In a society where we are exposed to an avalanche of images every day – be it online, through television or social media – a striking photograph can still cut through the clutter, revealing to us something in our world we’ve been missing. John Therry Rosemeadow students have risen to this challenge, producing remarkable visuals to win 'Champion High School' at this year’s Macarthur Nature Photography Competition.
A joint initiative from Campbelltown, Camden and Wollondilly local councils, the Macarthur Nature Photography Competition encourages the local community to enter their most engaging and enticing images of native flora, wildlife and natural scenery taken within the Macarthur area.
John Therry Rosemeadow had 19 students from Years 9 to 12 take part this year, submitting photographs of the local natural environment. Their works, along with over 300 other photographic entries, have been on display at the Narellan Town Centre during November.
The competition culminated in an awards night at the Camden Civic Centre last month, where John Therry was judged as the ‘Champion Photography High School’ of the Macarthur region – for the fourth year in a row!
John Therry Photography and Digital Media teacher, Ashley Hume, said this significant award coincides with the increased popularity of Photography and Digital media as a subject at the school. The students have embraced this extracurricular opportunity to showcase their talents.
“In 2019, we had six Photography and Digital Media classes from Years 9 to 12. This competition was a chance to show the beauty of the Macarthur region through the lens of these talented students, and their entries did not disappoint. Well done to all our students who entered. We look forward to continuing this success!” — Ashley Hume, Photography and Digital Media teacher, John Therry Rosemeadow
A special congratulations to Year 11 students, Jade Pritchard and Paige Jenart, who also received individual recognition at the awards night – Jade winning 2nd prize in the overall ‘Secondary School Nature Close Up’ category; and Paige taking out the overall ‘Native Flora’ category.
“Jade and Paige have exemplified brilliant talent in photography over the past three years. It is undoubtedly an excellent achievement for both students, as they have worked hard to do their best in all photographic opportunities,” Mrs Hume said.
Paige [pictured above], who won 1st prize for her floral photography, said she was grateful to have family and teachers around her who encourage her to do what she loves every day.
“I didn’t think I would place, but when I came 1st I was so excited! It was awesome to win, have my family there supporting me, and be proud of myself for something I’ve worked hard for. There were so many talented people there, it was amazing to see everyone’s creativity,” she said.
The young photographer credited John Therry’s Photography and Digital Media classes and her teacher, Mrs Hume, for helping bring out her artistic talent.
“I enjoy the way we can express and explore new things and opportunities in class, and being in a place where we can communicate our ideas with others. My teacher always has a great, positive attitude towards her students, too. She is the reason I entered this competition and her positivity has helped me have faith in myself” — Paige Jenart, John Therry Rosemeadow student and competition prize winner
“Plus having the equipment to succeed available to us gives me great gratitude for my school and the opportunities it gives us. I enjoy taking pictures for sporting events and other school events too. I hope to use my skills in the future and maybe for my HSC art major.”
Fellow student, Jade [pictured left] had a similar attitude and humility to receiving 2nd place in the ‘Secondary School Nature Close Up’ category.
“I honestly wasn’t expecting an award at all. I just came along to experience everyone else’s stories and possibly be inspired by other photographers. Through looking at everyone’s photos, I’ve found that each individual views the world from a different perspective. I got the chance to experience what others see through their own lenses,” she said.
“I love the fact that through digital media, I can view the world from a different perspective. Through photography, I can make the world a much more beautiful place or even a much darker place. I like to believe that I make art through my work. I love editing and playing with photos, as it enables me to completely change the mood or style of a photo” — Jade Pritchard, John Therry Rosemeadow student and competition prize winner
Jade said it was a bunch of flowers that her father bought for her mother that inspired her competition entry. “I loved the texture and shape of the flowers. I decided it would make a cool photo, so I made a black backdrop, placed the flowers there and then took the shot. The word ‘maraki’ is a Greek word that describes what happens when you leave a piece of yourself in your works. I thought this caption fit perfectly with my photo.”
“My teacher, Mrs Hume, encouraged me to enter and I’m so glad I did. I love photography so much and it’s my favourite hobby, but I’ve always thought that I’m not very good at it. So this award encouraged me to realise I am good at what I do and I should be proud of it. I will definitely be continuing my love for photography and I want to attend more of these photography showcases!”
Congratulations to all the John Therry students who entered the Macarthur Nature Photography Competition, and along with their proud family members and teachers, attended the Awards Night to celebrate their fantastic photography:
Emma Palma (Year 12)
James Blaga (Year 12)
Dean Brennan (Year 12)
Rhowyn Davies (Year 12)
Ashley Redzic (Year 12)
Carlos Ortiz (Year 12)
Kyle Kirby (Year 12)
Jayden Jansz (Year 12)
Jade Pritchard (Year 11)
Paige Jenart (Year 11)
Avril Stephens (Year 11)
Taylah Skinner (Year 10)
Liam Crain (Year 9)
Tariq Lenton (Year 9)
Ethan Edwards (Year 9)
Ryan Blinman (Year 9)
Jake Brine (Year 9)
Audrey Parrag (Year 9)
Jazmin Abrahamowicz (Year 9)
Campbelltown Mayor, George Brticevic, praised the community for tapping into their creative streak to enter this competition.
“Our region contains some of the most stunning natural environments in Sydney. This competition allows our creative residents and students to showcase our local environment and advertise it to the wider community,” Cr Brticevic said.