Sam Manchester (Sydney) and Andrew Sinclair (Christchurch) were awarded the Australian and New Zealand 'Theological Awards' last week at the Press Service International Young Writer Awards in Sydney.
The 'Theological Award' was establish initially for the New Zealand component of the young writer program as the young writers in 2013 and 2014 were overwhelmed by young people theologically trained.
There was a genre being presented by their articles which were obviously in a different place to the general approach of the young writer ministry and some of the Panellists found their articles a little esoterica.
To overcome this weighted situation, the Theological Award was established with an equal financial award.
In 2013 Auckland's Sam Burrows won the NZ Theological Award and in 2014 Jeremy Suisted from Cambridge NZ.
Looking back over these past two years and the nature of this particular award, it has grown in significance and prestige and this is evidenced no least by Sophia Sinclair's promotion of the "Comment article" session of the young writer conference that Jeremy Suisted was participating – as the 2014 Theological Award' winner.
In 2015 with the Theological Award taking some prominence it was deemed appropriate that the Australian young writers likewise be established a Theological Award.
To this end Sam Manchester one of our foundation young writers (Moore College) in Sydney was deemed the 2015 Australian Theological Award winner.
Andrew Sinclair from Christchurch the NZ Theological Award winner in that line of well established awardees. Andrew, his wife Sophia and toddler Guy has relocated to Sydney where Andrew has initiated a theology degree at the Sydney Missionary Bible College.
Both Sam Manchester and Andrew Sinclair were awarded a $500 cheque, and a small art work by Tronson du Coudray.
You may wish to cast your eye over their 2015 articles - you will notice as described above, the different flavour of article written by these young theologians -
Chairman's Philosophical Award
It was my privilege as the Chairman of Well-Being Australia to make the Philosophical Award and in my view there was really only one choice, the Young Writer Leadership Group chairman Russell Modlin from the Sunshine Coast.
I first met Russell Modlin in Mackay Queensland in the early 1990's when he was teaching at the Mackay Christian College and I bought a number of elite international athletes to speak to the students (Country Town Tours). This opened Russell's eyes and became a supporter of our ministries as he recognised by seeing first hand the value of such a ministry upon the students.
Not many years later as a Master PE Teacher - Russell, Belinda his wife and their three little sons relocated to Alice Springs where he gave his talents to an Aboriginal Sports High School in missionary service. They served there for 4 years returning to the Sunshine Coast and securing a teaching appointment in a Christian High School.
I invited Russell Modlin onto the Well-Being Australia Board as the young writer representative four years ago and since then he has chaired the young writers conferences, presented the awards and took the lead when meeting with Mr Basil Sellers AM the Well-Being Australia major sponsor.
From that March 2015 meeting Mr Sellers gave a grant to the young writer ministry for air-fare scholarships and expenses for running the annual conference in relation to establishing a vision and mission statement for the PSI young writer ministry.
Russell Modlin's articles are philosophical in nature and I invite the reader's interest in them.
Press Service International young writer program with Christian Today, which is the 3rd largest Christian News provider in the world. It is one of the most astonishing features in publishing young people.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html