[[Thank Grant for intro]]
I'll endeavour to be brief; I'll probably not succeed... I'm a sentimental man, so I'll try to be done before I start blubbering. My name is Damien, and I am very honoured to be this year's judge for the Peter McNamara Achievement Award -- the 'Mac'.
I'll start with some housekeeping: there is a set of notes about the award and previous winners that are being sent around, please do look at those for more information than I'll cover just now. Tonight I'm showing a prototype of the trophy design that shall be used for the next five years. It is sculpted by Abby Belknap, an artist currently resident in Adelaide. The design ultimately derives from a seed pod, and responds to a brief evoking growth, support and love.
The Mac Award celebrates the life of Peter McNamara, Adelaide critic, broadcaster, editor, publisher, and leader.
Peter was a friend of mine. It's not easy for me to gauge the impact he has had upon my life -- upon many of our lives -- suffice it to say that I knew him for fifteen years, and fifteen decades would not have been enough.
Peter had to a remarkable degree the talent to enable, encourage, and demand -- with delicacy and deft loving kindness -- just the work that one was just barely capable of, at the time one just needed to do it.
The Mac award particularly seeks to recognise this form of contribution: to help our community develop and grow strong and whole.
Through formal teaching in workshops, by criticism and review, by creating challenging works -- as writer and editor -- but especially in our context tonight through personal connection, through quiet conversations, through timely letters, this years Mac award winner has for decades introduced people to new people, to new places, to new ways of seeing themselves; helping people -- helping us -- to recognise, explore, and expand our capabilities and capacities to work, to be creative, to better become ourselves.
I am very happy to present this year's Mac Award to Lucy Sussex.