Laura Wood, Blake Gardiner, Daniel Thomas – Australian, Kiwi and International – were awarded the 2020 Youth Awards at the annual young writers conference on the Gold Coast on Saturday.
The Awards are presented at 4.00pm of the conference each year – there are a number of awards but with Covid 19 restrictions many were unable to attend in 2020.
The young writers in the Press Service International program in conjunction with Christian Today sent in their BEST article for the five Panellists to mark out of 25 - the 25 mark was chosen as in previous years there have been too many multiple winners out of 10 marks.
Photo - Dr Daniel Thomas 2020 Internationals Youth Development Award
The Youth Award has many aspects over these many years. These awardees are young people, have been awarded high marks by their respective panellists, are examples of fine Christian representation in the young writer program with a propensity to promote the young writer program.
Laura Wood - Australian Youth Award
Laura Wood is a new 2020 writer who lives on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. She’s quite adventurous, loves people, and is passionate about Jesus. Laura is 23 years old and studying psychology (I'm in my first year.) My motivation for writing comes from my relationship with Jesus. Whenever I sit down to write, I first ask God what he would like me to write about, then write whatever I feel he tells me to.
Laura really enjoys writing and being able to express what he has taught me to others. For me, it feels like a space where I can honour him, and it's also really exciting to be able to encourage others in their faith. I'm currently learning how to play piano, surf, and I'm wanting to learn more about photography.
I grew up in a big family (6 kids), was homeschooled, and gave my heart to God when I was 13. I really enjoy traveling, up until 3 years ago I spent 6 years coming and going from different places and then spent some time in Asia and Africa doing missions work.
Blake Gardiner - New Zealand Youth Award
Hailing from North Auckland, Blake Gardiner sounds American, looks Swedish, but grew up in Laos. As an introvert, Blake lives life on the edge by socialising. When he isn’t putting his life at such risk, he enjoys reading theology and debating whether Interstellar is truly the greatest movie of all time.
He writes New Zealand Christian News as well as being a Christian Today New Zealand ‘Comment’ writer. Last year 2019 Blake won the NZ Tronson Award for his ongoing contribution to the NZ program as one of the two who forwards the daily Kiwi young writer to NZ Christian media.
Daniel Thomas - Internationals Youth Award
Dr. Daniel Thomas is a medical doctor and Christian Advocate who loves the Lord deeply. He currently leads a youth organization called the Love March Movement which is committed to empowering the youth to fight for sexual purity and the family in Jamaica.
Daniel last year won the 2019 International Basil Sellers Award and has devoted himself to helping the younger West Indian young writers in their writing endeavours. This award is a true recognition of this.
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 25 books, and enjoys writing. 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 Gutenberg’ - the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award. In September 2020 Summer Moore presented her commission portrait of Dr Mark Tronson holding the Gutenberg plaque. He and David Chang editor of Christian Today together bought the young writer ministry into fruition in 2009. In 2011 Mark established Laguna Quays Respite (Whitsundays) for missionary respite and replicated at Aldinga Beach 2016 (Adelaide) and Greens Beach Bass Straight (TAS). His ministry is honoured all these years by Christian philanthropist Mr Basil Sellers AM. He is married to Delma (44 years), with four adult married children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/dr-mark-t.html