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Sydney International Boat Show becomes platform for change

The Sydney International Boat Show will return to Darling Harbour from August 1 to 4, 2024. Whilst record crowds and exhibitors are anticipated, organisers are aiming to use the Show as a platform to discuss and drive change around wider issues impacting the marine industry.

Boating Industry Association (BIA) President, Adam Smith said “after 55 years we feel the Sydney International Boat Show has become more than just a trade or consumer show, it has become a celebration of the boating lifestyle and a platform for positive discussions to drive change across our industry and communities.”

“All of the issues facing our industry are important to us but for 2024 we have identified three key areas that we will focus on, these are: sustainability and decarbonisation; diversity and inclusion; along with fostering employment and careers in the marine sector. By using this internationally recognised Show as a platform we want to unite and inspire our stakeholders and community to tackle these issues together,” Mr Smith said.

Sustainability and Decarbonisation

Sustainability and decarbonisation is high on the news agenda and Show exhibitor, Lisa Blair has become a strong voice behind it. Lisa is an Australian solo sailor with multiple world records to her name, she is also a strong voice for sustainability in the response to climate change and the impact it is having on Australia’s oceans and waterways.

Ms Blair said, “over the last decade of my career I have noticed the impact that climate change has on our environment. The storms are more aggressive and less predictable, the absence of wildlife when years earlier those seas were brimming with life and the increased risk of collision with ice as the glaciers keep melting. These are all symptoms of climate change. What we know is that a greater awareness needs to be reached and action needs to be taken.”

Lisa is the driving force behind Climate Action Now, a project which is designed to focus on actions that can be taken towards solutions, rather than the problem itself.

She continues, “I wholeheartedly believe that together we can deliver a very strong message which will create meaningful conversations, and then action, and what better platform to harness this then via the Sydney International Boat Show, which is expected to attract more than 50,000 people this year. For many people living in Australia the waterways are their livelihood, or their way-of-life, and we need to rally together to protect them.”

Diversity and Inclusion

Another hot topic on the agenda is diversity and inclusion. Whether it be age, gender, cultural background or physical abilities, the Sydney International Boat Show is committed to building a culture that respects and embraces diversity.

The Boating Industry Association’s Women in Boating Committee Chair, Tracy Souris said “the industry is moving forward and with it comes the desire to create a “culture of belonging”, it is a challenge but one in which the industry is excited to take on. Our aim is to build honest and fruitful relationships across divides and create an all-hands-on deck industry that benefits everyone.”

“The Sydney International Boat Show is a perfect platform to inspire and educate the industry on the value of all members of our community and build awareness of the pathways available to those seeking career opportunities within the boating industry,” Ms Souris said.

Employment and Career Opportunities

2024 is a significant milestone for Australian football legend, Andrew “ET” Ettingshausen, it marks 25 years since his national television show Escape Fishing with ET first started. Andrew is using this milestone to help give-back to the industry that has contributed to his success, by highlighting the vast employment and career opportunities available in the marine industry.

“This year marks 25 years of Escape Fishing with ET – I can’t believe that I have been casting a line out on national television longer than my footy career,” Ettingshausen said.

“The marine industry, the people, businesses and places, have all played a huge role in the show’s success and longevity. So, in our 25th year I want to give-back by sharing why I love this community and by doing so hopefully encourage others to consider a career path in the marine industry too.

“In such a dynamic industry there is no end to the opportunities available. Whether it be working around boats of all shapes and sizes, on or fishing in some of the best waterways in the world, the marine industry is diverse, with a wide range of pathways open to everyone,” Ettingshausen said.

Off the back of last year’s event the BIA commissioned an independent economic and social impact report for the first time. The findings revealed that the event had a AUD$345M impact on the economy, created 980 jobs and generated approximately AUD$147 million in sales and orders based on respondent estimates.

Meet Lisa, Tracy and Andrew at the Sydney International Boat Show from August 1 to 4. For exclusive announcements and ticket sales, visit General public admission tickets go on sale in June 2024.

The Sydney International Boat Show is presented by the Boating Industry Association Ltd(BIA) with delivery partner Mulpha Events and proudly supported by Partner in Safety – Transport for NSW, along with official event partners Century Batteries, GMSV and Walcon Marine.