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TMA's high five at ARPA awards

TMA has received five awards in design and writing categories at the annual religious press awards night

Anglican Media staff Mark Brolly and Emma Halgren at the Australasian Religious Press Association conference dinner, where TMA won five awards.

September 5 2016Contributors from the Melbourne diocese as well as staff have helped TMA (The Melbourne Anglican) win five awards – two of them gold as the best in their categories – at this year’s Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) conference dinner in Sydney.

The Revd Canon Professor Dorothy Lee’s article in TMA in March 2015, “Who then can be saved?”, won the Gold award for Best theological article. The article, part of TMA’s regular Faith seeking understanding column, explored whether salvation was for Christians only or for all people, and whether humans alone could be saved or whether God’s saving purpose was for all creation.

Professor Lee, Dean of the Trinity College Theological School at the University of Divinity, alternates as the author of the column with contributors from Ridley College.

TMA’s designer Ivan Smith, who is also an accomplished artist, also won the Gold award for Best cover in a newspaper with his own work for the paper’s Easter issue in April last year. His confronting painting of Jesus on the Cross took as its biblical text “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke chapter 23, verse 34) and depicted Jesus “taking upon Himself, once and for all, the failures of humanity and its history – the brokenness, the abuse, the desecration and disregard – for both his people and creation”.

“Jesus identifies with us all when He pleads with His Father, God, to forgive us our ignorance, and Jesus encompasses all as loving intercessor,” Ivan said of what lay behind this artwork.

The ARPA judge said of the winning cover that it was “powerful and contemporary imagery that ‘pops’ off the page” and added that it was a “well-balanced page with wonderful use of colour”.

TMA took out three silver awards, with the Revd Canon Ken Letts’ response to the Paris terrorist attacks last November, “Paris attacks call us to deep reflection” (TMA, December 2015), winning Silver for Best editorial or opinion piece.

Canon Letts has returned to Melbourne after 20 years as Anglican Rector of Nice, during which time he also served as Archdeacon of France – roles for which he was honoured by the French Government.

The judge described his article as “an original and thoughtful piece of writing”.

Veteran religious affairs journalist Barney Zwartz, who is Communications Adviser to Archbishop Philip Freier, won the Silver award for Best review for his assessment of Roy Williams’ Post-God Nation? in last September’s TMA.

ARPA’s judge said the review tackled an important book with insight, flair and wit.

“It’s important when reviewing such a book to consider its political and social context, which the writer succeeds at. A commendable effort.”

TMA Deputy Editor Emma Halgren won Silver for Best profile story for her July 2015 piece on Bishop Genieve Blackwell, “Finding a voice in our ‘transitional times’”.

The judge said Emma’s writing style was lively and flowed well and logically “and the reader receives a revealing picture of the Bishop’s passion, plans and challenges for her new role as a servant of her parishes and people”.

Emma is Acting Editor of TMA while Roland Ashby is on leave.

ARPA’s premier award, the Gutenberg – which was won last year by TMA and Roland Ashby – was awarded this year to Graeme Cole, Public Affairs Manager of Wesley Mission in Sydney. Mr Cole, who has worked in the mainstream press and as Director of Communications for Anglicare NSW, has been at Wesley since 2001.

ARPA President Peter Bentley said Mr Cole exemplified the best of Christian reporting, grounded in a commitment to justice and truth and founded in personal integrity.

“At all times, and in difficult times, his personal faith points to the undergirding power and grace that is provided by God for all those who are called to serve,” Mr Bentley said. “Graeme’s ministry is not a venture or service for himself, it is a mission to point to the good works that are being done in the name of Jesus Christ. Praise be to God.”

The Publication of the Year award was won by New Zealand’s Tui Motu InterIslands Magazine, an independent Catholic monthly. Tui Motu is a Maori phrase meaning “stitching the islands together... ”, bringing different races and peoples and faiths into relationship.