ARPA – Australasian Religious Press Association – annual conference in Melbourne – held this year in Melbourne – was again the highlight of the Christian print press.
This annual get-together of the Christian print media witnesses seminars, innumerable
conversations, networking you wouldn't believe and, the annual awards.
Since 2012 in Wellington New Zealand, Press Service International (PSI) has had a number of its young writers attend so as to offer them a blend of the professional world of Christian print media and provide encouragement and wisdom from the floor (as it were).
Belinda Croft from Melbourne produced a short video on that ARPA conference and followed that up with the PSI young writers pre-conference and post conference videos and has now once again produced a fine video production on this recent ARPA Melbourne conference.
This short video encapsulates the essence of the ARPA movement. It highlights the purpose of the speakers and the nature of the seminars along with the critical ingredients of catching up with people for whom one might only see each year (ARPA).
One very crucial aspect of ARPA is that it's voting membership is "organisational" not individual Christian journalists / writers and therefore attendance has reflected such representation, rather than that of the next generation.
This is one aspect that PSI is keen to address with its young writers if the cost is right. Errol Pike the immediate past president of ARPA, in one of the Melbourne ARPA conference workshops on this very subject stated: "If we do not address it, then it is at our peril".
Next year is ARPA's 40th
Originally ARPA was initiated by Denominational and Mission publication people whose objective, (apart from fellowship and mutual encouragement), was as a lobbying organisation of the then remarkably active Christian print world to negotiate with The Royal Australian Post Office (now Australia Post) limiting postal fees for their publications.
Their lobbying objectives were successful but as the years went on, those elected to governance roles in ARPA, saw less and less need for issues that required a joint capacity to lobby, and it has developed into more like an annual professional development conference.
Each year the ARPA conference is held in a different capital city. ARPA people in those cities are largely responsible for the program and running of the annual conference.
Next year ARPA celebrates it's 40th anniversary and fittingly will be held in Canberra the nation's capital under the leadership of newly elected president Peter Bentley from Sydney.
Belinda Croft's 2013 ARPA conference 2 min video
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at