Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards

SYDNEY, 22 May 2006

Applications have opened for the 2006 Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards (SOYA), which offers young Australians the opportunity to work with some of Australia's leading creative figures.

Qantas Group General Manager Marketing Neil Ross said SOYA, which was launched in 2004, aimed to recognise, reward and nurture young Australian creative talent.

Mr Ross said the strength of the SOYA program lay in fact the program effectively rewarded winners three times.

SOYA winners receive $5,000 in cash and $5,000 in air travel to help develop their careers and most importantly mentoring from leading Australian creative figures such as Phillip Noyce (moving pictures), Peter Morrissey (fashion), Marc Newson (industrial design), Neil Perry (cooking) and Elizabeth Anne McGregor (pictures).

Young Australians aged 25 and under are invited to submit entries in seven categories: music, writing, visual arts, film, industrial and object design, photography and fashion design.

Additional awards, in dance and cooking and community work, are also being offered via existing programs with Qantas partners - The Australian Ballet, Tourism Training Australia and Qantas' Sharing the Spirit charity partners - CanTeen, UNICEF, CARE Australia, Starlight and Mission Australia.

Mr Ross said previous SOYA winners had used the awards to great effect.

"SOYA winners travelled to locations as diverse as Turkey, Japan, Cuba, Indonesia and Sweden looking for inspiration and ideas, but their feedback showed it was the unique opportunity to learn first-hand from our SOYA mentors that really proved beneficial."

The last two winners of industrial design category have spent time in Paris working in the design studio of Marc Newson, with one gaining full time employment there as a result. Other SOYA winners have spent time in the recording studio with musician Paul Mac and shadowed film director Gillian Armstrong when she was filming a documentary.

"SOYA has provided a major boost for young people wanting to achieve their creative dreams and we look forward to again helping more young Australians develop their talents," Mr Ross said.

SOYA is open to Australians aged 25 and under, with entries submitted via NOISE, the national youth media arts festival. Entries close on July 31, 2005. To enter, call 1800 080 826, visit or

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (Q3429)