Hidden in the Reeds wins

Golden Plains Shire Mayor Brett Cunningham, middle, with Spring in the Shire Photo Essay Competition winners Amelia Preston, left, Keama Rowan, and Jessica Richens. (Supplied)

By Jena Carr

Bannockburn’s Keama Rowan has taken out the major prize in the Golden Plains Shire photo competition for her exploration of environmental beauty.

The council encouraged amateur photographers to capture the 2023 Spring in the Shire photo essay competition’s Photo[synthesis] theme through their lens, with winners announced at the Golden Plains Twilight Market.

Ms Rowan said she “couldn’t believe it” when she took out the $600 top prize for the 18 years and older category on December 14 for her ‘Hidden in the Reeds’ photo.

“I picked up a camera in May for some stress relief and bird watching, and one of my friends said that I should enter but I didn’t think for a million years that I’d actually win,” she said.

“At the time, this little brown bird was darting back and forth in the reeds and was singing its little heart out. So, I just sat on the ground for 20 minutes and got that photo.

“I’m an ED (emergency department) nurse by trade, so photography gets me outside, and it helps me clear my head, get into nature, and listen for what’s around me.

“I’m an avid bird watcher and there’s heaps of species around Bannockburn that people wouldn’t even be aware of.”

Prize winners included Rokewood’s Amelia Preston for ‘Freddy the Frog’ in the Young Adult, 13 to 17, and Inverleigh’s Jessica Richens for ‘Two Little Bugs’ in the Junior Prize, up to 12, categories.

Golden Plains Shire Council Mayor Brett Cunningham said he was “very impressed” with all the competition entries.

“The quality of entries for this year’s competition really highlighted the beautiful surrounds, vibrant communities, and amazing flora and fauna we have in Golden Plains,” he said.