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ATUG awards night: Party photos

ACCC officials with glasses of wine, a golden medal for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and a few faux pas: the annual awards night of the Australian Telecommunications Users Group (ATUG) had it all.
By Suzanne Tindal, Contributor
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1 of 12 Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au

The venue was the Australian Technology Park in Sydney. These buildings used to be locomotive workshops. Built in 1887, New South Wales steam locomotives for the state were assembled, disassembled, repaired and maintained here.

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2 of 12 Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy got up close and personal to award winners.
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3 of 12 Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au
His smile never left his face. Perhaps he had an inkling of what was to come...
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4 of 12 Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au

Macquarie Telecom David Tudehope was supposed to get up and give a speech, but the crowd had to take off their glasses and clean them when Chris Greig, group executive telco business, carrier and legal, stepped up to the stage instead. His first words were "I'm not David Tudehope".

Once that was cleared up, he could continue. It turned out that Tudehope was caught in traffic and Greig had been notified via email that he was the next cab off the rank and needed to step into the breach.

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5 of 12 Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au

Just when the crowd thought all the awards were given, suddenly there was one more: the Charles Todd Medal winner for Communicator of the Year. (Charles Todd directed the construction of the Adelaide-Darwin telegraph).

Apparently the winner had been kept closer to the chest than the NBN announcement, so when Stephen Conroy took the prize he looked genuinely flabbergasted.

He won, according to ATUG, for "seeking input from feisty and fearless friends", improving levels of customer service by working with industry, developing Australia's digital economy, working through platforms, policies, opportunities and obstacles and supporting campaigns seeking fairer outcomes for users.

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6 of 12 Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au

Not only did he get a certificate ...

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7 of 12 Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au

...but he also got a medal, and wasn't he pleased about it.

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8 of 12 Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au

Other industry players at the event included ACCC group general manager communications group, Michael Cosgrave...

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9 of 12 Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au

Macquarie Telecom national executive regulatory and government Matt Healy ...

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10 of 12 Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au

And, of course, ATUG managing director Rosemary Sinclair in a bevy of revellers.

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11 of 12 Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au

Unfortunately, the revelling had to end so that everyone could attend the conference early the next day. Conroy had some words, but there have definitely been enough photos of him up until now — so we'll move to Graeme Samuel ACCC chairman who gave a fire and brimstone sermon on the bad ways of the telco industry.

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12 of 12 Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au

He was followed by the Secretary Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy Patricia Scott who was the one who had the final word on throwing Telstra out of the tender. In a brief conversation after her speech in answer to the question if the decision weighed heavily on her shoulders, she said: "Somebody has to be the Commonwealth."

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