A professional resource for the design curious

Get the latest design news direct to your inbox!


Young, creative and full of spirit, the SOYA awards celebrated a new generation of talented designers and artists.



November 12th, 2009

A crowd of creative minds gathered to celebrate the work of Australia’s up-and-coming talent at the QANTAS Spirit of Youth Awards (SOYA), at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney last night.

Twenty-one finalists representing seven categories stood to win the coveted prize of a one-year mentorship with leading names in their field.

And, from the tens of thousands of entrants overall there emerged just seven winners.

No surprises in the fashion category, with the award going to flamboyant Sydney double act Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales for their kitsch couture label Romance was Born.

Melburnian Kasimir Burgess, who joked with the sponsors by vowing to fly Virgin, was recognised for his short films and music clips.

Tom Fereday’s ‘Sein’ stools, which slot together into a number of formations, garnered him the industrial and object design award and a mentorship with Marc Newson.

Musical duo Alexander Gow and Thomas Savage of Oh Mercy, who’s album Privileged Woes was recorded in their spare room padded by a mattress, took home the coveted mentorship with Steven Pavlovic of Modular Records.

Nirrimi Hakanson, arguably the world’s most talented 17-year-old, was recognised for her inspiring fashion photography, while exploding balloons in ‘Welcome to the Wonderful World of Emotion and Impact’ showed that visual artist Rebecca Baumann is one to watch.

Last but not least design duo tin&ed won the visual communications award for their creativity with collage, illustration, installations and sculptures.

SOYA’s promotion of young talent shows great promise for the next generation of creatives, with winners also awarded a hefty sum of $10,000 cash and flights courtesy of the official sponsors, QANTAS.

QANTAS Spirit of Youth Awards


Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales of Romance Was Born

Edward Cutting and Tin Nguyen of tin&ed

Alexander Gow and Thomas Savage of Oh Mercy

Kasimir Burgess

Rebecca Baumann

Tom Fereday

Nirrimi Hakanson

INDESIGN is on instagram

Follow @indesignlive

The Indesign Collection

A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers

Indesign Our Partners

Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!

Related Stories

While you were sleeping

The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed