Country Press Awards

4th March 2020

Matters of Interest 

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS (15:26): I have been a sponsor of the Country Press SA Awards since 2002. During last Friday night’s 2019 awards dinner at Glenelg, I was pleased to present my award of Best Community Profile to The Border Watch. I also represented Premier Steven Marshall in presenting the South Australian government award for Best Road Safety Reporting, also won by The Border Watch. It was a great night for the Mount Gambier paper, which also took out the category of best newspaper with a circulation of over 4,000, while the Millicent-based TheSouth Eastern Times won the award for paper with a circulation of under 4,000. 

I acknowledge the presence of the President and the Hon. Emily Bourke at the awards dinner, as well that of numerous lower house MPs, both federal and state. The Border Watch also took out the awards for Best Advertising Feature, Best House Advertisement, Best Sports Photograph and the Excellence in Journalism Award, which was won by Sandra Morello. 

The Leader at Angaston won the following categories: Best Front Page, Best Advertisement (Image/Branding) and Best Supplement. The Courier at Mount Barker took out the awards for Best News Photograph and Best Photograph. The Bunyip at Gawler was successful in the categories of Best Advertisement (Priced Product), Best Headline and the Young Journalist of the Year award, which went to Sam Bradbrook. The Best Sports Story award went to The Pennant at Penola, while the award for editorial writing was won by The South Eastern Times

As I said, I have been involved with Country Press SA for a very long time, even going back well before I came to this place, when I was doing some part-time writing for The Bunyip back in the eighties, or it might even have been a bit earlier. The then editor nominated one of my efforts for a Country Press SA award. Needless to say, I did not win anything, but that probably started my interest in and association with this organisation, which represents the network of very good country newspapers that we are blessed with in this state. 

Can I indicate particular thanks to Mr Darren Robinson, who is the President of Country Press SA; Mr Ian Osterman, a past president who was the emcee for the evening; Mr Trevor McAuliffe, the long-serving executive officer for Country Press SA; and my own particular thanks to Paul Starick from The Advertiser, who for the second year in a row was the judge of my award. I think, like any of these organisations that put on events like this, they rely very much on the voluntary efforts of judges but also the generous support of many sponsors. 

It was also good to see great representation from country newspapers from Gippsland, Narrabri, Country Press Australia and also Country Press Victoria in supporting their colleagues in this state because, as we all understand, newspapers in any sense and particularly in the country areas are under some pressure from other electronic forms in this day and age. However, I think most of us are aware of the great efforts that those country papers put in to provide news to their local communities. They have people who live and work in their communities and so they have a great feel for the things that are important to them. With those few words, I commend once again Country Press SA to the council as a great organisation within South Australia.