By June Ramli
I recently attended the Australian IT journalism awards, also known as the Lizzies, at the Crystal Ballroom at Luna Park in Sydney. It was my first time attending the event since learning about it in 2016.
As an entrant, I was exempted from paying the $250 fee that included a three-course meal, free-flowing alcohol, and a ride on the Ferris wheel.
The black-tie event required me to dress up, so I wore a Balinese dress, a Myers jacket, an LV bag, and black pearl earrings.
Although it seemed like an odd combination, it somehow worked.
Before the event, I debated buying a Chanel bag to go with my outfit, but ultimately decided against it as the bag couldn’t fit my phone.
I later regretted spending almost $28 on an Uber ride when I could have saved money by taking the ferry. Nonetheless, the event organizers, Influencing Australia, did a great job of putting together the awards, starting late last year.
As a finalist, I was informed early on and invited to a pre-launch event.
The Lizzies are a place where tech journalists and industry professionals gather to get recognized for their work and have a good time.
As someone who didn’t know anyone at the event, I pushed through my curiosity and met a nice gentleman named Joseph Sweeney.
He told me about his wife, a journalist at the AFR, and we chatted about everything and anything.
Later on, I found out that he was actually one of the judges, but he had to leave early to be with his family.
During the Ferris wheel ride, I met an American lady named Julie who had been living in Australia with her family for six years.
We parted ways, and I sat next to a couple named Darren and Debbie Yates.
Darren had won IT Journalist of the Year twice in a row for a defunct magazine, and his wife was very proud of him.
Although it was sweet, she tended to boast about him excessively, which could come across as annoying to others.
The awarding time came, and I was a finalist for the best audio program alongside Download This Show by ABC Australia, the Australian government broadcaster.
Unfortunately, ABC Australia won, and while I didn’t mean to be a sore loser, I believe they should be banned from participating in any award or grant programs.
As a government mouthpiece that largely reports on what the government wants, they have no right to seek awards or sponsorships.
These opportunities should be reserved for independent media houses.
Overall, attending the Lizzies was a fun and exciting experience.
I had the chance to meet new people, ride the Ferris wheel, and dress up for a black-tie event.
Although I didn’t win the award, being a finalist was still an achievement, and I hope to continue improving my work in the future.
June Ramli is the editor of DailyStraits.com. To stay in touch with June, look her up on Twitter @junesairaramli