The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle was the big winner of multiple awards for its monthly magazine Aurora at two media conferences held last week in Canberra. This included receiving the highly respected Gutenberg Award.
Aurora attracted three awards at the Australasian Catholic Press Association (ACPA) dinner held last Thursday followed by another four awards at the Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) lunch on Sunday.
The President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, was delighted with Aurora’s success. “Since commencing distribution of Aurora through secular newspapers in 2011, the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has been able to reach a broader audience beyond our Catholic community. It has meant they’ve been able to communicate the Church’s good news stories, as well as provide honest coverage of the difficult issues they’ve faced in regard to clerical child sexual abuse”, Archbishop Hart said.
The awards from ACPA were for best layout and design, best print magazine and the Bishop Philip Kennedy Memorial Award for Overall Excellence in a Catholic Publication.
The ARPA awards included recognition of two Aurora authors (Michael Belcher, a bronze prize for best theological article and Greg Byrne, a silver for best faith reflection) as well as gold for best regional publication. The climax of the award ceremony was to receive the 2014 Gutenberg Award.
The Gutenberg Award “recognises the outstanding contribution of an individual or organisation in the field of Christian publishing, or the longstanding exceptional impact of a Christian publication”.
The 2014 ARPA president, Peter Bentley said, “Aurora was a standout because it took the step to move out of the traditional form of distribution into a new form through the secular press. There were a substantial number of nominations, but I kept coming back to Aurora”. In the award citation, Mr Bentley said, “Aurora has in a way entered into a gentle conversation with people outside the church, encouraging them to consider again faith and the church today.”
Archbishop Hart said, “Aurora sets a fine example of how other dioceses might reach out to communicate and build relationships with the secular community.”
View the coverage of this story on the Maitland-Newcastle website