Hobart: Last night saw the 39th Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) Golden Target Awards (GTAs) held at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart, Tasmania, as part of PRIA's 2015 National Conference, Huge Transformations. The packed house hosted consultancy and in-house senior Public Relations leaders at the industry's night-of-nights - the pinnacle of the annual PR awards program.

The night was hosted by Dr Melanie Irons, UTas, who also spoke during the main PRIA annual conference earlier that day, who thanked GTA co-chairs Angela Coombes and Grant Smith, for their unending support and hard work in managing the program. Representatives from Isentia, Arthur J. Gallagher, Copyright Agency and PRIA's own council and board volunteers, helped present the long list of awardees.

Big category campaign winners on the night included Rowland; Hardman Communications; PR Edge; Weber Shandwick; HBF; Red Agency; VIVA! Communications; Cannings Purple; Bayer Australia; Ogilvy Australia; Sydney Convicts Rugby Club; and icon.pr.

Ava Lawler, Managing Director, Australia at Weber Shandwick, said, "We are grateful to our client, Accor Hotel, who had the courage to support a truly innovative and integrated campaign. We are also fortunate to have an inspired, smart team that worked tirelessly to drive tangible, business-focused results."

"Many of the players on our rugby team, myself included, have felt unwelcome in sporting environments because we are gay. Sport remains one of the last pockets of western society where homophobic behaviour is widely accepted.

"Winning this award is a deep honour and we hope it will continue to help elevate the issue of homophobia in sport and motivate continued change," said, Erik Denison, Media and Public Relations Manager, Sydney Convicts Rugby Union Club.

Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia, congratulated the Sydney Convicts and Bingham Cup organisers and said the awards are well deserved. "As a long-time advocate for equality I was greatly impressed by the ability of these passionate rugby players to draw attention to discrimination of LGBTI athletes. Over the years, particularly over the last 18 months, they have elevated the need to address homophobia in sport onto the national agenda and united people who are normally competitors to work together on this important issue," said Turnbull.

There were big individual award winners in Dr Melanie James, University of Newcastle, winning Educator of the Year; Emma Kershaw, Dairy Australia, winning Top sPRinter of the Year; and Arthur Delbridge LFPRIA & Paul Rushton-Clarke MPRIA, sharing the National President's Award, presented by PRIA Life Fellow and Tasmanian local, Greg Ray.

Group winners consisted Patrick Macdonald, Regatta Hotel, winning In-house Team of the Year; James Wright, Red Agency, winning Large Consultancy of the Year (for the second consecutive year); with the penultimate gong going to Fee Townshend, PR Edge, who took home the National Campaign of the Year with 'Yellow Pages: RUOK? Covers Partnership'. Susan Redden Makatoa, Ogilvy PR, accepted two GTAs, including the International Campaign of the Year, for Ogilvy's work with Al Jazeera English in freeing Peter Greste.

"For the team, especially Steve Reilly and Michael Hartmann who put in hundreds of hours, this was a once-in-a-lifetime event. It was our privilege and our honour to have played a part in bringing Peter home. Freedom of the press was absolutely core to this campaign, so we wholeheartedly supported it," said Susan Redden Makatoa, Group Managing Director – Corporate, Ogilvy PR.

James Wright, Group COO, Havas Worldwide and Managing Director, Red Agency, said, "We are humbled and honoured to go back-to-back as consultancy of the year. It's a testament to the dedication, passion and expertise we have across the consultancy that is delivered day in, day out, that has enabled us to pick up these consecutive wins. We have a vision to redefine the meaning and role of PR in today's world and you can see that in the work we are doing. I want to thank all of my team for their supreme efforts in making this happen."

"Winning a Golden Target Award is the pinnacle achievement for any PR consultancy and we feel very privileged to have been recognised by our peers. With six awards and one GTA trophy, last night was the biggest in Icon's history – and proof that our integrated approach to PR can achieve big things for clients.

"As an agency committed to sustainability and positive behaviour change campaigns, winning a Golden Target Award for Love Food, Hate Waste was particularly thrilling," said Joanne Painter, Managing Director, icon.pr.

