Aussievault competition winners announced

Press release from Aussievault

Australian actress Kate Ritchie has announced the winners of the Living Australian Online Photography Competition and the Reel Australia short film competition on behalf of the Australia Day Council of NSW (ADCNSW).

The winners of the AUSSIEVAULT® competitions were announced at an exclusive Australia Day presentation where celebrities, high achieving and everyday Australians came together to celebrate capturing the Australian spirit. This year’s theme is ‘Make your Mark Australia’ and the entries provided inspiring examples of how everyday Australians do just that and what it means to them.

This year’s competition theme of ‘Make Your Mark Australia’ comes as new research from the ADCNSW found most Aussies believe that internationally, Australia has made its mark in sport and medicine. Around 85% of Australians believe we’re perceived by the rest of the world as laid back or friendly, while three quarters of Aussies were found to regularly speak with their neighbours – great characteristics to have as a nation.

Angelos Frangopoulos, Chairman of the ADCNSW and Kate Ritchie announced Wanda Lach from NSW photograph, “Is there a letter for me?” and Nicholas Ryan from NSW film, The Sum of Our Parts, as the winning entries of the respective competitions.

Winners in both competitions were selected as the best displays of what made a mark on their Australia. The winners were chosen by a panel of celebrity judges including TV personality Don Burke, the 2010 Australian Local Hero and Oz Harvest Founder Ronni Kahn, professional photographer Brendan Read, actor Simon Westaway, Artistic Director of Ensemble Theatre Sandra Bates and Kate Ritchie.

The national photography competition, supported by Australia Post, challenged Aussies to capture what makes a mark on their Australia, attracting a staggering 2,719 entries from across the nation.

The winning photograph shows a beautiful row of neighbours’ rustic mailboxes, of various shapes, sizes and colours, with the extraordinary backdrop of Australia’s Great Dividing Range. “Australians are a creative lot,” commented a pleased Wanda, “out in the country, mail delivery is all important. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do it in style.”

Kate Ritchie said, “What a beautifully balanced photograph that touches on the importance of country mail and staying connected and how individual each household is in receiving it. Having the postie deliver your mail, whether it be once a day or once a week, is about as 'local' as you can get”. Fellow judge and professional photographer, Brendan Read said that, ‘the lack of people in this photo makes you think of the people who belong to these mail boxes, where they live and what their lives are like’.

The winning two minute film was the one of 56 submitted in response to the question, “What makes a mark on your Australia?”

Kate Ritchie said that the winning Reel Australia film by Nicholas Ryan ‘The Sum Of Our Parts’ was cleverly written to include the 'sum of all the country's parts' that asks us to consider them in all their glory. “He wasn't telling me what has made its mark on his or my Australia. He was engaging me, asking me to think for myself whilst throwing around a hundred or two suggestions!” she said.

Fellow judge, Sandra Bates said – “What a joyous short film this is, Nicholas's love of life and delight in being Australian shines throughout. He has done a vast amount of research and to get all this into this little gem of a film all in 2 minutes is a miracle”.

“When asked the question “What makes a mark on my Australia?' it may do an injustice to our nation and its people to narrow an answer to just one person or thing. This film sincerely expresses the significance (and fun) of viewing Australia as the sum of its parts,” Nicholas Ryan said, winner of the Open Division of the Reel Australia Short Film Competition.

Nicholas continued, “Since the dawn of time, the people of this island continent have made invaluable contributions to not only its own inhabitants, but also to the world at large. This is particularly evident in the important achievements Australia has made which have influenced humanity on a global scale”.

The Living Australian and Reel Australia winners received $4,000. The ADCNSW and Australia Post were pleased to announce the Living Australian Stamp Series, which will be circulated nationally in mid-2012, featuring images captured by Wanda Lach NSW, Ronald Rockman VIC, Ann Clarke SA, Damien Madden NSW, and Chevelle Williams VIC.

Australia Day Presents welcomed a star studded guest list including a host of NSW Australia Day Ambassadors, including Fashion Designer and Stylist Donny Galella, Actor/Authors Judy Nunn and Bruce Venables, Singer/Composer Iva Davies, and Robyn Moore – the voice of Blinky Bill.

There was also a stellar performance from iconic Australian singer John Williamson, as well as a showcase from each competition.


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