Australian-Filipina journalist VIOLI CALVERT meets the creme de la creme of the country's live entertainment circuit when she attended her first Mo Awards.

I was so excited that Fil-Aussie artists were nominated in three categories in the the 38th Australian Entertainment Mo Awards. I made a resolve not to miss the awards ceremony held on May 27 at the Bankstown Sports Club. I thought even just to capture on video the announcement of the win in all, or two, or one of the nominations would be great. 

With the help of my faithful navigator Jane, I got to Bankstown Sports Centre in an hour. Not bad on a Friday peak hour traffic from the other side of Sydney. All tickets to the ceremony were sold out the day before the event. Just after six pm, we were being ushered in.  As I also walked on the red carpet, I had a bit of a giggle to the effervescent welcome of Maria Venuti, a well-known Australian-Italian entertainer. She was looking stunning as usual in her resplendent gown.

This year, the event’s theme was ‘Mo’ Goes Motown so the dress code suggested was to be in Motown attire or ‘black tie’.  There were only two people who I saw wearing the Motown wig, and there was a mixture of very formal to smart casual, so I felt okay in my simple LBD. In any case, I would only be seating in the media table which only had three other male photographers.


The various performances presented in between people tucking in their entree, mains and desserts, were impressive. I guess this was to be expected; after all, this was the awards night for live entertainment.  

Right from the word ‘go’ I believed that win or lose, the talented Fil-Aussies: Lillian de los Reyes, Daniel Mallari, Joel Gonzales and Lloyd Saniel have already made us proud with their recognition as amongst the best in Australia’s live entertainment world. So it was okay that this year, none of the nominations for the Fil-Aussies was successful. There is always the next time.

Aside from enjoying Johnny O’Keefe and Marcia Hines’ hosting segments of the ceremony and the performances, I also had the pleasure of seeing three familiar friendly faces – the talented Fil-Aussie singer Brian Lorenz and friend Paul, and Rachael Fahim.  Rachael who performs in the Fil-Aussie community shows, won the Johnny O’Keefe Encouragement Award in tie with Anja Nissen.

I was also glad to see Burwood RSL win the Best Technical Support award. Burwood RSL hosts many Fil-Aussie shows and has also been generous to provide the venue for free for UNITED, the fundraising concert for the Haiyan typhoon survivors. I was so happy about this win that it didn’t matter that it was nearly 2am that I was emailing David Viner, venue manager of Burwood RSL to break the good news and congratulate him and the Club.

I hope to have the chance to go again so I could applaud Fil-Aussies being recognised once more, and hopefully get up the stage to take a Mo home. Overall, my first Mo was very enjoyable.


List of Winners of the 38th Australian Entertainment Mo Awards
There are two steps in deciding the winners of the Mo awards. The first-round voting is to select the nominees; then another round to select the winners. The system of online voting was put in place in 2009.

BEST SOLO PERFORMER: Snowy Robson
BEST DUO: Take Two
BEST VARIETY/VOCAL GROUP: Double Exposure
BEST DANCE SHOWBAND: The Frocks
BEST TRIBUTE SHOW: Roy Orbison Reborn (Dean Bourne)
JOHN CAMPBELL FELLOWSHIP AWARD:  Carter Edwards

JOHNNY O’K EFFE ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD-Tie:    Anja Nissen
JOHNNY O’K EFFE ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD –Tie:  Rachael Fahim

BEST CHILDREN'S SHOW:  Brendan Mon Tanner
BEST SPECIALTY ACT:  Phil Cass
BEST VERSATILE/VARIETY ACT:  Wayne Rogers
INTERNATIONAL THEME SHOW PERFORMER:  Peter Paki and The Rhythm Polynesia
THE 'MO' HALL OF FAME AWARD:   Barry Crocker AM
FOUR KINSMEN VARIETY PRODUCTION SHOW:  Supreme Motown
DON LANE COMPERE OF THE YEAR:  Terry Mac
TOMMY TYCHO BEST ACCOMPANYING BAND:  Funky Do Da's
THE SLIM DUSTY COUNTRY ACT OF THE YEAR:  Benn Gunn
BEST ROCK ACT OF THE YEAR:  The Radiators
BEST TECHNICAL SUPPORT:  Burwood RSL
BEST VENUE:  Campsie RSL
THE RODNEY RUDE STAND-UP COMEDIAN:  Al Showman

THE 'MO' COMEDY ACT OF THE YEAR-Tie:  Buddy Goode
THE 'MO' COMEDY ACT OF THE YEAR-Tie:  Harriet Littlesmith

THE JULIE ANTHONY BEST FEMALE VOCAL PERFORMER:  Kel-Anne Brandt
RICKY MAY MALE VOCAL PERFORMER:   Larry Stellar OAM
PETER ALLEN PERFORMER OF THE YEAR AWARD:   Phil Cass

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