The Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) was to have held its 2020 annual conference in Perth 4-6 September, but now cancelled due to Covid 19.
Last year ARPA was held in Christchurch New Zealand, the year before in Brisbane and before that Auckland, every year somewhere - Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart, Brisbane, Canberra ……
The ARPA conferences have three aspects to it
First, the camaraderie of those in Christian media - many of us only ever see each other at ARPA. Year after year. It’s like a friendship forum. It’s delightful.
Second, the variety of sessions taking into account the wide diverse aspects of Christian media. These are fascinating, interesting, astonishing, bewildering, intentional …. need I go on.
Third, over the years various ones get elected to specific roles from the President to Communications to administration …. this current year, elected last year in Christchurch the President is New Zealander ‘Sophia Sinclair’. This story can be read in Christian Today
Last year there were 21 categories for these ARPA media awards with judges getting selected articles from member publications from which determinations are drawn.
The premier award each year is the Gutenberg and in 2018 it was awarded to NZ Baptist Magazine and last year, this ministry, the young writers (Press Service International), for 10 years publishing specifically young writers in Christian Today. Highly acclaim.
The usual program runs along these lines
On the Friday
Lunch with denominational leaders
Evening gathering cocktails
On the Saturday
Evening Banquet – Awards
On the Sunday
There are three options
First - the conference motels
Second - Other hotel options
Third - friends and relatives
Last week the ARPA executive met on-line and discussed the 2020 conference at length, finally deciding cancellation due to Covid 19 was the only realistic solution.
Therefore the, ARPA communiqué sent out, the Ramon Williams Youth Scholarship will not be awarded which provides funding to attend the conference.
But the annual Awards will be held. As to how and when will be advised at a later date.
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. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at