CNAV Awards

Best Design and Layout

Finalists The GREAT Gisborne Gazette and Waranga News
Winner Warrandyte Diary

There is no doubt the CNAV Annual Awards stimulate the drive for excellence among member newspapers. The overall quality of design in the 13 entries in this section is a credit to the resourcefulness and passion of the volunteers responsible for each journal.

The GREAT Gisborne Gazette. This compact monthly journal maximises content with cleverly designed layouts incorporating an abundance of sharply cropped pictures and attractive use of colour.

Waranga News. Skilful design and presentation of special sections give this long-established community newspaper “must-read” quality.

Warrandyte Diary. Many large publishing companies would be proud of the standard achieved by the Warrandyte Diary. The design and layout hallmarks are maintained throughout this bright tabloid newspaper with professional placement of advertising, consistent headline fonts and appealing photos. “For the community, by the community” is an appropriate slogan for this stand-out publication. Creative flair in design is reflected in every page.

Best News Feature Story

Finalists Waranga News and Warrandyte Diary
Winner Ferntree Gully News

Waranga News “Rushworth Under Threat”. Balanced news feature on an emotive issue which provided useful information and arguments for/against to the local community.

Warrandyte Diary “Eating Local – Is it possible?”. An appealing, inspiring package of words and pictures giving first hand experiences of eating only local food – info that residents can readily use to ‘eat local’ themselves.

Ferntree Gully News “It’s a Smash”. An impressive package of articles and photos made this entry a stand out. A punchy news angle was beautifully blended with interesting facts about origins of tennis and its value to the Australian community.

Best Editorial

Finalists Chewton Chat and Buninyong Community News
Winner Winchelsea Star

Chewton Chat. This editorial tackled what is currently a high profile national issue – violence against women – through a very local issue. The editorial covered the issue in a very personal way for the local community and will have got a few people thinking and talking about an issue that is often not talked at a local level.

Buninyong Community News. This editorial was one of the 5 entrants critical of local government. Using a humorous theme they tackled the issue of small communities being excluded from planning at a local government level.

Winchelsea Star. This editorial tackled an issue that also was the subject of 4 other entries – local government. What made the Winchelsea editorial stand out was its detailed approach that went further than reflect the disquiet of smaller communities with local government. They made the effort to actually be able to present some statistical comparisons to enable readers to be better factually informed.

Best Photograph

Finalists Warrandyte Diary and Village Bell
Winner Ferntree Gully News
Special mentions to Waranga News and Winchelsea Star

The standard of the photographs was consistently very high and it was almost impossible to select only three images. The creativity and imagination ALL the photographers brought to diverse situations reflected a commitment and passion for the medium.

Waranga News “Being in the right place at the right time.” A very striking and dramatic image

Winchelsea Star “A treasure in our town”. A beautiful and somewhat mysterious image of a subject notoriously wary of humans, and thus very difficult to photograph.

Warrandyte Diary by Ruben Harris-Allen. A very engaging image. Direct communication with the photographer at time of capture, translates to direct and strong communication with the viewer. The subject is isolated from the background by both shallow depth of field and the beautiful warm side/top lighting. Excellent technique in a challenging low light situation.

Village Bell “ANZAC Triptych.” A very interesting idea. These three panoramas placed into a triptych communicate in a visually unusual way the response of the Australian community to ANZAC Day. Close analysis of the images show a diverse cross-section of Australian society. This highlights and emphasises the fact that the Spirit of ANZAC brings us together….no matter what our background, or age, we gather to “remember them”. And we do it regardless of the weather! A traditional statement captured with a creative approach.

Ferntree Gully News “It’s a Smash.” This image immediately engages viewer attention, and, crucially, holds their attention. It is very much the decisive moment with both the ball about to hit the tennis racquet and the concentrated attention on the face of the young player. The interesting angle of view through the tennis netting helps to frame the young boy and concentrates viewer attention to that area of the image. The other young players waiting their turn are also framed by the netting. The viewer’s eye travels to them, then back again to the young boy where the action is. This image very successfully tells the story.

Best History Story

Finalists Stratford Town Crier and Buninyong Community News
Winner Churchill and District News

Both the finalists both appealed as they were a bit quirky and the first one illustrated the role that folk lore plays in history and the second the importance of serendipity when it comes to history

Stratford Town Crier “Tracking the Mystery of the Stratford Elephant”. A circus elephant was said to have been killed at the railway bridge in Stratford many years ago and the author decided to try to discover if this was just a myth. After much research into circus elephants and discussions with circus folk and locals, the author has found no direct evidence but he still believes, as do many locals, that the story is fact not folk lore. Either way it doesn’t matter – it’s an interesting subject, well researched and well written.

