ARPA E-News February - March 2018

Pastoral Note for our Executive Officer, Elizabeth Harris

The ARPA executive, on behalf of the membership, extends our sympathy and prayers to our executive officer and her family following the passing of Liz's husband Russ on 27 February 2018. We thank Liz for her dedicated service and attention to ARPA and our membership while she has juggled family and health needs. 

Vale: Associate Member Alan Gill AM (1935 - February 23, 2018)

This is certainly the passing of an era. Alan was one of the group of people involved in the early days of ARPA, back in 1974, and maintained an active interest in ARPA as an associate member for over four decades.
Alan was the well-known religious affairs journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald for 17 years (1972-1989), having started as a ‘general’ journalist upon emigrating to Australia in 1971.

In 1985 he received a Walkley Award and was made a member of The Order of Australia for Services to the Media in 1995. Alan continued to write and research well into retirement.
Alan was a much-loved presence at NSW ARPA gatherings and always had one (or ten) stories to tell about his wide-ranging experiences, meeting religious leaders from all around the world. His expertise and knowledge of the Christian faith and other religions was well-known. His SMH colleagues referred to him as ‘The Reverend’ Alan Gill and he was often asked to provide information and advice about ‘religion’. I well remember him telling of his amusement one time when a colleague wanting to write a profile on Mary Mackillop asked Alan for her telephone number.

Malcolm Brown’s obituary for Alan is well worth reading:

Alan will be missed by his wife Daisy, his wider family, friends and ARPA colleagues.
The President, Peter Bentley represented ARPA at Alan’s funeral service (A Mass of Christian Burial  at St Mark's Catholic Church, Tranmere Street, Drummoyne on March 2nd, 2018).

Peter Bentley

Ramon Williams Scholarship for 2018

Closing date 1 May 2018

Notice for the 2018 scholarship has been sent out. Please pass the information onto people in your organisation and think of someone your publication could nominate. Essential criteria:

  • The applicant must be no more than thirty-three years of age at the time of application.
  • The applicant must include in their application the name of a member publication or agency of ARPA that has nominated them to apply. 


2018 ARPA Conference: Brisbane

Communicating Hope and Trust in a Public Faith

Add the dates to your diary now: 7-8 September 2018.

Note. the Catholic Media Congress from 4 September (incorporating the ACPA Conference).

ARPA will meet at the Novotel Brisbane, just near Central Station, so again on the airtrain link.

We are pleased to report that Queensland academic and past ARPA member Dr John Harrison will be the opening keynote speaker for ARPA on Friday 7 September at 2.00 pm, on the topic:

“Journalism is not a crime. Not yet anyway.”


Connect 18: Small is the new big:

Christian Media and Arts Conference

Connect 18: 1-3 May, QT Hotel, Gold Coast.

Interested in attending this major event? CMAA is offering ARPA members the Super Earlybird rate. This is now completely unavailable to even CMAA members.

Brief report on 2018 Executive Meeting

The executive held the annual face-to-face meeting February 2-3, 2018 at Stanmore House and dealt with ongoing business, finances and memberships (not yet renewed and new), as well as reviewing the past conference, the awards and making arrangements for the 2018 conference. A new award for Best Original Illustration will be introduced in 2018. The Blog award has been discontinued due to lack of entries.

Future ARPA Conferences

After reviewing the survey results, local logistics and timing, it was agreed that our preferred location would be Christchurch for ARPA 2019. This also links in with the desire of the executive and the survey respondents to have more frequent conferences in New Zealand.

Perth is recommended for 2020, and Adelaide for 2021.