The Archdiocese of Hobart’s publication The Catholic Standard has won the top award at the 2023 Australasian Catholic Press Association (ACPA) Awards, held on Thursday 7 September at the Westin, in Perth, Western Australia.

The Bishop Kennedy Award for Overall Excellence in a Catholic Publication was awarded to the monthly newspaper, with the judges praising it for reflecting ‘the uniqueness and richness of the Catholic community of Australia’s only island state. It is an excellent balance of local, national and international news, commentary and feature stories.’

As the official publication of the Archdiocese of Hobart, The Catholic Standard is distributed to all 27 parishes and 38 Catholic schools around Tasmania, with a current circulation of 22,000. It is put together by the Archdiocesan Media and Communications team, and regularly features columns from leaders in the areas of youth, evangelisation, liturgy, life, marriage and family, as well as stories from Archdiocesan agencies such as CatholicCare, Catholic Education Tasmania, Centacare Evolve Housing, and Blueline Laundry.

The Catholic Standard does an outstanding job of serving the Catholic community of Tasmania by providing them with well-written, informative, uplifting, relevant and diverse content. For this reason, it richly deserves to be considered the “Best Catholic Publication” in Australia,’ wrote the judges.

The awards recognise excellence in Catholic media across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. It was the final event of the annual ACPA Conference, which took place this week with more than 50 Catholic media and communications professionals in attendance. The conference Mass, which took place before the awards dinner, was held at St Mary’s Cathedral with ACBC President and Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB presiding.

This year’s conference theme focused on the words of Pope Francis from his 2023 World Communications Day message: “Speaking with the Heart: The Truth in Love” (Ephesians 4:15). In that, Pope Francis encourages Catholic media professionals to communicate with ‘open heart and arms’. ‘We are all called to seek and to speak the truth and to do so with charity.’

Neil Helmore was awarded best use of digital media for CathNews with his Australian Plenary Council video highlights. Diocese of Parramatta’s Catholic Outlook magazine won ‘most improved publication’, Melbourne Catholic won best online layout and design, while Archdiocese of Wellington’s Welcom won best layout and design (print).

ACPA President Neil Helmore, from the Diocese of Townsville, congratulated the team at The Catholic Standard for their dedication and commitment, noting the tremendous work they achieve with limited resources.

‘As Catholic media, our role is to ensure we announce the good news of our faith, and The Catholic Standard is a prime example of how this important task is fulfilled to the highest quality,’ Mr Helmore said.

‘I congratulate all the winners and runners-up and thank all ACPA members who came together for this special occasion, to learn and grow with each other in faith.’

The 2023 ACPA Conference and Awards were proudly sponsored by Gold Sponsors Caritas Australia, CathNews and Catholic Education Western Australia. Silver Sponsors were Catholic Development Fund (WA), Harvest Journeys, MercyCare, Australian Catholic University, St John of God Health Care, University of Notre Dame Australia and Passione Wine.

Full list of winners

Best News Content

  • Winner – Catholic Outlook, Parramatta
  • Highly Commended – Fiona Basile

Best Feature Content

  • Winner – Diocese of Townsville
  • Highly Commended – The Record Magazine

Best Editorial, Column or Blog

  • Winner – Australian Catholics
  • Highly Commended – NZ Catholic

Best Headline

  • Winner – Crossroads Magazine
  • Highly Commended – Eureka Street

Best Content – Climate and Environment

  • Winner – The Good Oil
  • Highly Commended – The Southern Cross

Best Content – Social Justice

  • Winner – Eureka Street
  • Highly Commended – The Catholic Weekly

Best Content – Education

  • Winner – Aurora
  • Highly Commended – Eureka Street

Best Content – Faith Formation

  • Winner – The Nathaniel Report
  • Highly Commended – The Southern Cross

Best Content – Faith and Life

  • Winner – The eRecord
  • Highly Commended – The Catholic Leader

Best Content – Ecumenical & Interfaith

  • Winner – Melbourne Catholic
  • Highly Commended – The Record Magazine

Best Content – Celebrating Cultural Expressions

  • Winner – Tui Motu Magazine
  • Highly Commended – The Catholic Leader

Best Original Photograph

  • Winner – Aurora
  • Highly Commended – The Southern Cross

Best Original Artwork

  • Winner – Eureka Street
  • Highly Commended – The Record Magazine

Best Front Page – Print

  • Winner – Tui Motu
  • Highly Commended – Madonna Magazine

Best Layout and Design – Online

  • Winner – Melbourne Catholic
  • Highly Commended – Majellan Media

Best Layout and Design – Print

  • Winner – Welcom
  • Highly Commended – NZ Catholic

Most Improved Publication

  • Winner – Catholic Outlook
  • Highly Commended – ACRATH

Best use of Electronic Media

  • Winner – Catholic News Townsville
  • Highly Commended – The Catholic Standard, Hobart

Best Advertising Feature / Supplement

  • Winner – The Catholic Weekly
  • Highly Commended – Horizons

Bishop Philip Kennedy Memorial Award for Overall Excellence in a Catholic Publication

  • Winner – The Catholic Standard, Hobart