Category Title of Entry Company Entrant State Result
Big Budget A Taste of Harmony 2015 Haystac Public Affairs Haystac Public Affairs NSW Commended
  Transurban's Acquisition of Queensland Motorways Limited Rowland Kelly Robinson QLD Winner
Business to Business Marketing Digital Roadies Take Centre Stage Weber Shandwick Australia Ava Lawler NSW Commended
  Mondelez International Mobile Futures Red Agency Natasha Carroll NSW Commended
  Expectations vs Reality of Retirement in Australia Ogilvy Public Relations Ogilvy Public Relations Australia and Mercer NSW Highly Commended
  Commonwealth Bank Agri Insights Hardman Communications & Commonwealth Bank of Australia Hardman Communications NSW Winner
Community Relations Child and Parent Centres: The communications challenge for an innovative new community services model Department of Education Jane Machin-Everill WA Commended
  City of Armadale to Get to know #TheDale Clarity Communications Anthony Hasluck WA Highly Commended
  Gold Coast Light Rail - Community Relations P4 Group P4 Group / GoldlinQ / Department of Transport and Main Roads QLD Highly Commended
  Standing up for a better deal. How NSW Farmers rewrote the book on political campaigning in country NSW. icon.pr Joanne Painter VIC Highly Commended
  Train tunnels, trucks and the toolkit to build trust - Sydney Metro Northwest Thiess John Holland Dragados and Transport for NSW Thiess John Holland Dragados and Transport for NSW NSW Highly Commended
  Yellow Pages: RUOK? Covers Partnership PR Edge Fee Townshend VIC Winner
Consumer Marketing Buderim's Hottest Ginger Agent 99 Public Relations Agent99 Public Relations NSW Commended
  Rebuilding Trust in Malaysia Airlines in Australia and New Zealand Crossman Communications Jackie Crossman NSW Highly Commended
  Tackling Obesity: The Impromy Health and Weight Loss Program Ellis Jones Ellis Jones VIC Highly Commended
Content Marketing Love Food, Hate Waste' - how content marketing is helping to change waste behaviours icon.pr Joanne Painter VIC Commended
  Unilever Food Solutions - Back of House PPR Michael Pooley NSW Highly Commended
Digital and Social Standing up for a better deal. How NSW Farmers rewrote the book on political campaigning in country NSW. icon.pr Joanne Painter VIC Highly Commended
  ibis PLAY Weber Shandwick Ava Lawler NSW Winner
Experiential LWP Property Group: 'Bringing Communities to Life' Hola PR Lorelei Campbell WA Commended
  Big Bethanie Bake Off Devahasdin Sandra Devahasdin WA Commended
  The Bar that Jack Built Red Agency/Red Guerrilla Red Guerilla NSW Commended
  Rolling out a 'redi-revival': rediATM Big Wednesday Giveaway Cole Lawson Communications Erin Rigby QLD Highly Commended
  EASY Tour: HIV Testing Week Red Agency James Wright & Samara Kitchener NSW Highly Commended
  House of Suntory Exclusive Takeover Series Icon International Sarah Corry NSW Highly Commended
  Hide and Sneakers HBF Fleur Wylie & Chantelle Cox WA Winner
Government Sponsored Campaigns Raising awareness, reducing waste. Why Victorians Love Food, Hate Waste icon.pr Joanne Painter VIC Highly Commended
  Seasonal Workers Communications Campaign Fairwork Ombudsman Carly De Assuncao VIC Highly Commended
  EASY Tour: HIV Testing Week Red Agency James Wright & Samara Kitchener NSW Winner
Health Organisations Meningococcal Australia: Know.Check.Act Campaign SenateSHJ Nerida Thorburn and Jodie Wrigley NSW Commended
  Healthy Bones Action Week 2014: 'Stronger Together' Dairy Australia Kelly Ward VIC Commended
  Supporting the world's largest and most rigorous investigation into anorexia nervosa VIVA! Communications Kirsten Bruce NSW Commended
  Enlarging awareness of enlarged prostates:are you a "More than once a night" man? GSK Australia GSK Australia VIC Commended
  HBF Run for a Reason PR Campaign HBF Fleur Wylie WA Commended
  Winter is Coming NPS MedicineWise Media & PR Team, Corporate Affairs and Governance NSW Commended
  Sign My Name Red Agency James Wright/The Red Agency Team NSW Commended
  Ending HIV: Giant Condom Campaign Activation ACON ACON Engagement Strategies Team NSW Highly Commended
  Lungs4Life - Driving adult protection against pneumococcal pneumonia VIVA! Communications Kirsten Bruce NSW Highly Commended
  Our Plea for Life VIVA! Communications Kirsten Bruce NSW Winner
Intergrated Marketing and Communications Strategy Standing up for a better deal. How NSW Farmers rewrote the book on political campaigning in country NSW icon.pr Joanne Painter VIC Commended
  Not out of the Woods SenateSHJ SenateSHJ in partnership with bioCSL NSW Highly Commended
  Nespresso: Milk Expertise Weber Shandwick Ava Lawler NSW Highly Commended
  #heartofgold Campaign for WA gold miners Cannings Purple Cannings Purple WA Winner
Internal/Change Management Communications Yarra Valley Water's Purpose-led Transformation Yarry Valley Water Strategic Communications Team VIC Commended
  Building Project BOB Boeing Defence Australia Stephanie Hulett QLD Commended
