It was a full house at the Munich Brauhaus at South Wharf in Melbourne this week as the industry came together to review the trends and directions set at drupa and celebrate with graduate finalists at the Victorian LIA Graduate of the Year Awards presentation.

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The restaurant was the perfect venue to give attendees the authentic ‘flavour’ of the Düsseldorf exhibition, with plenty of good German cuisine enjoyed as guests heard from a panel of guest speakers.

Robyn Frampton, Marketing & Communications Manager at Visual Connections gave an overview of the show, which included the ‘coming of age’ of digitisation, greater emphasis on automation and robotics, the influence of AI, a trend towards vendor partnerships and collaborations, and the ongoing drive for greater sustainability. More in-depth reflections on various industry directions and technologies were then shared by Heath Nankervis from Southern Impact and Andrew Crump from Peacock Bros.

This future-focus was a perfect introduction to the presentation of the 2024 Victorian LIA Graduate of the Year Awards, which recognise the achievements of the industry’s future leaders.

LIA Victoria Vice President Jaz Allen introduced the Awards, reflecting on the importance of the program, which is run annually by the association ‘for all people in print’, and thanked sponsors Heidelberg Australia and the Collie Trust. Visual Connections and Ball & Doggett were also acknowledged for their ongoing support of the biennial LIA National Graduate Awards.

Lindsay Banks from LIA Victoria and Darren Brookes from Heidelberg then presented certificates to 2024 Finalists Imran Yunus from Multi Color Corporation, Emily McEwan from Jamesprint, Michael Bui from Fildes Food Safety, Jason Zhang from Richdale Plastics and Nicholas Smith from Park Douglas Printing. Emily and Nicholas, both from Mildura, were unable to attend the event.

Imran came out overall Winner this year earning a grant of $3000 to be put towards his professional development, with Emily awarded Regional Winner with a grant of $2000.

The drupa review evening was hosted by Visual Connections in partnership with the Visual Media Association, the LIA and the FPLMA, and was generously sponsored by Currie Group and HP.


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