Buninyong Community News “Mystery of the Fire Bell.” Bit of a quirky story about the Buninyong Fire Brigade bell, which disappeared in 1898 and which reflects the importance of serendipity when it comes to history. The brigade has been searching for the bell and a phone call from Sims Metal this year said that a bell, labelled Buninyong 1883, had been found in the scrap. Is it the original bell or not? Time will tell but they were lucky that this bell was found by chance so that it could be returned to the Brigade.

Churchill and District News “Power(ful) Memories of Hazelwood Power.” Interesting three part article to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Hazelwood Power Station. One of the best features of the article is the inclusion of oral histories of former workers. Add original photographs and other research and the articles provide a great record of a part of Victoria’s industrial heritage

Best sports reporting

Finalists Winchelsea Star and Ferntree Gully News
Winner Warrandyte Diary

I was very impressed by the wide range of community sport and clubs featured, great layouts, cracker photographs and bold headlines. Clearly the people behind these publications are deeply committed to serving their communities and telling the stories of local people

Winchelsea Star. Winchelsea Star’s bold and striking front cover ‘600’ featuring long-time local footballer Trevor Wilson, his two sons and grandsons was a knockout. It was also great to see the Star acknowledge the 50 year achievement of the club’s time-keeper Joe Buhrmann in the supporting article. A great example of community coverage.

Ferntree Gully News. Ferntree Gully News really ‘smashed’ it out of the park with its front page tennis picture which leaps off the page and makes readers want to pick up a copy. They then ‘served up’ (pardon the puns) a double page spread featuring a crisp clean layout of fun photographs and yarns about the success of a fantastic community initiative.

Warrandyte Diary. The Warrandyte Diary was the standout to me. While it appears it may have a bigger budget then some other entrants I was impressed by its overall modern layout, fantastic eye-catching photos (particularly the emotion-charged shot of the dejected footballers which I thought was a really different angle from your usual action pic) and interesting and varied content about a wide range of local sport and achievers.

Best article by a person 18 years or younger

Finalists Warrandyte Diary and The Otway Light
Winner Rowville-Lysterfield Community News

Warrandyte Diary “Top 10 things to do for the rest of winter”. A clear, concise and colourful article to entice people to use their local neighbourhood house, serving an important social function.

The Otway Light “The Longest Christmas Ever”. An amusing, imaginative take on the excesses of Christmas feasting.

Rowville-Lysterfield Community News “The Historical Significance of the Gallipoli Campaign”. Well written account by 17yo Jade Sheehan of her trip to Gallipoli in 100th year of that campaign. Her personal reflections, combined with local colour and detail, made this an engaging, enjoyable read.

Best community content

Finalists Ferntree Gully News and Blackwood Times
Winner The GREAT Gisborne Gazette

It was an informative and interesting task – also very challenging because of the wide range and high quality of entries.

Ferntree Gully News. Editorial reflects on a real issue for the community – it lacks a unifying shopping centre, then highlights the positive effect of attractive streetscapes. Wide range of articles inclusive of many community groups, including indigenous participation in NAIDOC celebrations. Insightful articles provide something of interest for all age groups

Blackwood Times. A low-budget newsletter with strong sense of community reflected in the editorial and consistently in every article. Editorial and articles written in very accessible familiar style. Articles in this 8th anniversary full of community interest and information. Great article on “100 reasons to love Blackwood.”

The GREAT Gisborne Gazette is packed with articles of community interest and information. The Editorial highlights the building of new community facilities and points to key articles of community interest. The Gazette contains articles from no fewer than nineteen community groups, emphasising the broad range of community groups and contributions to the newsletter. The breadth of involvement shows a very high level of engagement in the community. Article writers are named and have their photos attached. The newsletter has something of interest to everyone in the community.

Best Newspaper

Finalists Traf News and Waranga News
Winner Warrandyte Diary
Highly commended (The) Welcome Record, Buninyong Community News, Rowville-Lysterfield Community News and The GREAT Gisborne Gazette

What a hugely enjoyable task it was to study these 18 entrants. Every one of them could justly lay claim to the title of Best Newspaper, but here are my top three.

Traf News. Bright and punchy, the Traf News is a thoroughly enjoyable read from front to back. It engenders a great sense of community, with reports spanning every conceivable facet of local life. Like the best of community papers, it boasts a regular columnist, a feature that widens its appeal to visitors as well as locals, a vital element in attracting advertiser support.

Waranga News. What a fantastic job the Waranga News team does to produce a paper as good as this every fortnight. It epitomises what a community newspaper should be: a publication jam-packed with local news, views and photos, pages of sports stories, details of upcoming events, and there’s even a games page.

Warrandyte Diary. Many big mainstream newspaper editors would be proud to say they produced a publication as professional as the Warrandyte Diary. Its layout can’t be faulted, the photos jump off the page, and there’s a great mix of news, sport and longer feature articles. It’s those articles that are a standout, so compelling that they sent me scrambling to the online editions to look for more.