18 national gongs awarded at the PR industry's awards night-of-nights in Hobart

Hobart: Last night saw the 39th Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) Golden Target Awards (GTAs) held at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart, Tasmania, as part of PRIA’s 2015 National Conference, Huge Transformations. The packed house hosted consultancy and in-house senior Public Relations leaders at the industry’s night-of-nights - the pinnacle of the annual PR awards program.

The night was hosted by Dr Melanie Irons, UTas, who also spoke during the main PRIA annual conference earlier that day, who thanked GTA co-chairs Angela Coombes and Grant Smith, for their unending support and hard work in managing the program. Representatives from Isentia, Arthur J. Gallagher, Copyright Agency and PRIA’s own council and board volunteers, helped present the long list of awardees.

Big category campaign winners on the night included Rowland; Hardman Communications; PR Edge; Weber Shandwick; HBF; Red Agency; VIVA! Communications; Cannings Purple; Bayer Australia; Ogilvy Australia; Sydney Convicts Rugby Club; and icon.pr.

Ava Lawler, Managing Director, Australia at Weber Shandwick, said, “We are grateful to our client, Accor Hotel, who had the courage to support a truly innovative and integrated campaign. We are also fortunate to have an inspired, smart team that worked tirelessly to drive tangible, business-focused results.”

"Many of the players on our rugby team, myself included, have felt unwelcome in sporting environments because we are gay. Sport remains one of the last pockets of western society where homophobic behaviour is widely accepted.

"Winning this award is a deep honour and we hope it will continue to help elevate the issue of homophobia in sport and motivate continued change," said, Erik Denison, Media and Public Relations Manager, Sydney Convicts Rugby Union Club.

Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia, congratulated the Sydney Convicts and Bingham Cup organisers and said the awards are well deserved. “As a long-time advocate for equality I was greatly impressed by the ability of these passionate rugby players to draw attention to discrimination of LGBTI athletes. Over the years, particularly over the last 18 months, they have elevated the need to address homophobia in sport onto the national agenda and united people who are normally competitors to work together on this important issue,” said Turnbull.

There were big individual award winners in Dr Melanie James, University of Newcastle, winning Educator of the Year; Emma Kershaw, Dairy Australia, winning Top sPRinter of the Year; and Arthur Delbridge LFPRIA & Paul Rushton-Clarke MPRIA, sharing the National President’s Award, presented by PRIA Life Fellow and Tasmanian local, Greg Ray.

Group winners consisted Patrick Macdonald, Regatta Hotel, winning In-house Team of the Year; James Wright, Red Agency, winning Large Consultancy of the Year (for the second consecutive year); with the penultimate gong going to Fee Townshend, PR Edge, who took home the National Campaign of the Year with ‘Yellow Pages: RUOK? Covers Partnership’. Susan Redden Makatoa, Ogilvy PR, accepted two GTAs, including the International Campaign of the Year, for Ogilvy’s work with Al Jazeera English in freeing Peter Greste.

Pictured: Red Agency

“For the team, especially Steve Reilly and Michael Hartmann who put in hundreds of hours, this was a once-in-a-lifetime event. It was our privilege and our honour to have played a part in bringing Peter home. Freedom of the press was absolutely core to this campaign, so we wholeheartedly supported it,” said Susan Redden Makatoa, Group Managing Director – Corporate, Ogilvy PR.

James Wright, Group COO, Havas Worldwide and Managing Director, Red Agency, said, “We are humbled and honoured to go back-to-back as consultancy of the year. It’s a testament to the dedication, passion and expertise we have across the consultancy that is delivered day in, day out, that has enabled us to pick up these consecutive wins. We have a vision to redefine the meaning and role of PR in today’s world and you can see that in the work we are doing. I want to thank all of my team for their supreme efforts in making this happen.”

"Winning a Golden Target Award is the pinnacle achievement for any PR consultancy and we feel very privileged to have been recognised by our peers. With six awards and one GTA trophy, last night was the biggest in Icon's history – and proof that our integrated approach to PR can achieve big things for clients.

"As an agency committed to sustainability and positive behaviour change campaigns, winning a Golden Target Award for Love Food, Hate Waste was particularly thrilling," said Joanne Painter, Managing Director, icon.pr.

For a full list of winners, click here.

- Ends

For more information:

Neil O’Sullivan
National Marketing and Communication Manager
Public Relations Institute of Australia
E: marcomms@pria.com.au
Tel: +61 452 460 933

About the Public Relations Institute of Australia

The Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) is the national industry body for public relations and communication professionals in Australia. PRIA represents and provides professional support and recognition to over 4,000 practitioners and more than 100 consultancies nationwide.

About the Golden Target Awards

Established in 1976, the Golden Target Awards have recognised excellence in public relations for 39 years. The awards celebrate the achievements of the Public Relations Institute of Australia’s (PRIA) members and identify innovative and exciting communications programs.

Last Updated: Tue, Oct 27 2015