Last week, Live Performance Australia announced that this year’s Helpmann Awards would not go ahead. It is the second year in a row that the Helpmanns, which celebrate excellence in the Australian live performance industry, has been cancelled due to the impact of COVID-19.

However, the celebration of work in 2020 is not entirely lost. The LPA has announced that four Australians are being honoured with Industry Achievement Awards for 2020, which will be presented at Melbourne Recital Centre today.

Deborah Cheetham Deborah Cheetham.  Photograph © Wayne Quilliam

Deborah Cheetham and David McAllister will receive the 2020 JC Williamson Award, which recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the Australian live entertainment and performing arts industry, and helped to shape the future of our industry for the better.

Jill Smith and Ann Tonks will receive the 2020 Sue Nattrass Award, which honours an exceptional contribution to the Australian live performance industry through service roles that support and drive our industry – roles, which the LPA said “have proved particularly crucial in ensuring the sector’s survival over the past year”.

Announcing the JC Williamson Awards, LPA Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson said: “Deborah Cheetham AO and...