A VICTORY is being celebrated by the Coffs Coast Advocate team after winning the Front Page of the Year award at the APN Australian Regional Media awards on the Sunshine Coast.
Up against some stiff competition from dailies, The Morning Bulletin in Rockhampton and The Sunshine Coast Daily, The Advocate came out on top for its front page preview of the annual Saltwater Freshwater Festival held on Australia Day.
The Advocate has partnered with the festival since its inception that aims to break 'invasion day' connotations often associated with Australia Day by using it to celebrate the traditional custodians of the Coffs Coast, the Gumbaynggirr, Dunghutti, Biripi and Worimi people and their heritage and culture.
Editor of The Advocate, Matt Deans, was ecstatic with the win and credited the hard work of the team to symbolise Australia Day as a 'day of celebration for the whole community.'
"The photography of Gemima Harvey and local Aboriginal art carried through the masthead suitably captured what the day was all about," Mr Deans said.
He hopes the festival can start to set the foundations for bigger celebrations nationally.
The judges comments said The Advocate's front page came the closest to ticking all the boxes describing it as a poster front which possessed "power and harmony" enabling strong reader engagement.
Incorporating indigenous art into its masthead coupled with the 'dynamic and intriguing' photo, the judges said the combined effect was simple but stunning.