The Good Oil was honoured last week with the Bishop Philip Kennedy Memorial Award for Overall Excellence in a Catholic Publication, at the 2019 Australasian Catholic Press Association (ACPA) Awards.
The annual ACPA awards, which recognise excellence in Catholic magazines, newspapers and digital publications across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, also honoured The Good Oil with ‘Best Online Publication’, ‘Best Column’ written by Sister Patty Fawkner, and articles contributed by writers Debra Vermeer and Ashleigh Green.
Feedback from the judges, for the Bishop Philip Kennedy Memorial Award for Overall Excellence in a Catholic Publication, read: “The Good Oil stood out not only among other on-line publication entries but also the print winners – as deserving as they were.
“This publication is true to its mission of aiming to ‘nourish the spirit’, stimulate thinking’ and encourage reflection and dialogue about contemporary issues from a Good Samaritan perspective’.
“It is a powerful voice for a forward-looking vision for the Church. Not beholden to hierarchical constraints, it is forthright in its opinions and in the van of social justice campaigning. The site is well-designed, easy to navigate with a good array of news, features, opinion and reflection.”
‘Best Online Publication’ was also awarded, based on “good journalism, good quality writing” and the judge’s consideration of The Good Oil as “touching at a simple, grassroots level”.
Sister Patty Fawkner’s regular section, ‘It occurred to me’, was the winner in the category of ‘Best Column’.
“Sister Patty nicely weaves together her excellent knowledge of theology with warm and wise discussion of the contemporary issues that face the Church and its followers,” said the judges.
“Her column is erudite, intelligent and thought provoking. She draws on a broad understanding of spirituality to bring forward lessons from the Bible, Sufi mystics, poets, political and philosophers. A pleasure to read.”
Regular contributor to The Good Oil, Debra Vermeer’s article ‘70 years since six Good Samaritans set sail for Nagasaki’ was highly commended in the category of ‘Best Mission Coverage’.
“An excellent piece of journalism that shows the sensitivity and experience of the author,” said the judges. “Vermeer writes about the valuable contribution of Australian religious, in this case, the Good Samaritan Sisters, to missionary activity around the world.”
Finally, young writer, Ashleigh Green’s article ‘From strangers to cousins’ was highly commended in the category of ‘Best Ecumenical / Interfaith Story’.
The judges spoke of how Ashleigh “shares her experience of an Iftar dinner, which breaks the daily fast of Muslims during Ramadan, and – with honesty, candour and humour – her awakening to how much she has in common with people who at first glance are so different.
“We sit at the table with Ashleigh, glimpse the lives of young Australians, are encouraged by their open hearts and minds and are invited to contemplate our own attitudes.”
Congratulations and thanks are offered to past editors and the many contributors to The Good Oil, whose commitment to the publication in its writing, images, administration and editing have led to this honourable receipt of recognition.
The Good Oil, the free, monthly e-magazine of the Good Samaritan Sisters, publishes news, feature and opinion articles, and reflective content which aims to nourish the spirit, stimulate thinking and encourage reflection and dialogue about issues of the day from a Christian, Catholic, Good Samaritan perspective.