Schools Photographic Competition

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The Friends have run an annual photographic competition for school and college students for the last 23 years. This is a great way to encourage young people to express their appreciation of Australian native plants through artistic creativity. In doing so, young photographers have an opportunity to explore and enjoy these wonderful Botanic Gardens – the world’s most comprehensive collection of Australian cultivated plants.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of the Gardens earlier this year, the Friends did not hold the competition in 2020. Instead, there was a retrospective exhibition of first-prize-winning entries from the past 23 years on show in November at the ANBG Visitor Centre Gallery.

2021 Competition

The competition is back for 2021! Download the primary schools entry form and secondary schools entry form here; the closing date for entries is Friday 24 September. Judging will be announced and prizes awarded in early November, followed by an exhibition of prizewinning and commended entries in the Visitor Centre gallery.

To be eligible, all photos must feature some aspect of the Gardens, such as its plants, wildlife, scenery or its community.

For high school and college students, there are three categories in the competition: Monochrome, Colour, and Altered Reality (for images that have been manipulated digitally or in darkroom processing), with 5 prizes in each category.

For primary school students, there are two categories: Monochrome and Colour, with 3 prizes in each category.

As well as the prizes for each category, there will be awards for Commended and Highly Commended entries. There are also two prizes in each category for the schools of the first and second place-getters. As usual, there is a Peoples’ Choice award of $50.

2019 prizewinners

Prizes were awarded to the 2019 competition winners on Sunday 3 November by the judges Graham Gall and Jim Gould, members of the Friends of the ANBG Photography Group. Congratulations all!

Primary: Colour

House Made of Sticks
Samuel Wagner, Aranda Primary

1st - Primary Colour: Samuel Wagner

Butterfly Breeze
Lily Werner, Aranda Primary

2nd - Primary Colour: Lily Werner

Floral Firework
Hugo Potter, Maribynong Primary

3rd - Primary Colour: Hugo Potter


Primary: Monochrome

Alyse Rooney, Hawker Primary

1st - Primary Monochrome: Alyse Rooney


Secondary: Monochrome

Monochrome Bird
Ky Trotter, Canberra College

1st - Secondary Monochrome: Ky Trotter

Sun Baking
Erin Duncan, Canberra High School

2nd - Secondary Monochrome: Erin Duncan

Fading ln
Thomas Price, Canberra College

3rd - Secondary Monochrome: Thomas Price

Isobelle Laing, Telopea Park School

4th - Secondary Monochrome: Isobelle Laing

Monochrome 2
Jared Parsons, Dickson College

5th - Secondary Monochrome: Jared Parsons


Secondary: Colour

Riley Wilson, Canberra High School

1st - Secondary Colour: Riley Wilson

Looking at Me
Netti Nguyen, Canberra High School

2nd - Secondary Colour: Netti Nguyen

Cameron Colebrook, UCSSC Lake Ginninderra

3rd - Secondary Colour: Cameron Colebrook

Nature's Favourite
Ellen Johnson, Canberra High School

4th - Secondary Colour: Ellen Johnson

Foggy Love
Imogen O’Brien, Canberra High School

5th - Secondary Colour: Imogen O'Brien


Secondary: Altered Reality

Dripping Bottle Brush
Amy Lancaster, UCSSC Lake Ginninderra

1st - Altered Reality: Amy Lancaster

Waltz of the Flowers
Roberta Vagnarelli, Canberra High School

2nd - Altered Reality: Roberta Vagnarelli

Virtual Nature
Isabella Quan, Erindale College

3rd - Altered Reality: Isabella Quan

Cloudless Day Orange Sand
William Loughton, Canberra College

4th - Altered Reality: William Loughton

Cameron Colebrook, UCSSC Lake Ginninderra

5th - Altered Reality: Cameron Colebrook


Schools of first and second prize winners

Hawker Primary Primary: Monochrome – 1st
Aranda Primary Primary: Colour – 1st and 2nd
Canberra College Secondary: Monochrome – 1st
Canberra High School
Secondary: Monochrome – 2nd
Colour – 1st and 2nd
Altered Reality – 2nd
UCSSC Lake Ginninderra Secondary: Altered Reality – 1st

Previous competition prizewinners

Prize-winning and highly-commended photos from recent competitions are available here online. Click on an image to see a larger version.









"Fuzz Berry" by Amy Jones of Erindale College, 2018 1st prize winner in the Colour section
"Fuzz Berry" by Amy Jones of Erindale College, 2018 1st prize winner in the Colour section

Inquiries about the competition can be emailed to: