The Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) have honoured one of their Citation holders and greatly revered member, Mr Ramon Williams and an ARPA Guetenmberg Award winner in 1987, with their new $1500 Youth Scholarship – aptly named: The Ramon Williams ARPA scholarship
This "youth award" has been a long time in coming and I have been doing the running on this for some time now.
New Zealand ARPA board member and Vice President Julie Belding wrote to me saying:
"You'll be glad to know that the ARPA exec has taken your pleas to heart and we are taking concrete steps to attract younger people to ARPA. Under 30s in fact. We're offering a $1500 conference scholarship to one young writer, and offering half-price registrations to the others who may be staff members or associate members."
Former ARPA member Sophia Sinclair wrote:
"I appreciate people championing the cause of the younger generations. The cost of an ARPA conference is just overwhelming for younger members who are financing the trip themselves."
"On one hand I see that the older members would have a lot to learn from younger members, but younger members would also have encouragement from older members too."
"One thing I notice is many members at these conferences talk about appealing to the younger reader or viewer. Those organisations which are successful in engaging younger generations are giving young people a voice - a chance to be heard."
Julie Belding said: "We might have done more, but it's a start".
I think it is remarkable that the ARPA Executive has actually moved in a practical way for such scholarships for younger people. Well done ARPA. Moreover for honouring the distinguished Ramon Williams.
ARPA press release
THE Australasian Religious Press Association, established in 1974, is pleased to announce a scholarship package named in honour of Ramon Williams. Ramon has been involved with ARPA since its foundation, and was awarded the Gutenberg Award in 1987 and an ARPA Citation For Outstanding Service To Christian Media in 2013. As the founder of Worldwide Photos Ltd, he has contributed in a variety of ways to the ministry of the Church in Australia, especially through the provision of photographic material, Christian stories and
Details Of The Scholarship
ARPA will provide one annual ARPA Conference package, including registration, accommodation and airfares up to the value of $1,500 for a younger delegate. The delegate will be under 30 years of age at the time of application and must be nominated or endorsed by a member publication or agency. The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of an application in writing of no more than two pages outlining the reasons for and benefits the person will receive from attending an annual conference and any possible contribution to ARPA at the conference or after the event.
Applications will be judged by the ARPA President and the New Zealand and Australian Vice Presidents, and a recommendation provided to the ARPA executive for final decision. Applications close 15 May 2015.
The Ramon Williams ARPA scholarship
ARPA is pleased to announce a scholarship package named in honour of Ramon Williams. Ramon, as ARPA members will know, has been involved with ARPA since its existence, and was awarded the Gutenberg Award in 1987. He has contributed in a variety of ways to the Church in Australia, especially serving ARPA members through the provision of photographic material and press releases.
Ramon has been a source of great personal encouragement for many Christians in the media and it is hoped that this scholarship will be a source of encouragement for a younger member in their developing ministry.
A new direction
My concerns have been that the Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) constitutionally is made up of Institutions (Religious / Denominational / Church / Mission Publishing) not individual members. The outcome is that older people attend ARPA as it is they who are editors and senior writers.
Something was needed to draw young people to the annual ARPA conference and this is the first of what I trust will be additional measures to attract 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