Winners of Sunshine Coast Environment Photography Awards announced
  • Tuesday 06 September 2016

Stunning photographs capturing colourful bugs on a native hibiscus, emerging mangrove tree roots at the waters’ edge and a rock climber at a mountain peak have been selected as the winners in the 2016 Sunshine Coast Environment Photography Awards.

The winning photographers, two from the Sunshine Coast and one from the Gold Coast, received their awards at the official opening of the 2016 Environment Photography Awards exhibition at the Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden at Tanawha.

Each entrant showcases the environment from many perspectives and reflects the diversity that makes up the story of the environment that surrounds us.

2016 Sunshine Coast Environment Photography Awards Winners    

  • Nature based award | Environment Levy| Helen Debnam from Pelican Waters for ‘Bugs Every Which Way’, Pelican Waters (pictured).
  • Human interaction with environment award | Living Smart | Nathan McNeil from Mudgeeraba for ‘The Big Whipper’, Glasshouse Mountains.
  • Junior award | Living Smart | Jack Ford from Buderim for ‘Mangrove Forest’, Maroochydore. 

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said this year’s awards had drawn a remarkable number of quality entries capturing creative, inspiring and emotive images of the Sunshine Coast’s spectacular environment.   

“The final 27 images that make up the 2016 Sunshine Coast Environment Photography exhibition were selected from 665 entries capturing a wide range of different artists’ perspectives across our own hugely diverse backyard,” Cr McKay said.

Judge Richard O’Leary, editor at My Weekly Preview, said the passion, diversity and talent of the finalists’ photographs was captivating.

“A true stand-out piece in the nature-based category was Helen Debnam’s ‘Bugs Every Which Way’,” Mr O’Leary said.

“This enchanting photo of hibiscus harlequin bugs invites you into another world, one of a million across the Sunshine Coast, another Sunshine Coast family getting on with life, capturing a time and place perfectly.

“In the human interaction with natural and built environment category, Nathan McNeil’s work ‘The Big Whipper’ grabs your attention straight away.

 “It beautifully captures the relationship between the environment and humans. The leap of faith symbolises the spirit of the Sunshine Coast population –  risk takers, nature lovers, limit pushers.”

Mr O’Leary said ‘Mangrove Forest’ in the junior category was a real surprise.

“At such a young age you can see the huge talent and insight Jack Ford already possesses,” he said.

“This piece is about reaching for the sky – a sense of renewal, optimism, hope. Like all of us, just need the tide to recede to show our ambitions and abilities.”  

 The finalists’ images will tour the region in a unique outdoor exhibition over the next 12 months, and are on display at the Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Garden, as part of the Horizon Festival of Arts and Culture until September 11.

 To view all the finalist images and vote for your favourite and a chance to win a gift voucher, visit council’s website and vote by September 15.