Arresting images take top honours

Amy Jean Harding, Beryl and JesusImages of an Aboriginal woman in a Jesus t-shirt, ants guarding Australia’s coastline and a rose blooming at night, have taken top honours in two of the country’s most respected photography competitions – Australian Life and Little Sydney Lives currently on display in Sydney’s Hyde Park.

Amy Jean Harding from New Brighton won the $10,000 Australian Life photography prize for her work Beryl and Jesus. Captured at Ross River in the Northern Territory, the image reflects Beryl’s devotion to the ancient Dreamtime and her faith in Christianity.

Competition judges, Moshe Rosenzveig, founder of the Head On festival, multi-award winning photographer, Dean Sewell and visual arts curator, Nina Miall, selected Amy’s image as the winner from 22 finalists from 1,400 entrants, stating that Amy’s image was “a photograph that addresses complex issues of gender, race and religion distilled into a striking and affective portrait.”

Seven year old Alex Noel Saksena from Kellyville was the winner in the 3–7 years age category of Little Sydney Lives for his shot My Little Soldiers Guarding Australia, of ants congregating around a hand-drawn map of Australia, while Eleven year old Dibe Chaker from Guildford was the winner in the 8–11 years age category for her up-close shot of a rose captured post-rainfall titled Rose At Night.

Alex and Dibe’s images were selected as winners from 20 finalists from more than 200 submissions. Each winner picked up a new digital camera and photography accessories worth $500.

“This has been a favourite with Sydneysiders since 2002, and it’s easy to see why,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore. “The large scale shots on show along the St James walkway in Hyde Park North and Sandringham Gardens attract thousands of visitors who come to celebrate the creative spirits of some of our established, emerging and youngest photographers.”

On display until 8 October 2017, the 22 Australian Life finalist images can be viewed along the St James walkway of Hyde Park North, while the 20 Little Sydney Lives finalist images are located in Sandringham Gardens. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Amy Jean Harding, Beryl and Jesus (supplied)