The Gunnedah Times has starred at the 2023 Country Press NSW awards night in Sydney.

The Times’ team won the category for ‘Best Human Interest Photo’. It was also runner-up and highly commended in several more including ‘Best Paid Newspaper’, ‘Best News Photo’, ‘Best Front Page’, ‘Best Special Publication’ and ‘Best Advertising Feature’.

The award-winning human interest photograph by Kylie Devine depicted motor neurone disease sufferer Rick McEvoy. Rick was pictured beaming with joy as the community rallied in support of the ‘Fight MND’ fund-raising campaign in Gunnedah earlier this year.

Of the winning entry, awards judge Byron Smith said: “This wonderfully warm and positive colour portrait of an MND sufferer, Rick McEvoy, instils a sense of humanity and hope, while the background’s chalkboard writing provides content. A sharp and emotionally evocative example of visual storytelling.”

Gunnedah Times editor Sam Woods said the photograph reflected the resolve of local people to persevere through hardship and the power of newspapers to communicate messages of hope.

“The Gunnedah community and the people within are at the heart of all stories we cover,” Mr Woods said.

“In one shot, Kylie captured the optimism and sense of joy despite the cruel circumstances Rick’s life presents.

“Well done to Kylie and thank you Rick for allowing us into your life with courage few of us will ever know.”


The Gunnedah Times was runner-up in several other categories at this year’s awards including the ‘Best Paid Newspaper’.

Described by judges as one of two “standouts” in the nominations, the Gunnedah Times and its sister publication The Courier, which won the category, was commended for “very vibrant editions with high story counts and very high news and social picture counts. Some newspapers obviously have more resources, but the effort in compiling these editions, including the vast number of news, sport and social pics with expansive photo captions, was very noticeable”.

Mr Woods said the Gunnedah Times team worked hard to produce a quality edition each week featuring a generous mix of news, sport and community happenings.

“We are immensely proud of the Gunnedah Times publication and what it represents to the local community,” he said.

“From cover to cover, we strive to deliver the best overall content for our readers and give thanks for the ongoing support we receive.”

The Gunnedah Times was also runner-up in the ‘Best News Photograph’ and ‘Best Front Page’ for a photograph taken during successive flood events last year.

BEST NEWS PHOTOGRAPH: Runner-up, Sam Woods, Gunnedah Times.

The front page photograph headlined ‘Mother Nature’s Incredible Power, Devastating Beauty’ was taken by the editor during an aerial assessment of flood damage in the Gunnedah area.

“An amazing photo of the devastating floods in Gunnedah,” the judge said. “A front page pic like this sells newspapers by the score and reproduced extremely well given it was taken with a smart phone from a great distance.”

Judges also said the front page “leaves readers in no doubt of the effect of the Mooki River [Bridge] flooding with a spectacular aerial photograph. The heading sums up the situation – Mother Nature’s incredible power, devastating beauty. A simple sentence points to extensive coverage inside.”

The Gunnedah Times was also runner-up in the ‘Best Special Publication’ category for its ‘Annual Review 2022’ publication.

Award judges said: “A very impressive and comprehensive 80-page quality tabloid publication highlighting the opportunities for development of Gunnedah shire, as a future major regional centre. Outstanding articles complemented by impressive photographic coverage, highlighted local businesses and projects and the strong quality advertising content obviously ensured the commercial viability, which would rival any newspaper publication.”

This was the second instalment of this business feature produced by the Gunnedah Times. The Annual Review’s inaugural edition won the category at last year’s awards.

BEST SPECIAL PUBLICATION: Runner-up, Gunnedah Times 2022 Annual Review.

Last but by no means least, the Gunnedah Times’ was highly commended in the ‘Best Advertising Feature’ category for its 2022 Red Devils rugby feature.

The special publication featured player profiles, match previews and history of the Gunnedah Red Devils ahead of their grand final appearance last year.

Of the nomination, judges said: “An outstanding, well-presented 16-page football club feature, highlighted by excellent editorial and plenty of photographs covering the club, players and history. A strong advertising feature well supported by local businesses.”

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