Victorians are amongst a group of Australian rural journalists and photographers who are on top of the world after dominating awards for journalistic excellence at an international conference in Argentina earlier this month

Australian journalists took a clean sweep of all the broadcast awards at this year’s International Federation of Agricultural Journalist’s Star Prizes.

On top of that a Victorian photographer also took out the top prize in the photography category beating entries from all over the world.

Geelong Advertiser photographer Peter Ristevski won the judges accolades and the top photography prize for his striking image which was the unanimous choice from more than 70 entries from around the world.

The photo of a horse trapped in mud with its distressed young owner cradling its head had a happy ending when the exhausted animal was safely rescued. Peter’s image was judged the best in the People category before taking the major prize.

Victorians Lucy Barbour and Larissa Romensky from the ABC took out the broadcast on-line category for a multi-media human interest report on the impact of wild dog predation.

The awards didn’t stop there for Victorian Rural Press Club members with Melbourne-based freelance Journalist Nathan Dyer placing third in the Star Prize Award for Print Journalism for a feature on the Ord River region published in RM Williams Outback Magazine.

Finalists nominated by the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists (ACAJ) won six of nine awards plus a second and third placing at the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists 2013 World Congress.

ACAJ President Tim Powell said it was an extraordinary and outstanding result for Australia.

“It is the best result Australia has ever achieved in the prestigious Star Prize Awards,” Mr Powell said

“The Star Prizes are the most significant awards in the agricultural journalism and to have our journalists named the best in their field in the world is an amazing achievement.

“What this shows is that Australian rural journalists are matching it with the best in the world.”

The award ceremony was a highlight of the final day of the Congress in Rosario, in the Argentine agricultural heartland.

Journalists from the ABC made a clean sweep of the three broadcast award categories – television, radio and on line — while Australians won two of the three photography categories and the overall best photo award.

Tait Schmaal from the Adelaide Advertiser submitted the winning entry in the Production category, an airborne sheep leaping to freedom.