As part of the annual Australian Event Awards, amongst 24 Best Events, Achievements and Organisation Awards Categories sits the Lifetime Achievement Award which aims to recognise industry figures who have made significant contributions to events in Australia.
For the 2021 ceremony, which is being delivered as a series of bite-size video broadcasts uploaded to the Awards’ YouTube channel each evening over 12 days from 20 – 31 October, the Australian Event Awards have announced John Harnden AM to be this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
As the Chief Executive Office of the Melbourne & Olympics Parks Trust, Mr. John Harnden is responsible for the management of Australia’s largest sports and entertainment precinct, including Rod Laver Arena, AAMI Park – and home of the Australian Open.
Mr. Harnden has extensive experience in leadership and executive management and is a highly regarded authority in sports business administration and major events – both nationally and internationally.
He has over 30 years’ experience heading up major sporting, entertainment, media and tourism organisations. Throughout this time Mr. Harnden has worked as Chair of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, Chief Executive of the ICC 2015 World Cup Organising Committee, South Australian Cricket Association, Village Roadshow International Theme Parks, the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games and he also served as Chief Executive of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation.
In 2007, he was awarded an Order of Australia for services to sport for his work on the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, and in 2020 he was given lifetime membership of Motorsport Australia.
John Harnden AM
Currently, Mr. Harnden is working as the Chair of ICC 2022 T20 World Cup Organising Committee and a Director of Cricket Australia.
In a statement to accept the prestigious Award, Mr. Harnden said, “I’m grateful and humbled to join the ranks of so many esteemed colleagues who have been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
“In my career I’ve had the privilege to work across events, sports, tourism and venue management, and the one thing they have in common is that they all rely on great team work. I’ve been very fortunate to work with some of the most talented and dedicated people in the sector.
“In accepting this award I would like to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to all those I have worked with, who have contributed to our shared successes.”
The Australian Event Awards is the national awards program for the events industry. It is the only opportunity for event professionals to compete directly across the nation and across all facets of the Industry to establish which are Australia’s best events and event-related goods, services and innovations.
Mr. Harnden will be presented with his Lifetime Achievement Award on Wednesday 27 October at 8pm (AEDT) on YouTube.
Photo: Australian Event Awards 2021