  Stand Up Speak Up Elders Fiona Stuckey SA Highly Commended
  Bayer Australia and New Zealand - Ambition 2015 Bayer Australia Limited Kirsten Impey, Communications NSW Winner
Issues Management and Crisis Communication Rebuilding Trust in Malaysia Airlines in Australia & New Zealand Crossman Communication Jackie Crossman NSW Commended
  Easter Mondayitis: How good PR helped to prevent a blood supply crisis Australian Red Cross Blood Service Blood Service PR Team VIC Highly Commended
  The Release of Peter Greste Ogilvy Public Relations Australia Ogilvy Public Relations Australia & Al Jazeera English NSW Winner
Public Affairs Australia's Future Submarine Project Weber Shandwick Australia Ava Lawler NSW Commended
  Helping #saveaHUSlives - Government funding secured for life-saving treatment for ultra-rare blood disease VIVA! Communications Kirsten Bruce NSW Commended
  Stamp' of Approval – Winning Reform for Australia Post Australia Post Jessica Hudswell / Australia Post Corporate Affairs NSW Commended
  Clean Energy Regulator       FINALIST at the National Finals
Small Budget/Pro Bono Introducing Sydney to the fine arts of the streets with #chalkurbanart IMPACT Communications Australia IMPACT Communications Australia NSW Commended
  "What's Up With Mum?" - Explaining MS to Kids LBPR Pty Ltd Lisa Burling, Managing Director NSW Commended
  Queensland Community Foundation - Philanthropy Week 2015 Rowland Helen Besly QLD Commended
  Dundee Beach Charity Golf Day Creative Territory Tracy Jones NT Highly Commended
  Women's Legal Services - Dancing CEO's The Red Republic Fleur Madden,  The Red Republic QLD Highly Commended
  RAPID Roadshow P4 Group & HIV Foundation P4 Group / HIV Foundation QLD QLD Highly Commended
  Kiss Goodbye to MS Campaign 2015 Cube & MS Research Australia Anne-Marie Sparrow NSW Highly Commended
  Tackling Homophobia in Sport Sydney Convicts Rugby Club Erik Denison NSW Winner
Start Up Launching an 'Australian first' challenger brand: RateSetter Sefiani & Kite Communications Robyn Sefiani NSW Commended
  Australia's First Swim with Humpback Whales Experience Reflected Image PRoductions Michelle Smytheman QLD Highly Commended
Sustainability/Corporate Social Responsibility Sailing Through Adversity: Biogen & Oceans of Hope ANZ Palin Communications Martin Palin NSW Commended
  McHappy Day NSW ACT 2014 # OurFamilyPromise PPR PPR & McDonald's NSW/ACT NSW Commended
  SAMSUNG ADAPPT - Adappt for success: Encouraging young Aussies to design the change they want to see in the world. Edelman Edelman NSW Highly Commended
  Towards a more sustainable Victoria. Raising awareness of ' Love Food, Hate Waste' icon.pr Joanne Painter VIC Winner
PR Educator of the Year Dr Melanie James University of Newcastle Dr Melanie James NSW Winner
Top sPRinters 2015 Erin Rigby Cole Lawson Communications Erin Rigby QLD Highly Commended
  Melanie Wellington N2N Communications Melanie Wellington NSW Highly Commended
  Emma Kershaw, Industry Promotions Officer, Dairy Australia Dairy Australia Emma Kershaw VIC Winner
In-House PR Team of the Year Media & PR Team, NPS MedicineWise NPS MedicineWise Media & PR Team NSW Commended
  HBF Media & Communications Team HBF Health Ltd Andrew Walton WA Highly Commended
  Regatta Hotel Regatta Hotel Patrick Macdonald QLD Winner
Micro-Consultancy of the Year LBPR Micro Consultancy of the Year LBPR Pty Ltd Lisa Burling - Managing Director NSW Highly Commended
Medium Consultancy of the Year Sauce Communications: A Rural Success Story Sauce Communications Liane Sayer-Roberts NSW Highly Commended
Large Consultancy of the Year N2N Communications N2N Communications Vanessa Liell NSW Commended
  PPR PPR Richard Lazar NSW Highly Commended
  Red Agency Red Agency James Wright NSW Winner
National President's Award Arthur Delbridge LFPRIA & Paul Rushton-Clarke MPRIA Arthur Delbridge LFPRIA & Paul Rushton-Clarke MPRIA     Winners
National Campaign of the Year Yellow Pages: RUOK? Covers Partnership PR Edge Fee Townshend NSW Winners
International Campaign of the Year The Release of Peter Greste Ogilvy Public Relations Australia & Al Jazeera English Ogilvy Public Relations Australia NSW Winners

For more information:

Neil O'Sullivan
National Marketing and Communication Manager
Public Relations Institute of Australia
E: marcomms@pria.com.au
Tel: +61 452 460 933
About the Public Relations Institute of Australia

The Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) is the national industry body for public relations and communication professionals in Australia. PRIA represents and provides professional support and recognition to over 4,000 practitioners and more than 100 consultancies nationwide.

About the Golden Target Awards
Established in 1976, the Golden Target Awards have recognised excellence in public relations for 39 years. The awards celebrate the achievements of the Public Relations Institute of Australia's (PRIA) members and identify innovative and exciting communications programs.