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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 30 June 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 30 JUNE 2018 19 FEATURE Katerina Grant. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED For Hermès’ ambitious, sun-drenched beach bash, Carriageworks – an industrial, multi-arts centre in Redfern – was filled with 400 tonnes of pristine sand. An array of guests celebrated barefoot among shoreline attractions: giant floating seahorses, DJs atop a lifeguard tower, an original Mr Whippy van dispensing sugary soft serves. The high tech feats were plentiful too, from VR surf experiences and a custom-built 180-degree curvilinear screen projecting summer montages to a half-pipe, complete with skaters and interactive projection-mapping technology. There was something miraculous about a beach emerging from nowhere, but as 10 magazine noted: “the restraints of mother nature doth not apply to the world of Hermès.” Kat & Co brought the Hermès vision to life. Marie Clair Scoll ‘Barefoot in the Park’. Fendi campaign, Sydney. PHOTO: TIM KINDLER did, had a huge impact on my life." Katerina's first major role in events planning was with industry leader David Grant AM. The creative director produced events across Australia and around the world for almost three decades, which garnered 35 industry awards as well as him being made a member of the Order of Australia for his body of work. Katerina worked with David for a decade and was married to him from September 2015 until he died later that year. "When I finished my degree, I had started working at my uncle's restaurant group doing events and marketing," she says. "I had an opportunity to go to an industry event in Perth and that is where I met David and at the time he was looking for an event coordinator to join the team. I went through quite a rigorous interview process before I got the job. "At the time he was working on the Olympic Games so I had an opportunity to work on the winter Olympics in Torino and then the 2008 Summer Olympics." Her work at the Olympics featured an event that included the mayor of London, English football star David Beckham, and then UK prime minister Gordon Brown, and it saw her named Australian Event Awards’ 2009 Young Achiever of the Year, so it's not surprising she looks back on it as "a standout moment" in her career. "We built a venue - London House - that was used throughout the Olympics, and the final event was a hand over from city to city. "We built an entire team in an international city and produced an event that was seen by the world. It was an extraordinary experience." In 2012, Katerina founded Kat & Co and admits that the move from Australia's biggest events company to starting from scratch was both challenging and thrilling. "It came very naturally to me to start my own business and it wasn't daunting," she says. "I knew if I started something, and I put my mind to it, that I would be able to make something of it one way or another." She started off with one employee working out of her Rushcutters Bay apartment, and now is part of a team of 10 located in a Darlinghurst office. While she says she is fortunate to work with some amazing clients and to be producing really great work, she has even bigger plans for the future, looking to expand overseas with the plan to set up an office in New York. In the meantime, Katerina is excited to be announcing the return of a $10,000 events fellowship as part of the David Grant Creativity Project, set up in 2016 by a group of industry colleagues and friends to carry on her late husband's legacy. "David was a huge contributor to the Australian events industry, especially mentoring up-and-coming professionals on being creative and the best," Katerina recalls fondly. "[The fellowship] is about continuing the essence of what he was about more than anything else. We want to make sure his creative, brave and trailblazing spirit carries on and we want to make sure the industry, rather than feeling a loss, continually sees the benefit of what he did." To find out more about Kat & Co., visit kateco.com.au/ Naomi Watts for Sportscraft (2016).
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