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Photography competition unites talented snappers

Year 12 student Thomas Robertson was recently announced as the New South Wales winner of The Pixel Prize - a photography competition run by Australian Catholic University (ACU) and open to high school students in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

Zoe Cambridge's winning entry.Zoe Cambridge's winning entry.

Ceremonies were held at the University’s Strathfield and Brisbane campuses this month to announce the winners from each state, and open exhibitions of the finalists’ work.

Thomas, from St John The Evangelist Catholic High School in Nowra, said he was overwhelmed to have won the overall prize.

“I wasn’t quite sure whether to laugh or cry, but I’m really excited to have won,” he said. “The photo is of my grandfather - community spirit is about taking care of the things around us, and for 70 years my grandfather has taken care of his family, community and the land.”

Other winners on the night included Julia Merrick from Brigidine College in the Place category, Carly Zinga from Barrenjoey High School in the People category, and Douglas Simkin from Lithgow High School in the Digital Darkroom category.

In Brisbane, Year 12 student Zoe Cambridge was the overall winner for her photo Carousel – taken during Christmas in London, at the Winter Wonderland Carnival in Hyde Park.

“I’ve never entered my work in a competition before, so it was such a shock that it won,” she said. “I’ll be using the prize money to buy myself a better camera so I can produce better photography.”

Thomas Robertson's winning entry.Thomas Robertson's winning entry.

The Queensland competition runner-up was year 10 student Ashley Dale from Redlands College. Winner of the People category was Nikki Aitkenhead from Toolooa State High School, and winner of the Place category was Jasmine McIntosh from Sunshine Beach State High School.

Pixel Prize coordinator Amanda Forsyth said she was impressed with the level of talent demonstrated by the young photographers.

“The Pixel Prize is a really great opportunity for these young artists to put their work on display, and get their work seen by other photographers, the public and people in the industry,” she said.

“We received more than 500 entries nationally, with the competition aimed at encouraging the use of photography as a means of expressing thoughts, feelings and opinions through a vastly dynamic and artistic medium.”

The Pixel Prize Exhibition will be on display at the Strathfield and Brisbane campuses until the end of August.