Mount Isa rodeo judged State’s best festival for second consecutive year

Sharon, Donna and MerylinThe 2013 Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo has won the Festivals and Events category at the prestigious Queensland Tourism Awards (QTA) for the second consecutive year.

The Gold Award was accepted by the rodeo’s outgoing manager Donna Cole (nee Kuskopf), board representative Merilyn Harding and long-time volunteer administration assistant Sharon Wilkinson at a black tie ceremony held at the Brisbane’s Royal International Convention Centre last Friday night (November 22). The Silver Award was won by the Cairns Amateurs Carnival and Bronze Award by the Broadbeach Music Festival.

The rodeo, which is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, won the same category last year and was a finalist in the 2012 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards held in February this year. This year’s QTA win means if the rodeo is successful in the same category again at next year’s awards, it will enter the Queensland Tourism Awards Hall of Fame.

This year’s program was adjusted to present nominees with Gold, Silver and Bronze awards instead of presenting finalists and one winner for each category. This change aligns with the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, which the rodeo will now contest in Sydney on February 7, 2014.

Accepting the award, Mrs Cole paid tribute to the event’s naming sponsor, Mount Isa Mines, other sponsors, the Board, Rotary Clubs, the local community and more than 700 volunteers for their valued contribution to the rodeo’s ongoing success.

“It’s very exciting for the rodeo to have won this prestigious award twice in a row and to again have a chance at an Australian Tourism Award,” said Mrs Cole. “I am very proud and honoured to have had the opportunity to work with everyone associated with rodeo.

“The Mount Isa rodeo is unique as a not-for-profit event run by the city’s two Rotary Clubs, which manages the team of volunteers needed to help run it. A massive amount of work is put in by hundreds of people behind the scenes to stage an event this size and stature in a remote location. We are incredibly grateful for the loyalty and support our sponsors, the Board, Rotary and our wonderful volunteers have shown, in most cases over many years.”

Mrs Cole said the rodeo achieved massive results in 2012, including generating more than $6.3 million in media publicity (with global coverage through a National Geographic series), directly spending more than half a million dollars in the local economy and making an additional economic impact of $2.5 million by attracting thousands of visitors to the event and city.

“I am very proud that this event never sits on its laurels, trotting out the same old formula over and over,” said Mrs Cole. “Throughout the years, organisers have consistently looked at ways to ensure this event is the biggest and best outdoor rodeo held in the world and this has led to fantastic initiatives including a Big Screen, Swag City and an ever changing entertainment line-up.”

Outback Queensland was strongly represented among the winners at the 2013 Queensland Tourism Awards, including the Outback Queensland Tourism Association (Outback Queensland Travellers’ Guide 2013), Gold award winner of the Richard Power Award for Destination Marketing; Longreach-based Kinnon and Co (Starlight’s Spectacular Sound-and-Light Show), Gold Award winner for both New Tourism Development and Heritage and Cultural Tourism; Queensland Rail Travel (Spirit of the Outback), Bronze Award winner, Heritage and Cultural Tourism; North West Outback Queensland Tourism Authority, Bronze Award for the 2012/13 Overlanders’ Way Co-operative Marketing Project.

The rodeo is no stranger to awards, having won more than a dozen in recent years. The 2009 event was voted 13th in the Events and Festivals category of Queensland’s favourite Q150 awards, as well as scooping three tourism awards to become a finalist in the Festivals and Events category at the 2007 Australian Tourism Awards.

The event will now contest the 2013 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, being held in Sydney on February 7, 2014.

The 2014 rodeo will be held from August 8 to 10, with preparations already underway, including the Rodeo Queen Quest whose entrants have raised millions of dollars over its 55 year history for local charities as diverse as the Royal Flying Doctor’s Service, the Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC), North Queensland Rescue Helicopter Service, the Laura Johnson Home and BUSHkids community health organisation.

For more information visit www.isarodeo.com.au  or phone (07) 4743 2706. To keep up with all the latest news follow us on twitter.com./isarodeo or facebook.com/isarodeo.

For media information and assistance, please contact:
Susan Fuller – Synergy Marketing & Public Relations
Mob: 0411 463 693
Email susan.fuller@synergypr.net.au