Visits to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Coolangatta, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Launceston, Hobart, Adelaide, Tweed Heads, the Whitsundays are major centres visited in 2015 or scheduled to visit by the Press Service International (PSI) team this year.
Since the PSI young writer program incorporated Sophia Sinclair as editor this year, it has been seen as a right and proper imperative the young writers across Australia and New Zealand meet with Sophia.
Where Sophia was nor / or / is not available, it has been my joy in the Lord to meet with them and this happened in January in Adelaide and it will again occur in Tasmania at the end of September and early October when combining a Country Town Tour.
The idea of these 'editor' visits is that Sophia Sinclair might meet the young writers face to face and answer their enquiries of the young writer program with Christian Today as that in itself is a complex scenario.
Well-Being Australia (WBA) is the parent ministry of Press Service International, one of the ministries that function under the umbrella of WBA. This young writer ministry was initiated way back in 2008 when then Christian Today editor Szeleng Chan invited me to become a daily columnist focusing on Australian issues.
The young writer project took off when new Christian Today editor David Chang invited me to extend my voluntary involvement with a sport article each day having served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years to 2000 and from 2001 Life After Cricket.
The way around this additional invitation was to find young people to write the sport articles and this initiative gave rise to the young writer ministry which after a short period of time extended to "Comment' writing – today, some 8 years later – there are 85 young writers – 17 internationals, 23 New Zealander's and the rest Australians.
This is a significant number of young people viz Generation Y – the Millennials – motivated, IT savvy, highly educated and sharp.
Andrew and Sophia Sinclair were moving to Sydney from Christchurch as Andrew was signed up for a theology degree at the Sydney Bible and Missionary College, while Sophia, an award winner in journalism in several genres, who was the editor for CMS NZ became available to the young writer project.
Adelaide was first up, this was followed by Melbourne with Sophia Sinclair at the end of February, then Sydney with the young writers as this combined with the young writer Leadership Group meeting in Sydney preparing the program for their annual conference for 1 August.
Russell Modlin - Sunshine Coast
Sophia Sinclair - Christchurch
Laura Veloso - Melbourne
Wesley Tronson - Gold Coast
Sam Gillespie - Sydney
Belinda Croft - Melbourne
While in Sydney the Leadership Group met Mr Basil Sellers AM in his home, the major sponsor of Well-Being Australia and as a result of those discussions, the young people sent a funding proposal $15,000 grant for these travels which was approved.
Brisbane was the next port of call for Brisbane and Sunshine Coast young writers to meet Sophia Sinclair and this is followed by the annual awards conference on Saturday 1 August at Petersham Baptist Church, Sydney.
Andrew and Sophia Sinclair will be two of a number of young writers then attending the ARPA conference in Brisbane – Australasian Religious Press Association which is scheduled for 27-28 August. ARPA is in its 41st year and its like a professional development annual upgrade for those writing for Christian print and on-line media.
Well-Being Australia for Press Service International is a financial member of ARPA and we encourage young writers to attend these ARPA conference so as to network with the professional troupe of religious writers.
Second half of year
Andrew and Sophia Sinclair are visiting their support base and family in the September semester break and in so doing Sophia is taking time out to visit the young writers in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch. Russell Modlin as the chairman of the Leadership Group might attend the Auckland meeting.
At about the same time, my wife Delma and I are heading to Tasmania on one of our regular Country Town Tours, one of our 38 year old ministries whereby we visit rural and regional Australia. This time, it will extend into October and will include Launceston and Hobart young writers. It will lovely to meet new brides – both Blaine Packer and Thomas Devenish have married recently. Then it's on to Adelaide.
At the end of October the Leadership Group meets back in Tweed Heads at "Timeout in the Tweed" to finalise the development of the young writer 'vision' and 'mission'. This will take place Friday evening 30 and Saturday morning 31 October.
Meanwhile my wife Delma and I have been busy on another front, we visited Aldinga Beach Respite in South Australia in January, the Laguna Quays Respite (Whitsundays) in March, then May for the annual business luncheon, again in July for the annual Basil Sellers Midge Point Art Prize and then in November.
Should the reader even remotely think the travel documented above is anything special, let me assure you, have a squizz at the travel our young writers engage in. Yet they keep their monthly article coming so as to have their Voice heard on the international stage. This is our joy in the Lord.
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