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The Australian Variety Artists Mo Awards are long-running annual Australian entertainment industry awards. They recognise achievements in live entertainment in Australia.
The Mo Awards began in 1975, as a state only honour in New South Wales known as the Star Awards, when local entertainers started the awards to promote live entertainment in New South Wales. When Johnny O'Keefe became chairman in 1976, he decided the awards should become an Australia-wide national awards program. Don Lane then proposed the awards be renamed the Mo Awards in honour of Australian entertainer Roy Rene, who used the stage name "Mo McCackie." The award statue was designed by H. K. Fischer, model maker of Morisset.
The award categories are reviewed annually and are adapted to new trends in Australian entertainment; categories currently include: musical theatre, opera, Classical music, dance, comedy, rock music, jazz, country music, plays and variety shows.
Entertainer/vocalist/musician/songwriter Johnny Ashcroft won the first Mo Award for Male Country Entertainer in 1980.
The violinist Martin Lass won the Mo Award for Instrumental Excellence for seven years running from 1984 until 1990.
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