The PSI program's young people are coming from Auckland, Cambridge and Wellington (North Island); Christchurch and Nelson (South Island) and this is the second New Zealand conference of it's kind.
Each young writers is published once a month in Christian Today Australia – a news media site that is part of the world's third largest Christian news online provider based out of London, UK. The two largest are the Christian Post (US) and Billy Graham Crusade's Christianity Today News (US).
24 New Zealand young writers are part of this Press Service International young writer program, four are based overseas (West Indies, Middle East and Perth Australia), the rest are in New Zealand. The total number in the PSI program from all over the world are 72 young people, the majority are Australians. The others are from Asia, Africa, Middle East, West Indies, England and North America.
Last year the New Zealand annual conference was held in March in two locations, Auckland and Christchurch, but the costs involved were such that it proved as cost effective to have it in one location this year, Wellington.
Christchurch's Sophia Sinclair a media professional with CMS currently on maternity leave celebrating the birth of son Guy with husband Andrew, is bringing a discussion paper on the philosophy of the New Zealand young writer program.
Auckland's Sam Burrows and Australia's Tony Dunkerley are each bringing 17 minute reflections to conclude the conference as they did in Melbourne for the Australian conference in September last year.
Dual speakers at each conference
The idea is to have the same two speakers from the Australian Spring conference do a repeat for the following autumn New Zealand conference. Sam Burrows is a celebrated New Zealand young emerging writer winning the New Zealand Theological Development Award last year.
Tony Dunkerley is the immediate past President of Victorian Soccer, Commissioner for Junior Soccer, a former Australian Joey's Assistant Coach, Victorian Under 21 and age coach over many years. His speciality is mentoring.
Press Service International is one of the ministries of Well-Being Australia. Another are Country Town Tours with elite athletes and coaches visiting regional and rural towns as role models speaking at schools, youth groups, churches, service clubs, prisons, dinners, breakfasts, outreach rallies and the like. Tony Dunkerley is a regular participant in these highly recognised programs.
The Wellington New Zealand Young Emerging Writers conference kicks off with morning tea followed by the morning session, lunch is to a pizza restaurant, followed by the afternoon program. Christina Tyson one of the NZ young writer Panellists and editor of New Zealand War Cry has handled the logistics with much aplomb.
A special component of the NZ young writers conference is Christina Tyson (just prior to lunch) re-presenting the 2013 Basil Sellers NZ Young Writers Awards, this time before their peers and all four are engaged in this conference.
Daniel Jang - Wellington
The 2013 outright Basil Sellers Award winner is speaking on his January Middle East Mission.
Sam Burrows - Auckland
The 2013 Theological Development Award is bringing a reflection as the final speaker of the 2014 conference.
Sophia Sinclair - Christchurch
2013 Equal 2nd - leading the afternoon session of the program.
Casey Murray - Auckland
2013 Equal 2nd - MC for the 2014 NZ young writers conference
On Friday evening 4 April there is a Well-Being Australia business dinner with these four 2013 award winners (Daniel, Sam, Sophia, Casey) meeting with Australia's Tony Dunkerley, awards statistician John Grocott, Delma Tronson, myself plus two co-opted additional young writers Brad Mills and Jeremy Suisted looking toward a long term strategy for the NZ young writer program.
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 mentors young writers and 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 www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html