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Hard choices for Deadlys Executive Academy

An Executive Academy of high profile Deadly judges will meet in Sydney next week to have their say on who’s Deadly in 2011.

The Deadly Executive Academy comprising the movers and shakers on the national stage will come together to vote on specific categories for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music, Sport, Entertainment and Community Awards, aka the Deadlys, on at the Sydney Opera House, 27 September.

The formation of the Academy and their role in the Deadlys was a recommendation from commissioned research by the Australian Council for Education Research into ways to strengthen the Deadlys nomination and voting systems.

The panel was chosen for the expertise they bring to the judging table and include:

  • Dr Tom Calma, National Coordinator for Tackling Indigenous Smoking, and former Human Rights Commissioner (pictured)
  • Rhoda Roberts, journalist, broadcaster, writer and artistic director
  • Cathy Craigie former Director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board (Australia Council) and Founder of Gadigal Information Service (Koori Radio)
  • Dr Sandra Eades the first Aboriginal medical doctor to be awarded a PhD
  • Kirstie Parker, editor of the Koori Mail
  • John Paul Janke, director, Executive and Communications with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • Glen Brennan, former manager of the Indigenous Sport Program at the Australian Sports Commission and now Head of Indigenous Finance and Development with the NAB
  • Gavin Jones, Executive Producer of the Deadly Awards.

The panel will vote across music, sport, the arts, health, education and employment categories, reflecting a more rigorous voting system introduced for the 2011 Deadlys.

“The Deadlys have grown over the years and are a high profile event. We wanted to build some expertise into the judging of specific categories where expertise would assist, while still retaining popular vote,” Executive Producer Gavin Jones said.

The judges will vote in the categories: Most Promising New Talent in Music; Most Promising New Talent in Sport, Dancer of the Year, Visual Artist of the Year, Outstanding Achievement in Literature, Outstanding Contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Education and Employment awards and Broadcaster of the Year. These awards are 50% panel judged combined with 50% popular vote.

“The other Deadly categories are popular vote and we are getting strong voting at the moment across all categories. As I say every year, the strong support for the Deadly Awards amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is humbling for me and I’m honoured to produce an event that is a focus for Indigenous people on the national calendar,” Mr Jones said.

The Deadlys voting is overseen this year by a returning officer and scrutineer. Larry Meng former head of a regional county council is the returning officer, while public accountant Gretchen Alt-Cooper will scrutineer.

Gretchen is a Goulburn-based public accountant and superannuation consultant, with over 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry. Gretchen was responsible for developing voting systems and conducting Trustee Elections for corporate and industry superannuation funds, whilst employed at a senior level at a consulting actuarial firm.

Voting in the Deadlys is open until 10 September on Tickets for the 2011 Deadlys ($45 or $30 concession) are available from the Sydney Opera House. For more information, visit

The Deadlys are sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, the Sydney Opera House, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA), NITV, The NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Vibe Australia, Indigenous Electoral Participation Program – Australian Electoral Commission, PPCA, Reconciliation Australia, Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Qantas, Mission Australia, Australian Public Service Commission, Job Futures, Sodexo, Signwave, APRA-AMCOS and Equmen.

The Deadly Awards will be broadcast on SBS One on Sunday, October 2 at 9.30pm and repeated on SBS Two on Saturday, October 8 at 7.30pm.

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