Mr Basil Sellers AM met with the Press Service International (PSI) young writers leadership group over morning tea in his Sydney home on Saturday 21 March.
The leadership group members: Russell Modlin the chair (Sunshine Coast), Laura Veloso (Melbourne), Sophia Sinclair (Christchurch NZ), Wesley Tronson (Gold Coast) and Sam Gillespie (Sydney).
The 90 minute cuppa saw each one of the five leadership group members introduce themselves to Basil Sellers, who financially sponsors the young writer annual awards along with the overall ministry of Well-Being Australia.
Laura Veloso from Melbourne was first off the rank explaining how when at university part of her project was a trip to Bangladesh and in so doing utilised her free time to serve with missions. Subsequently she and her husband John take short term missions to the South Pacific and at times with members of their church youth group. Last time was in September / October to Fiji. They have three little boys and noted she is involved with a local program assisting refugee families.
Laura explained her role as the Week 3 co-ordinator for the young writer program, with the 17 young writers in that designated Week send her their articles to her by the Tuesday night. Laura said she corrects spelling, syntax and flow before forwarding those articles to the PSI editor Sophia Sinclair.
Sophia Sinclair from Christchurch NZ explained to Basil Sellers that her role starts when the articles from the Week co-ordinators come in. Each article is read and checked, editorial suggestions are noted, and emails the young writer those changes along with a short precise. The numbers of articles each week range from 12 to 18. Sophia went into much detail as to how the editing process functions and how sometimes there are articles in the one week on the same subject but with different conclusions. Each Week's articles are sent into Christian Today on the Friday of each week.
Basil Sellers was a little taken at the work load with the to and fro emailing and acknowledged Sophia's experienced as an award winning editor with New Zealand CMS publications. Sophia's husband Andrew is doing a theology degree at SBMC and they have a 1 year old son.
Sam Gillespie has been awarded First Class Hon. (Hon Degree) Sydney University Conservatorium of Music in 'Music Composition' (Classical Composer) and a member of the Sydney Chamber Choir that performed in the great cathedrals of Germany, France and England. He is both a young writer and the representative of Petersham Baptist Church where the 1 August young writer awards will be held.
Basil Sellers, who is conversant with such music genre asked questions about his composition style and presentation whereby Sam Gillespie illustrated fresh IT techniques in transitioning presentations. Sam's has recently celebrated his first wedding anniversary.
Russell Modlin from the Sunshine Coast explained to Basil Sellers that he is a father of three boys and a PE teacher and served four years in Alice Springs in an indigenous sports high school as a service to the Lord. Russell said he has known Mark Tronson since 1994 when on a Country Town Tour he bought elite athletes to his high school in Mackay, Queensland.
Russell explained that Mark contacted him 5-6 years ago wanting someone with a little more maturity to help initiate the young writer program and then three years ago was invited to represent the young writer ministry on the Well-Being Australia national board. Russell is also a Week co-ordinator in the 5 week cycle which runs throughout the year.
Answering a question from Basil Sellers as to what it meant to provide the young writers a "Voice" - Russell Modlin explained that young people growing up within the framework of a Christian home and church are told what their "voice" should be. This is often frustrating and emotionally harmful, yet now, as a Week coordinator he is witnesses so many of these young people for the very first time expressing their own "Voice".
Basil Sellers has known Wesley Tronson since 1993 on his initial visit to inspect Basil Sellers House in Moruya and has followed Wesley's progress with interest. Wesley is now a bank manager and was one of the 5 original sport writers way back in 2009. He writes on EPL soccer and Basil Sellers was in London and a little involved when the EPL was initiated from the fraying Division system of that era.
Basil Sellers Reflections
Basil Sellers asked many questions relating to the young writer program from the process of endorsing young writers to the mechanics of structure and in effect, business strategy for long term sustainability (including readership analysis). One issue was that of creating a Vision Statement by which the ongoing young writer program is held to account and an internal gauge of its aims and purposes - which may well include a pastoral component. Basil Sellers told the leadership group that I was to play no part in this, this is ownership and succession.
Afterwards Basil Sellers showed the Leadership Group sporting memorabilia, gave them each copy of his book "From India with Love" for which they each sought his signature. There was also a photograph session both inside and outside. Basil Sellers whispered in my ear and subsequently the following day, by Email: "I really enjoyed meeting them. You have a very good leadership group there!"
1 August Basil Sellers awards conference
As a direct result of Basil Sellers input, the leadership group then met at Petersham Baptist Church and planned the 1 August annual conference which will focus on those major philosophical and practical issues raised over the morning tea.
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