Both Alison Barkley from Newcastle New South Wales and Laura Veloso from Melbourne, began writing for Press Service International (PSI) in 2010. They were foundation young writers for PSI, a ministry of Well-Being Australia which mentors young writers in a program with Christian Today Australia. Two columns each week-day are allocated to the young writers.
The Basil Sellers Young Writers Award was presented to Alison Barkley and Laura Veloso by Well-Being Australia Board Member Russell Modlin last night (5 September) in Melbourne at the 2Pocket Fair Trade Espresso Bar as part of the annual young writers conference - witnessed by 28 fellow young writers.
Alison Barkley was also awarded a medallion "Winner – PSI Young Writers" as Alison's points ever so minimally ahead, yet a decision was made to award them both $1000, as after seven months it was just so close.
Alison Barkley regularly engages in short term missions to the Philippines whereas Laura Veloso before marriage and children undertook numerous short term missions to Bangladesh and the South Pacific.
Chairman of Well-Being Australia Dr Mark Tronson explained that Mr Basil Sellers AM said that this annual award was established to encourage the young writers in their writing endeavours and more so to add to their CV quite apart from the financial contribution.
Seven Panellists awarded points out of 10 under a set criteria over a seven month period for each of the two young writers published daily.
Debbie Suba – Tasmania
Alyson Smith – Melbourne
Rev Peter Nelson – AIS Chaplain
David Chang – Christian Today
Dr Deidre Tronson - Sydney
Rt. Rev. Brian Carrell – Christchurch, NZ
Christina Tyson – Wellington NZ
Their awarded points illustrated that each panellist came from a different perspective that demonstrated what a broad and exceptional cross section they were.
The young writers came together for the mini-conference from across Australia and New Zealand. The Thursday evening program saw the young writers discuss various issues associated with the philosophy of Christian Today. The young writers were awarded a coffee mug "Winner – PSI Young Writers" and a rules "Finalist – PSI Young Writers".
Today (Friday 6) Tony Dunkerley plenary is on mentoring. Born in England, he migrated to Australia mid '60s, a UK based Multi-National - Australian Managing Director for 30 years, Australian Joeys Soccer Assistant Coach (ret), Victorian Under 21 Coach (ret), President Victorian Football (ret) and Commissioner Junior Football (ret).
Tony's specialty is Mentoring - every young writer is involved in mentoring, to young teenagers in our Christian circles to those of more mature years. Tony's been mentoring young soccer players, to top level soccer players, to Socceroos and so too in his business life.
The second plenary is by New Zealand young writer Sam Burrows who in 2014 is part of the Well-Being Australia theological development 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 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