reputation for design and constructional excellence, reflected in the many major design awards and competitions won by the practice.
TZG‟s recently completed projects include the Paddington Reservoir Gardens, the Carriageworks Performing Arts Centre in Redfern, the “Glasshouse” Arts, Conference & Entertainment Centre in Port Macquarie, and a major installation of sound walls and a new gateway on a 23km extension of the Hume Freeway in Melbourne.
Brian is a member of the Board of Directors of Archicentre, is on the Biennale Committee for Australia‟s representation in the Venice Architecture Biennale and is the Current President of the NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects.

Mentor: Marco Marenghi
Marco Marenghi is currently Animation Director at Animal Logic, Sydney. Originally from Rhondda Valley, South Wales, United Kingdom, Marenghi holds an HNC in Electronics from the University of Wales and an HND in Animation from the University of Glamorgan. Marenghi‟s most recent animation supervisory credits include work on the productions of Roland Emmerich‟s 2012, Zach Snyder‟s Watchmen, Bryan Singer‟s Valkyrie, Tim Burton‟s Alice in Wonderland and The Green Lantern for Sony Pictures Imageworks in Los Angeles.

In 2008 Marenghi was awarded “The Friz Freleng Lifetime Achievement in Animation” by the IFFF and in 2009, Marenghi also received an Honorary Doctorate from his Alma Mater, The University of Glamorgan (UK).
In 2004, Marenghi featured in a BBC documentary entitled “The Marco Marenghi Story” which documented his rise through the ranks from humble beginnings. Driven by a firm commitment to “give back,” Marhengi teaches animation arts to young people at Acme, Animation Mentor and other animation institutions and schools. He was the recipient of the UK‟s Gold Award for Excellence in Industry in 2000 and received a nomination in 2008 for the VES Award (Visual Effects Society Awards) for Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Motion Picture for I am Legend.

For further information on Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards, please contact:

Jim Kon 
P: (02) 9555 2285 
M: 0433 143 950 

Kate Atkinson
 Senior Lifestyle Consultant
 P: (02) 9555 2285
 M: 0401 812 281



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