Best Community Profile
Judge's verdict: All entries were of a high standard, but these four entries were particularly impressive and there was very little distance between them.
1st Place: Mel Jaunay, The Leader
'On eating giraffes'
Judge's comments: This piece is very well-written and entertaining to read, capturing the challenges that subject Melissa Whyte has faced across her lifetime. The piece tells the story of Nuriootpa artist and author Melissa Whyte and the struggles she has overcome since a car accident left her seriously injured when she was 16. The writer Mel Jaunay uses bright and evocative language which works to effectively convey the positive spirit of her subject. From the piece it is clear that Melissa Whyte has lived a difficult life, but Jaunay focuses on Whyte's resilience 'and optimism, leaving the reader with an uplifting message.
2nd Place: Stephanie Thompson, The Murray Pioneer
'Justice 33 years in the making'
Judge's comments: This is a well-written and impactful piece which treats a very difficult issue with dignity and respect. The writer Stephanie Thompson covers the issue in depth, conveying the shame and trauma experienced by subject Heather Wynands and the reasons why sexual assault survivors including Wynands are discouraged from reporting their abuse. The piece had a notable impact, with another alleged victim of the perpetrator reaching out to Wynands and other sexual assault victims approaching her for help on how to report their abusers.
3rd Place: Elisa Rose, The Mount Barleer Courier
'Dying on your own terms'
Judge's comments: Elisa Rose's piece is a moving and topical account of a terminally ill woman who chose to access assisted dying in Switzerland. Rose captures the traumatic experience of subject Jen Turner and her sense of feeling 'trapped' with an incurable degenerative disease. The piece is eloquent and well-structured, exploring Turner's reasons for accessing AD and the impact the decision had for herself and her family. Rose discusses the South Australian Assisted Dying Bill, which was being debated in Parliament at the time, and its significance for families like the Turners.
Special mention: Sara Gilligan, The Southem Argus
'Gentle, loved and greatly missed'
Judge's comments: This is a very moving piece about former Strathalbyn resident Emlyn Lewis, who died from bowel cancer just eight weeks after he was diagnosed. The piece was particularly personal for writer Sara Gilligan - it came about after Emlyn's mother reached out to Sara when the editor shared her own diagnosis of bowel cancer with Argus readers. Gilligan's piece is well-written and emotionally engaging, informing readers of the symptoms to look out for and encouraging readers to monitor their own health.