The Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) at their annual conference releases the judges awards and comments in the professional booklet. This year in Christchurch on 7 September was no different.
The glittering annual awards evening saw new ARPA President Sophia Sinclair introduce her good friend and guest speaker Rosie Fyfe, the National Director of the NZCMS (New Zealand Church Missionary Society). Rosie has an honours degree in History and Statistics from Victoria University in Wellington and a Masters of Church History and Theology from Trinity School for Ministry in Pennsylvania, USA.
Rosie Fyfe has been connected with NZCMS for many years including serving in Cairo (Egypt) for five years as a mission partner with the Anglican Diocese of Egypt and North Africa and the Horn of Africa. Six months after arriving, the Arab Spring began, Rosie lived through two revolutions with increased sectarian violence and more frequent attacks on churches. The full report published 16 September.
A lot has already been written and said about the 2019 major awards but little if anything on the 22 Category Awards. This is a ‘second’ selection - due to limited space on Monday, Only the GOLD award in a limited number of categories are listed.
Best Original Illustration GOLD Taming the Tongue Hilary Sandeman in ACCatalyst “Taming the Tongue” The illustration told the story! It was simple and immediately eﬀective. Well done
Best New Writer GOLD “Invisible People”. By Hugh Collins, in War Cry NZ, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory “Jesus keeps me motivated and keeps me going”. A message from one of many community outreach workers for the Salvation Army, dealing with many diﬀering results of homelessness in New Zealand. Faith, and a practicality go hand in hand to help solve problems for vulnerable people. An understanding of their circumstances and non-judgemental responses, help ﬁnd these people a better life and strength for their future.
Best Cover Magazine GOLD Megan Haryanto, for Journey Queensland Winter 2018. Well done on a well-balanced, clean front cover, appealing colours, good use of fonts and connection between the illustration and the headlines and sub-headers on the page. Overall excellence. This is a cover that would appeal across a mass audience.
Best Design Magazine GOLD NZ Baptist (Baptist churches of NZ), Editor Linda Grigg
Best Feature, Multiple Authors GOLD “Zealand Aroha.” War Cry NZ, Fiji, Tonga, (Samoa Territory) Wow. What an event. This feature captured The Salvation Army’s New Zeal weekend, a remarkable story of a special all of church event. It jumps off the page. I felt like I was there. I was also deeply moved as I read the Maori ministry encounter and the words of the territorial commander drew me into the power of Jesus’ story – his life, death and resurrection. Well done Ingrid and team.
Best Profile Story GOLD “The Good Shepherd” by David Halliday, in Melbourne Catholic. This category was judged on the ‘overall strength and quality of writing and eﬀectiveness to relate the essential humanity of the story”. The winning entry is a long tribute to Archbishop Denis Hart, written in formal impeccable English. It outlines the subject’s considerable achievements in ministry while including suﬃcient quotes from others and commentary from the writer to give the reader a comprehensive view of a signiﬁcant human being.
Best Column GOLD “Dead Man Writing” by David Halliday, Melbourne Catholic This column was an absolute standout. David Halliday reveals how he once wrote a series of le3ers to an American man on death row. The article explores both the mundane and the profound aspects of prison life in the United States, very ably weaving it into a reﬂection on the cruciﬁxion story and the New Testament writers, many of whom were also “jailbirds”. It is moving and profound. This is exactly the type of writing we need - bridging the gap between the type of secular political column writing we see in our daily newspapers and critical reﬂection from a Christian standpoint. Well done.
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. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at