2017 NSW Creative Achievement Awards

On 14 June 2017 the winners of the 2017 NSW Creative Achievement Awards were announced.

NSW Creative Laureates

Winner: Plastic Wax

The panel awarded Plastic Wax the 2017 NSW Creative Laureate Award.Plastic Wax 2017 NSW Creative Laureate

Plastic Wax has demonstrated significant leadership, capability and influence over more than 20 years within the creative industries. Based in Sydney, Plastic Wax produces animation and visual effects, specialising in 3D content for video games, film and television.

Some notable works include The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Gears of War Ultimate Edition, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Tomb Raider. Its international clients include Warner Bros, Marvel, Disney and Microsoft. Plastic Wax has won several awards and reached an international audience demonstrating creative expertise using new skills, methods and technologies.

In 2016, Plastic Wax developed their own technology called Mocap Visualisation, which allows directors to view real-time cinematography in-studio and give feedback to actors and stunt professionals in the moment. It also maintains long standing relationships with leading Australian colleges for animation, computer generCG and SFX and is continuing to invest in the next generation of Australian creative talent.

With notable commercial success and a solid history working with new technology Plastic Wax has significantly increased the profile of NSW as a global creative centre.


Dr Vaughan Rees

Associate Professor Vaughan Rees is an Associate Dean at the University of New Dr Vaughan ReesSouth Wales, in the Faculty of Art & Design. He is a committed and accomplished educator for emerging designers. In addition to being an art and design educator, he is also a practicing artist. For over a decade, Dr Rees has built an active network in NSW, Australia and globally, in which mentors, interns, design professionals and the academic institution create a shared experience of best practice and knowledge exchange.

Goalpost Pictures Australia

Goalpost Pictures Australia is a Sydney-based production company, with significant Goal Post Productions Australia credits including the internationally acclaimed six-part Indigenous television series Cleverman, the box office hit The Sapphires and the powerful film Holding The Man. Season two of Cleverman will broadcast in Australia and the United States in June 2017. The company’s films and television programs have sold around the world and have screened at major international film festivals including Cannes, Berlin, Sundance, Locarno and Toronto. The company is led by producers Rosemary Blight, Ben Grant, Kylie du Fresne, and Cass O’Connor. Ms Blight has served on the boards of Screen Australia and Screen NSW.

NSW Emerging Creative Talent Award

Winner: Romance Was Born

The panel awarded Romance Was Born the 2017 NSW Emerging Creative Talent Award.

Romance Was Born 2017 NSW Emerging Creative Talent Award winnerStarted by design duo Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales, Romance Was Born has become a highly regarded contemporary Australian fashion house which produces innovative work that is stocked around the world. Plunkett and Sales are recognised as creative emerging high achievers both in Australia and internationally because of their rare ability to work across mediums with a diverse range of collaborators to create immersive cultural experiences.

Based out of Sydney, Plunkett and Sales have demonstrated they are a creative emerging talent and have made a positive contribution to NSW and Australia’s creative reputation. Romance Was Born’s beautiful fashion and textile pieces are held in collections at the Powerhouse Museum and the National Gallery of Victoria demonstrating their pursuit of innovation.

Anna and Luke have also become known for merging fashion with art while achieving considerable commercial success. They have been worn by celebrities including Cate Blanchett, Cyndi Lauper, Lily Allen and Tavi Gevinson. Romance Was Born pieces have also been featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire while International collaborations with Disney, Marvel and Lego have had a positive impact in raising the global profile of NSW creative industries.

The Label’s collaboration with Australian creatives and organisations has also lifted the reputation of creative industries at home. In 2016, Romance Was Born was featured in Sax Fifth Avenue’s flagship store in New York, as well as in Paris Fashion Week.

Romance Was Born is an emerging talent not only as a fashion label but a cross-platform creative force that has become recognised by artists across the world.


Aileen Sage Architects with Michelle Tabet

The creative directors of The Pool, Aileen Sage Architects with Michelle Tabet, areAileen Sage Artchitects the youngest and first all-female team to represent Australia at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. Aileen Sage is the alter ego of Isabelle Aileen Toland and Amelia Sage Holliday, an innovative and award-winning emerging architectural practice recognised for their progressive multidisciplinary approach to design. Michelle Tabet is an urbanist and director of a boutique consultancy Left Bank Co., working at the intersection of creative strategy and urban planning on some of Australia’s most notable urban places and institutions, with the purpose of making cities more meaningful. Together, they created an immersive multisensory exhibition explaining the cultural significance of the pool to a global audience as well as an award-winning book gathering stories of the pool from some of our country’s cultural leaders.


Established in 2007 by Nicholas Karlovasitis and Sarah Gibson, DesignByThem work towards driving appreciation for original DesignByThemAustralian design through accessible products with personality, that are made to keep. The company celebrates, develops and represents the work of Australian design talent with a ‘design first’ approach and passion for education that is reflected in its products and culture. Known for striking a balance between fun and function, the brand’s collection of furniture, lighting and accessories is carefully considered and curated: products are innovative but not forced, useful but also enjoyable. All pieces are also sensitive to time and the environment.

Judging panel

The finalists of the 2017 awards were decided by the following creative industries representatives:

  • Lisa Havilah (Chair) - Director, Carriageworks
  • Claudia Karvan - Actor/producer
  • Simon Mordant AM - Chair, Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)
  • Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy - Founders, Dinosaur Designs
  • Stephen Payne - Manager, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery