By James Wells

SYDNEY: Electrical products from brands including Sunbeam, Breville, Philips, Victa and Rode Microphones have dominated the shortlist of consumer products nominated for the prestigious Australian Design Awards.

Shortlisted products include five small appliances from Sunbeam, three small appliances from Breville, a digital photo display from Philips, the Victa Vac and Blow electric lawnmower and the Rode Podcaster broadcast quality USB microphone.

According to Australian Design Awards manager, Stephanie Watson, over 200 entries across 12 categories have been received for the event to be held in Melbourne on 11 May 2007.

“This year we have seen a real concentration of new products and technologies designed specifically to deal with uniquely Australian concerns,” Watson said.

“For the first time in many years major manufacturers have submitted next generation designs for some of Australia’s best known icons including the Victa Vac and Blow Electric and the Sunbeam Accura Digital Resilium iron,” she said.

Entries to the 2007 awards closed in December with the first round of judging finishing in January.

This is the last year that the awards will be presented in their current format. In 2008, the Australian Design Awards will undergo a major transformation to cater for all products sold on the Australian market, regardless of where they were designed.

“This is an important change to the way we have been operating for the past 50 years and it recognizes that design is now well and truly a global activity,” Watson said.

According to Watson the awards entries once again represent Australia’s entrepreneurial spirit, world renowned ingenuity and way of life.

“The Asia-Pacific is taking notice. Through the Australian Design Awards, we are showing countries like China and Korea our designers have the expertise to steer their industry into the future.”