UWS design students win prestigious national award

Date: 08/06/2009

Two University of Western Sydney students have won national awards for their interactive DVD for the exhibition 'Women Transported - Life in Australia's Convict Female Factories' which reveals the harsh life of Australia's female convicts in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Talented Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) students, Amiel Dizon from Quakers Hill and Harris Karatzetzos from Parramatta, took out the multimedia category in the Museums Australia Multimedia and Publication Design Awards for 2009.

The Museums Australia awards showcase the breadth of design talent across Australia, and entries were judged on criteria such as clarity of communication, layout, relevance, photography and typography.

The presentation ceremony took place at the Museums Australia National Conference in May.

Amiel and Harris - who both study at the UWS Penrith campus - competed against some 400 other organisations for the prestigious award, including the City of Melbourne, Museums Australia (Victoria), and various other universities.

'Women Transported - Life in Australia's Convict Female Factories' is an initiative of the Parramatta Heritage Centre, and the exhibition has been curated by Gay Hendriksen.

Both Amiel and Harris have volunteered and completed internships at the Parramatta Heritage Centre, which led them to working on the exhibition.

"The project was something I wanted to be a part of, not only because it showcases emerging Australian stories based on the life of convict women, but also as an opportunity to interweave graphic and motion design into an early history narrative," says Amiel.

"The interactive DVD serves as an educational resource for various groups, including historians, teachers and students."

Though he was happy with the DVD, Amiel said he never thought it would be award-winning.

"Gay Hendriksen entered us as candidates for the awards. We didn't really think much of it, considering it was only our first major project for a client, and we were still uni students. For us it was the chance to build our design portfolios. We never expected to be short-listed for the final selections and then to come out as the eventual winners."

Amiel and Harris are currently completing a fourth Honours year in visual communication, and hope to use this opportunity to further develop their portfolios and forge relationships with industry professionals and potential clients.

The 'Women Transported - Life in Australia's Convict Female Factories' exhibition is currently showing at the National Archives of Australia in Canberra until 19 July.

For more information visit http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/media-releases/2009/women-transported.aspx



Media Officer

Kristy Gleeson
02 9678 7085, 0414 018 498