Australia’s top travel writers and public relations professionals were honoured at the annual ASTW Awards for Excellence gala held at TaNKs Art Centre, Cairns, on 19 October, 2019.
The top writer accolade, Travel Writer of the Year, sponsored by Visit USA Australia, was awarded to Louise Southerden who was judged on three stories published in Sydney Morning Herald’s Traveller section.
While not present at the gala awards night, Ms Southerden was delighted to win, saying via a proxy that, “I feel deeply honoured to win this award. Big thanks to the ASTW Committee and this year’s judges, to our generous award sponsor Visit USA, to Intrepid Travel and Walk Japan for the amazing trips that inspired my winning stories, and to Traveller for continuing to publish my work and for being one of the best outlets in Australia for thoughtful travel journalism.”
Photographer of the Year – sponsored by Abercrombie and Kent – went to Dan Avila: “I am honoured to receive this award tonight and to be in such prestigious company with the other nominees. Photography is my passion and I am honoured to be recognised for doing something that I love”.
Dan also was one of two winners for the Best Travel Photo sponsored by Thai Airways.
The top PR Accolade, Communicator of the Year, was awarded to Shelley Winkel from Tourism and Events Queensland.
“Thank you to the ASTW for once again putting on such a great event, and thank you to the other nominees. I am humbled to be up against such powerhouses of the industry and it reflects the strength of our profession and its future”.
These prestigious awards are now in their 26th year and are a highlight of the annual ASTW Convention, with over 150 guests travelling from across Australia to attend.
Other categories included Best Family Travel Story, Best Australian Story Over and Under 1000 words and Best Food Travel Story. Categories, winners and finalists are detailed below.
“ASTW members represent the leading writers, editors, publishers, content creators and public relations professionals of the Australian travel industry. Over 500 entries – a record-breaking number – were received across the 21 Award categories with an exceptional calibre of entrants. Being named a finalist is an absolute honour and I congratulate you all,” said ASTW President Helen Hayes.
“I would also like to thank each of the sponsors, in particular, Tourism Tropical North Queensland, who were the major sponsor of this year’s convention. Finally, thank you to our esteemed judges from Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Canada and the USA who gave their time to judge the awards, all commenting on the high quality of work.”
For media information contact ASTW PR representatives:
Mandy Dwyer on 0419 490 521 or Mandy.Dwyer@scenic.com.au
Saskia Baker on 0407 752 813 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the ASTW or to become a member visit www.astw.org.au