The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS ( 15:36 :30 ): On 20 February of this year, country newspaper representatives gathered at the Novotel Barossa Valley Resort at Rowland Flat to celebrate the annual South Australian Country Press awards. Guests were formally welcomed by Country Press SA president Mr Andrew Manuel of the Plains Producer at Balaklava. Mr Ian Osterman of The Courier at Mount Barker was the master of ceremonies for the awards presentation, which displayed the passion and importance of community newspapers to their local community.
As part of the evening, I once again presented my award for the Best Community Profile. I was very pleased that this year the judge was Mr Brad Perry, a former winner of my award. As a former editor of The Riverland Weekly, he now is an adviser with the member for Chaffey in another place, and he did a very thorough job in judging that award. First place went to Michael Murphy of the Barrier Daily Truth. Brad indicated that:
Michael's story on a well-known Broken Hill identity is full of colour and flows as a great community profile should.
The second place in my award went to Ben Kelly of The Times at Victor Harbor and third place went to Alicia Ludi-Schutz of The Leader at Angaston. The other awards presented on the night included the highly sought after awards in the three circulation categories. The Best Newspaper (Over 6,000 Circulation) went to the Port Lincoln Times, ahead of the Yorke Peninsula Country Times and The Border Watch at Mount Gambier.
The Best Newspaper (2,500—6,000 Circulation) winner was The Recorder at Port Pirie, with The Naracoorte Herald second and The Murray Valley Standard third. The Best Newspaper (Under 2,500 Circulation) winner was from across the border, the Katherine Times, second was the Eyre Peninsula Tribune and third place went to The South Eastern Times at Millicent.
Best Advertisement (Image/Branding) was won by The Bunyip at Gawler and the Yorke Peninsula Country Times won the category for Best Advertisement (Priced Product). Best Advertising Feature was won by the Port Lincoln Times and the Best Supplement award was taken out by the Yorke Peninsula Country Times. The Best News Photograph winner was Sam Dowdy of The Border Watch at Mount Gambier. The Best Sports Photograph was taken out by Laura Wright from The Courier and The Courier won the award for Best Front Page.
In the Editorial Writing section the winner was Fred Smith from The South Eastern Times, and Fred is well known to many members of parliament in this place. The Excellence in Journalism award was taken out by Genevieve Cooper of The Courier; Genevieve has won my community profile award on at least one occasion and I think, perhaps, even twice. The Best Sports Story was taken out by Louise Michael from the Plains Producer.
There were three new awards presented on the evening: firstly, one for digital initiative, which was won by The Border Watch; the Young Journalist of the Year award, which was taken out by Pamela Perre of The Murray Pioneer; and the Outstanding Advertising Representative award, which was won by Wendy Forbes of The Murray Pioneer.
Once again the night was a very professional event. I think Country Press SA puts a lot of store into making the event one that is highly regarded across the country, and certainly there were representatives there from Country Press Australia and from Country Press Victoria. It was a very good night, I think. It gives an opportunity for people who work in newspapers right around South Australia, and of course at Broken Hill and Katherine, who do not get together very often, to come together to talk about their experiences. I must say that they also have a little bit of a party.