ASTW and HKTB’s Inaugural Rising Star Winner Announced

Justin Meneguzzi has been named the inaugural winner of the Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) and Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) Rising Star Award for his article Blood and Sand in get lost magazine.

Managing Editor of Fairfax Media’s, Craig Platt, who selected the winner from a shortlist of finalists, said “Justin Meneguzzi’s story on Calcio Storico in Florence is everything you want from a narrative travel feature. Despite being about a destination that is already well-explored by tourists, it is an evocative and fresh look at a part of Florentine culture that few visitors would experience.”

The judging panel also included HKTB Regional Director – Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, Andrew Clark; author of the Hong Kong Precincts guidebook and ASTW committee member, Penny Watson; and award-winning freelance journalist and media industry academic, Lee Mylne.

Justin wins a hosted four-night famil to Hong Kong, sponsored by HKTB, with his subsequent story published on and considered for print. He also receives an annual Rising Star membership to the ASTW.

The award and prize will be presented at the Melbourne ASTW Christmas lunch on the 6 December, 2018 by ASTW President, Helen Hayes, and HKTB’s Public Relations and Media Manager, Natalie Brown.

Justin said, “I’m so thrilled to accept the Rising Star Award from the Australian Society of Travel Writers. I love being dropped into a new destination and exploring local haunts and hideaways with my trusty camera, learning from the locals and seeing a place through their eyes.

“I also believe travel can be a force for good, and that the stories we share play such an important role in breaking down barriers, which the world needs now more than ever. These are the stories I hope to share in 2019 and I can’t wait to work with the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the team at

Justin quit his job as a litigation lawyer in 2016 to pursue a career as a freelance travel journalist and photographer. He currently heads up the Global Content Team at Intrepid Group, working as part of the Creative team to deliver inspiring and informative travel content to travellers around the world.

The collaboration between HKTB and the ASTW is aimed at encouraging a new era of travel writers in Australia. This year’s award was open to writers and digital influencers who had their first paid travel story published in the past two years.

For more information on the ASTW, visit or for information about Hong Kong, visit