The annual Regional Showcase Awards not only celebrate the achievements of individuals, groups, organisations and towns that have made significant contributions to regional South Australia, but also allow the state’s regions to come together at an awards night to acknowledge the collective impact on South Australia.
This year’s awards, which were delayed because of COVID restrictions, were held at O’Leary Walker Wines in Clare on Friday night and included Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham announcing that Pinnaroo was the 2020 AgTown of the Year.
Run by Solstice Media, the publisher of InDaily and The Lead South Australia, the editorial program uncovers stories of success that may not usually get told in mainstream media. These stories are published to a local, national and international audience to enhance knowledge of the regions and uncover opportunities for economic investment and growth in the state.
Solstice Media Editorial Director David Washington said one of the reasons the program has been successful over the years is because it connects our valued regions to the rest of South Australia.
“This program is very important to us as a South Australian media company devoted to telling local stories,” Washington said.
“South Australia’s regions are crucial to the state – economically and socially – and the stories we have told about life beyond the metropolitan boundaries of Adelaide are inspiring and important.”
More than 100 stories were written throughout 2020 and published on InDaily and The Lead South Australia, and then shared across digital channels. The top 30 stories based on engagement were put to a public vote to determine the People’s Choice Award winner.
Merv Lehmann of the Robertstown General Store was the runaway winner of the People’s Choice award, with his story going viral and leading to many other media engagements for the gentleman who has manned the store for 72 years.
The PIRSA Regional Resilience Awards went to community group Imagine Uraidla for its work rejuvenating the Adelaide Hills Town, while the Community Empowerment award from SA Power Networks was given to Phil Marshall for his work organising beekeepers to rebuild boxes for Kangaroo Island after the bushfires.
Seniors Card gave the Meaningful Connections award to Macclesfield’s Young at Heart Club for its work in raising funds for charity while bringing older residents together.
AgTech was the feature of the ANZ award given to Trust Provenance for its technology to track the origins of food, and the Lifelong Learning award from UniSA was given to Kellie Taylor of EP Analysis for her work in creating programs to teach STEM in schools.
Minister Basham said that the Regional Showcase Awards highlighted the importance of farming communities and regional areas to South Australia’s economy and social fabric.
“South Australia is blessed with a vibrant primary industries and agribusiness sector overall, that generated $14.1 billion in revenue in 2019–20 and created tens of thousands of jobs,” Minister Basham said.
“It has been a challenging time for the whole community, but the Regional Showcase is a chance for our whole community to celebrate South Australia’s regional communities and consider the importance that regions play in all our lives.”
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