MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
BRACE YOURSELVES FOR 2021
ANOTHER month with borders shutting and reopening as clusters surface and are contained. Now the vaccines are being rolled out with news coverage heralding Australia’s success and a positive future for travel.
The past week also gifting our Federal Government tackling Facebook. Publishers and news business pages were targeted, with many of our ASTW members’ pages caught up in the geo-targeted ban on Australian news.
Your Board and committees have been busy with admin responsibilities, most listed in this newsletter. A huge shout-out to all those giving their volunteer time to keep the society flowing and members supported, all while trying to keep their own business and livelihoods viable.
Best of luck, everyone, as we continue to tackle this unfolding year. May the coming months bring us together for lunches and our long-awaited convention in the gorgeous Tweed region.
ASTW 2021 CONVENTION
MEET YOU IN THE TWEED
THE gorgeous Tweed region in northern NSW was announced late 2020 as the host location for this year’s ASTW Convention from October 14-16, with registrations set to open soon.
Blessed with stunning beaches, ancient rainforest and fertile land that drives a rich food and drink scene, the Tweed is set to deliver a convention full of stories, learnings, fun and local flavours.
Meet, connect, unwind and celebrate beachside at the convention venue, Mantra on Salt Beach, with a program that includes morning wellness, evening festivities and plenty of inspiration in between.
Pre- and post-familiarisations for media delegates have been curated to immerse in the Tweed’s famous seaside style and sweet valley vibe. Taste farm-fresh food and artisan flavours, sip from a growing list of distilled and brewed drinks, experience outstanding art and ocean adventures, take a river cruise or seek calm in Gondwana-era rainforest.
Stay longer and take time to discover the Tweed’s village spirit, from the buzzing hum of Tweed Heads to the coast-hugging hamlets of Kingscliff, Cabarita and Pottsville and out along the Tweed River to peaceful Tumbulgum, art-deco marvels at Murwillumbah and valley life at Tyalgum, Uki and Burringbar.
From all these places, the ancient peak of Wollumbin Mount Warning is always in sight, welcoming you to the Tweed from wherever you are.
We can’t wait to meet you here later in the year! Note the dates now and be ready for registrations opening soon. Plan your convention stay with inspiration via visitthetweed.com.au
– LOUISE TERRY
AGM AND CONVENTION DATES: October 14-16, 2021
HOST: The Tweed Tourism Co.
HOST RESORT: Mantra on Salt Beach, Kingscliff
NEW BOARD MEMBERS
A BIG welcome to Janaya Birse, who has stepped up to the ASTW Board as second PR member and convention co-ordinator, joining Pip Macken. A destination specialist with more than 20 years’ experience in public relations, marketing and sales within the tourism industry in Australia and the United Kingdom, Janaya specialises in: consumer marketing and strategic planning; marketing and communication strategies; trade marketing and stakeholder management; media release and copywriting and marketing communications; digital marketing; and event management. Janaya fills the vacancy left by Shelley Winkel who resigned due to work commitments.
IMM VIRTUAL AUSTRALIA IS BACK FOR 2021
TRAVMEDIA’S International Media Marketplace (IMM) is Australia’s largest media networking event connecting PR professionals with Australia’s top-tier media titles. IMM Virtual Australia 2021, sponsored by Tourism Australia, transports your most-loved brands from Australia and New Zealand directly to your computer, in the safety of your own home or office. Taking place across May 5 and 6, IMM Virtual Australia is the same networking event you know and trust, run through TravMedia’s bespoke Media Marketplace platform, enhanced with video-conferencing capabilities. IMM Virtual Australia will provide media with updates and information from a wide range of Australian and New Zealand travel brands and help plan a year’s worth of stories, features and press trips without leaving your chair. The event includes 16 pre-scheduled, one-on-one appointments, press conferences and an editors’ panel, and will run across two days from 11am-3pm AEST. TravMedia’s IMM Virtual is not a replacement for February’s IMM. However, given the current circumstances, we are excited to bring you IMM Virtual Australia in May with a face-to-face IMM Australia postponed until Q2, 2022. Register your interest now.
ASTW BRISBANE LUNCH
The BarrelRoom (+ Coach with 1 Night Granite Belt Famil Option)
Where: Ballandean Estate Wines, 354 Sundown Road, Ballandean Qld
When: Saturday, March 27, 2021
Cost: $40.00 incl GST for ASTW members
For more information, click here.
