AJN scores awards hat-trick

Noel Kessel with The AJN’s three awards. Photo: Salty Dingo Media.

FOR the second year in a row, The Australian Jewish News has been named Best Publication at the NSW Premier’s Multicultural Media Awards.

The AJN beat fellow finalists Indian Link and The Australasian Muslim Times to take out the title.

But that was just one of three awards presented to The AJN at last Wednesday night’s ceremony. Deputy editor Joshua Levi won Best News Report, also for the second year in a row, for his front page story “Recalling the words of an angel”.

Written just after the Bourke Street Mall attack, Levi’s article centred on a previously unpublished poem penned by 10-year-old Jewish victim Thalia Hakin: “When you light up a candle you light up your neshama. And you light up the world. And when you light up the world you make it a better place. Like for you, me and everybody. Now the world is dark, but soon to be bright for us.”

In the wake of the tragedy, the young Beth Rivkah student’s words were particularly poignant. “Thalia’s voice lives on through her poetry,” the judges noted, “and reactions to her death expose a broken-hearted community in mourning”.

Meanwhile, winning Photo of the Year for the third year in a row was AJN photographer Noel Kessel.

His picture of Nadia Murad, a Yazidi woman, whose family were murdered by ISIS and who was held captive as a sex slave by the group, meeting the late Sydney Shoah survivor Luba Marczak, was praised for capturing “the powerful intergenerational solidarity and strength in the face of extreme adversity, highlighting the universal power of courage and empathy”.

AJN national editor Zeddy Lawrence said, “We are extremely proud of both Josh and Noel for winning their individual awards. It’s testimony to the talent each possesses in their respective fields of journalism and photography.

“As for Best Publication, we are needless to say, thrilled. It is a credit to the entire team here at The AJN that we produce a newspaper held in such high regard by the industry professionals who serve as judges.

“To misquote George Bernard Shaw’s Lady Bracknell, to win the title once, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as good fortune; to win twice looks like we’re actually doing something right.”