Galah Press Editor-in-Chief Annabelle Hickson with Country Education Foundation of Australia alumni Georgia Ditchfield, Heather Walker and Taleah Anderson.
Country Education Foundation of Australia alumni Heather Walker and Georgia Ditchfield have taken out the inaugural Galah – CEF Student and Alumni Photography Prize, with stunning photos showcasing their talent behind the lens.
Galah Press, which publishes a triannual magazine themed on rural Australia, ran the competition in conjunction with CEF, its chosen charity partner, and ran it concurrently with its main competition, Galah Regional Photography Prize.
Any student, past or present, that had received a grant from any of the 45 local CEF foundations was eligible to enter, with two winners being awarded.
The theme for the competition was CEF’s tagline – ‘Education changes lives. And families. And communities’ – with entrants asked to capture this in a rural setting, with entries judged by a panel of three judges.
Six alumni entered the competition, with Ms Walker and Ms Ditchfield standing out from the rest with their amazing photos.
Their prize was a fully subsidised trip to Murwillumbah for the opening of the exhibition on Friday 10th and the companion event on Saturday 11th November, which was to connect photographers with other photographers. They will also have their imagery printed on CEF gift cards and other promotional material.
Heather, from Grenfell, NSW, won with her entry ‘Early Mornings at the Sheep Sale’, which shows a mob of sheep ready at a saleyard, early in the morning before sunrise under lights.
She said her win inspired her to share her passion for photography through her new Instagram page, ‘4_The_Love_of_Photography’.
“The experience of meeting and engaging with fellow photographers was truly enriching,” she said.
“The stories shared were not only inspiring but also added a new dimension to my own photographic journey. I extend my gratitude to Annabelle Hickson [Galah Press Editor-in-Chief] for orchestrating an unforgettable night and exhibition.”
Country Education Foundation of Australia alumnus Heather Walker's winning entry, 'Early mornings at the sheep sale'.
Country Education Foundation of Australia alumnus Georgia Ditchfield's winning entry, 'Warrumbungle Way'.
Georgia, from Coonamble, NSW, won with her photo ‘Warrumbungle Way’, a stunning landscape shot of the road leading to Warrumbungle National Park in NSW.
She said she will become a more active photographer because of her win.
“I am very passionate about photography, I’ve been doing it my whole life and I’ve been much more serious about it since about 2017,” she said.
“I think I will actively try to enter more competitions since the success of this one.”
CEF alumni Taleah Anderson, from Lightning Ridge, NSW, was a finalist in one of the main competitions categories and attended the exhibition opening to showcase her work ‘Go Play’; a black and white photo featuring a child jumping across rusty old trucks.
Having been an avid photographer since high school, she said being shortlisted as a finalist was one of her proudest moments.
“I never believed I was good enough. I love capturing photos that slowly, bit by bit, heal the trauma from my childhood but also just the rare beauty of regional and remote Australia. I love to showcase what it is like living in such strange and wonderful geography,” she said.
Country Education Foundation of Australia alumnus Taleah Anderson's shortlisted entry 'Go Play'.
Galah Press Editor-in-Chief Annabelle Hickson said the Regional Photography Prize was created to support and celebrate artists and photographers in our regional towns, and that CEF was chosen as its charity partner because Galah shares CEF’s vision of improving educational outcomes for country students.
“The Country Education Foundation of Australia is a remarkable charity, and we chose CEF as our charity partner because we want to get it on as many people’s radars as possible,” she said.
“It was such a privilege to meet these three women. They all travelled a long way to be here, they came without knowing many people and they joined in as confident, smiling, and curious participants all weekend.”
Congratulations to Heather, Georgia and Taleah – and to all the entrants, finalists and winners from both the Galah – CEF Student and Alumni and Galah Regional Photography Prizes.