Proudly presented by The Barrel Room at Ballandean Estate
2 Days, 1 Night Famil
When: Saturday, March 27, to Sunday, March 28, 2021
- Meals Coach pick-up 8am Saturday, March 27, at Brisbane Transit Centre
- Meals and 1 night accommodation (See draft itinerary next page)
- Return coach to Brisbane Transit Centre, arriving 6.15pm Sunday, March 28
in partnership with Southern Downs Regional Council
THE Queensland members have been enthusiastically flying the flag for lunches. The February 4 get-together – the first ASTW event for 2021 – was held, with thanks to hosts Emporium Hotel South Bank and Caitlin O’Loan, where members (including a ring-in from the Northern Territory and another from Adelaide) devoured spanner crab pancake with garlic chive and aged cheddar, oven-finished market fish with fermented soybean chilli and charred bamboo shoot with steamed Asian greens and mixed leaves, petit fours and coffee of choice. Members downed NV Petit Cordon by Mumm while viewing a poolside Cabana Suite with a grand smart TV and views of the Brisbane skyline from the bed.
Members need to keep an eye on the ASTW FB page and ASTW website events page. We always alert lunches four weeks out.
THE ASTW Board has reviewed the 2020 Awards for Excellence process with fresh eyes following the AGM in December.
After long deliberation and looking at the process from all angles, board members made the decision to amend the record of winners and finalists as the only transparent, fair and positive way forward.
As part of the review of the issues relating to the awards system that was introduced last year, the Board acknowledged the importance of members abiding by the terms and conditions and concluded that any 2020 Awards for excellence entries that did not adhere to those rules should be disqualified. However, the Board also acknowledged that there were teething problems with the new system and parts of the entry process may have caused some confusion for members. Because of this, the Board decided all previously named finalists and winners who were affected would retain their trophy, certificates and titles.
Mark Daffey, who was previously the runner-up in the Best Story About Family Travel category, is now a joint winner of that category. Mark will be sent a trophy and certificate, and please offer him your congratulations.
We have made this decision in the spirit of fairness and transparency and trust all ASTW members will view it in that spirit.
PUTTING OUT THE WELCOME MAT
LINDA Bloffwitch, who specialises in 4WD/caravan/camping and associated lifestyle articles, has applied for Associate Writer membership, and was approved at the February Board meeting. Thank you for wanting to join the ASTW family, Linda!
Her memberships is subject to the 30-day objection period, which will expire on March 27. Any objections to new member applications must be sent to the ASTW Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE WORLD OF WEBINARS
WHAT would you like to see included in the 2021 Webinars Schedule? What topics would you like to learn about? What will help you grow your business, add to your skill set and develop professionally as a member of the travel media? Who would you like to hear from? The webinar series that kicked off last year was new, exciting and very well-received, allowing us to stay connected, keep spirits up and help our membership while so many were in lockdown. If you missed any of the webinar series from last year, log into the ASTW website, go to the Members tab and click on Webinars from the drop-down menu. Or head to https://astw.org.au/astw-
THE GREAT 2021 MEMBERSHIP DRIVE
WE all enjoy sharing our love of the tourism and travel industry, so why not ask more friends to party with us at the ASTW? The Board has begun a membership drive after COVID-19 dealt our industry a savage blow, forcing many of our colleagues to find employment elsewhere. Consequently, some have had to change their membership category or say farewell to the ASTW altogether. So, we’re prompting all members to “ask a friend” – like-minded travel writers, photographers, PR representatives and digital publishers – to consider the many benefits of Australia’s most highly-respected organisation for travel media. Maybe you’ve come across them on social media, met them on a famil or seen their byline in your favourite travel mag. Ask them to head to the website at Australian Society of Travel Writers – travel media and public relations professionals and go to the Join Us tab at the top to see if they qualify to apply and discover all the Member Benefits here: Member Benefits – Australian Society of Travel Writers (astw.org.au).
ASTW BOOK CLUB
WRITER member Susan Gough Henly is keen to restart the Book Club and recently put a call-out on the ASTW Facebook page. Members may have missed this post. Sue’s trying to gauge interest, so if you’d like to get involved then please respond via the Facebook post. The book she has in mind is Bruce Pascoe’s Loving Country, described as a “powerful and essential guidebook that offers a new way to travel and discover Australia through an Indigenous narrative”.
The ASTW acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders both past and present.