The Australian Broadcasting Commission’s 2017 annual report received the Report of the Year Award at the Australasian Reporting Award’s presentation held in Sydney on Wednesday, 20 June. This follows the ABC’s consistent outstanding performance in achieving ARA Gold Awards for 15 consecutive years and previously receiving the ARA Report of the Year in 2016.
In accepting the Award the ABC’s Juliana Ward said, “80 per cent of Australians trust the ABC and trust demands absolute diligence in both transparency and accountability. This requires going beyond the legislative parameters. Through our commitment to thorough, timely and transparent reporting on our performance we hope to show our audience the trust they place in their national broadcaster is earned and valued.”
Other outstanding performances recognised during the evening included special ARA Chair’s Commendation Awards to Glen Eira City Council from Victoria and Legal Aid NSW for achieving ten consecutive ARA Gold Awards and a special celebration for the achievements of several Malaysian organisations many of which entered the ARA Awards for the first time this year. The Malaysians were well-represented at the Awards Presentation.
The recent entries from Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Phillippines, Qatar, Sri Lanka and even Russia, and expressions of interest from other countries, strongly indicates the growing international status of the ARA Awards, and reflects the high standard of the adjudication process.
This year the top ARA Awards for excellence in reporting were won by private sector, public sector and the not-for-profit sector organisations from Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and New Zealand.
Of particular note was the outstanding performance of the 17 Malaysian organisations that entered this year. Eleven of them received a Silver Award and five achieved Gold Awards for excellence: Allianz Malaysia Berhad, KPJ Healthcare Berhad, Malaysian Resources Corporation, Media Prima Berhad and Tenaga Nasional Berhad.
Allianz Malaysia Berhad also won the ARA Chair’s Award for the Best First Time Entry with KJP Healthcare and Malaysian Resources Corporation as the the two other finalists – making it a Malaysian trifecta.
New Zealand was also well represented amongst the Award winners with Gold Awards going to the Accident Compensation Corporation, New Zealand Superannuation Fund and Inland Revenue. The high standing of the reporting of these organisations should ensure New Zealanders that their financial affairs are in safe hands. Other New Zealand Gold Award recipients were electricity supplier Marlborough Lines, the seafood Company Sanford Limited and the Whanganui District Health Board.
New Zealand organisations also featured strongly as Finalists in the ARA Special Awards for specific aspects of reporting. Auckland’s Watercare Services won the Public Sector Sustainability Reporting Award and Sanford Limited won both the ARA Private Sector Sustainability Reporting Award and the Australasia - Hong Kong Award for Sustainability Reporting. This Award is jointly sponsored by ARA and the Hong Kong Management Association to raise awareness of, and recognise high performance in sustainability in the Asia-Pacific region.
In addition. KiwiRail won the Public Sector Communication Award and New Zealand Superannuation Fund was a Finalist for the Report of the Year Award and won the Award for Best Cover Design, a new award introduced to the ARA Awards program this year with support from the Australian Graphic Design Association.
The Australasian Reporting Awards were first introduced in 1950 by a group of senior managers concerned to raise the standards of reporting business and financial information. At heart, the Awards are a benchmarking process in which entrant’s annual reports receive a Gold, Silver or Bronze Award – or no award, depending on the extent to which they satisfy the ARA Criteria which are based on world best practice in annual reporting.
The Awards now also include Special Awards for different aspects of reporting such as governance, sustainability, and work health and safety which are competitive.
The Call for Entries for the 2019 Australasian Reporting Awards will commence in September this year.