One Lennox local was among Australia’s top travel writers honoured at the annual Australian Society of Travel Writers Awards for Excellence gala dinner held at Novotel Twin Waters Resort on the Sunshine Coast on Saturday, August 19, 2017.
Freelance travel writer Louise Southerden won the award for Best Responsible Tourism Story – for the fifth time. Although Louise has won other travel writing awards, including the prestigious Travel Writer of the Year award, this is her favourite category.
‘It’s wonderful to receive such recognition for my work, and winning the Responsible Tourism category is an added bonus because it shines a light on a growing trend in travel, one I care deeply about and write about whenever I can: people travelling more consciously and finding ways to ensure they have a positive impact on the places and people they visit all over the world,’ says Louise.
This year’s ASTW Awards saw a record 390 entries over 19 categories (13 for writing, the rest for photography, broadcasting and public relations) and the winners were decided by independent judges outside the ASTW who came from Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and the US.
Louise won her award for a story published on a UK-based website about a “solar slum tour” in Kolkata that helps provide families with solar light, replacing unhealthy and polluting kerosene lamps. Her prize is a 15-day trek with Intrepid Travel to see the tour operator’s recovery work in Nepal’s Langtang Valley, which were devastated by the 2015 earthquakes.
It’s fitting that Louise has won an award for writing about responsible tourism because two projects she’s involved in here in Lennox Head also reflect her love of travel, writing and sustainability: a travel book room soon to open at Williams Street Kitchen & Bar in honour of her late colleague Tom King; and the Boomerang Bags Lennox Head project, which is making fabric bags to give to shoppers to reduce plastic bag use.
You can see more of Louise’s work in Traveller in The Sydney Morning Herald most weekends and on her blog: www.noimpactgirl.com