PUBLISHERS AUSTRALIA EXCELLENCE AWARDS
The Publishers Australia Excellence Awards is the current name for the national awards of excellence for Australian magazine publishing.
In 1995, a meeting of the Australian Business Publishers (ABP), formerly known as the Australian Association of Business and Specialist Publishers (est. 1964), decided that awards for excellence, initially in business publishing, would be a way to create value for members and focus on the small but important business-to-business (B2B) publishing sector. The aim was not only to provide publicity and recognition for individual publishing excellence, but also to generate income for the association as members paid an entry fee to participate. The awards were originally called the ABP Bell Awards, after David Johnson Bell, one of the founders of the ABP. In the early years, they were Sydney-centric, as was the ABP, but chapters expanded through the 1990s to include other major Australian cities.
In 2001, the association expanded to include specialist publishers, and changed its name to the Australian Business and Specialist Publishers Association (ABSP). The awards became the ABSP Bell Awards.
In 2005, the association changed its name again, to Publishers Australia, aiming to reflect the broader scope of magazine publishing (consumer, custom, specialist and business), and especially the impact of digital publishing. The Publishers Australia Excellence Awards have grown since this date, and are now the recognition of achievement in the industry, representing magazines from all sectors of magazine publishing. As a result of the Magazine Publishers of Australia (MPA) gaining representation on the board of Publishers Australia in 2011, MPA member titles—representing many of the high-circulation consumer magazines—are eligible for the award.
By the 17th awards in 2013, there were a total of 28 awards for journalists, editors and designers, and for best launches, marketing strategies, websites and apps. Magazines are judged via category as best magazine of the year, and an overall winner is chosen for the Publishers Australia Excellence Award. A Hall of Fame has also been introduced.
MEGAN LE MASURIER