Local programs My Place and The Amazing Race Australia have done the country proud at this year’s Asian Television Awards.
My Place, the ABC3 Logie-winning series, netted Best Children’s Program at the prestigious awards show which recognises “excellence in programming, production and performance”.
The popular show, produced by Matchbox Pictures' Helen Panckhurst and Penny Chapman, won for the first episode in series two: 1878 Henry and beat fellow ABC3 show Dance Academy (which was nominated for Episode 26: Learning To Fly Part 2).
Chapman, who last year won the inaugural IF Award for Contribution to Television, said she was "thrilled" with its success overseas.
"This has been a bit of a passion project for me because it’s such an original encapsulation of Australia’s story," she told IF.
"…I’m thrilled the rest of the world is seeing and liking it”.
Furthermore, Panckhurst added: "We're very keen for our programs to work for an Asian audience, so it's great to get this recognition, especially because we were up against nominations from India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore.
My Place has been a huge success for the national broadcaster since first going to air in December, 2009. Based on the acclaimed, multi-award winning children’s book penned by Nadia Wheatle, it has netted award after award including most recently an AWGIE (1868 Minna). Earlier this year it also took out the Best Non-Animated or Mixed Series Award in the family category at the annual KidScreen Awards in New York.
Initially targeting ages 8-12, it has resonated strongly with the older generation as it creatively depicts Australia’s past. A strong interactive website has engaged viewers even more.
Reality game show The Amazing Race Australia took out two gongs at the Asian Television Awards this year – for Best Adaptation of an Existing Format and Best Direction (Michael McKay).
The activeTV series, which is based on the hit international format, had pretty consistent ratings for Seven when it aired earlier this year with more than 1 million viewers tuning in each week.
McKay, who is also the president of activeTV, has been involved with the format for many years including both the US and Asian versions. He’s very hands-on and also produces the series.
activeTV was also nominated in the Best Entertainment category for its work on Carols in the Domain 2010, also screening on Seven, however lost out to Nep-Kids League: Whiz-Kids Theater!.
A second series of The Amazing Race Australia has been commissioned and will go to air in 2012.
Australian Anna Coren, who used to host Today Tonight, also won Best News Presenter or Anchor for her work on CNN's World Report. She is now based in Hong Kong.
For the full list of winners at the 2011 Asian Television Awards, click here.