The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle’s monthly magazine, Aurora, has been awarded the Bishop Kennedy Memorial Award for Overall Excellence at this year’s Australasian Catholic Press Association (ACPA) Awards held last Thursday night. Aurora also won The 2014 Gutenberg Award at the Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) Awards held on Saturday night.
The ACPA award is given annually to a Catholic publication that “has stepped above and beyond their mission to make an outstanding contribution to the life and vitality of the Church and its faithful through the written word,” according to the ACPA citation.
The Gutenberg Award is the premier annual award of ARPA and the President, Peter Bentley, commended Aurora for taking the step “to reconnect not only with its wider Catholic constituency, but also to connect with members of other denominations and the general public”.
At the ACPA Awards, Aurora won the top award ahead of numerous other Catholic newspapers, magazines, newsletters and online journals from around Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. Aurora then went on to win the premier award at the ARPA Awards, ahead of 81 other Christian publications across Australia and New Zealand.
Editor of Aurora, Tracey Edstein, is thrilled with the wins.
“Aurora’s mission is to tell the stories of the people in our local community, offer a Catholic perspective, encourage reflection and invite all to participate in the local church. We are so proud to be recognised for this by our peers in ACPA and ARPA,” Ms Edstein said.
A strong supporter of Aurora, Bishop Bill Wright said the awards were a testament to the hard work of all across the diocese who contribute to Aurora:
“The monthly Aurora is something we all value as an opportunity to share stories of the many good things that people are involved in around the diocese and other matters that are important to our community.
“It takes a good deal of work behind the scenes each month for the team to bring together Aurora as a true reflection of our Diocese. I congratulate the editor, staff and volunteers on these awards. The more people who can be involved in Aurora, the better. I encourage everyone interested in being involved to get in touch,” Bishop Wright said.
The ACPA citation praised Aurora for its “readily accessible stories”, a “consistent and edifying story of faith and life entwined” and the “authentic message that brings truth and honesty to a difficult history, and yet is still able to rejoice in the positives”. The ARPA citation commented on “the diverse and wide range of material, with engaging profiles of local people and striking front covers”. The ARPA citation also praised Aurora for being “of interest to that broad range of people who are looking for advice, comment, and reflection, and perhaps end up being surprised to find this is a religious publication”.
Aurora also received the ACPA awards for Best Print Magazine and Best Layout and Design – Magazine, the Gold ARPA award for Best Regional Publication, the Silver ARPA Award for Best Faith Reflection and the Bronze ARPA Award for Best Theological Article.
Aurora is distributed as a monthly insert in six Fairfax papers including The Newcastle Herald and The Maitland Mercury, as well as being available to read online via the diocesan website. You can also follow Aurora on Facebook and Twitter.