Melbourne-based Josh Tagi has been acclaimed as Overall Winner: Open category in the 30th annual Heritage Bank Photographic Awards, which offered more than $8000 in cash and other prizes.

A health, safety and environmental consultant Josh, who describes himself as an avid creative photographer, won the award with an image titled Evening Shadow. The Open Runner Up was David Wong with his image of Sheep Group. The Overall Winner: Theme went to Alison Hockings for her work title Grandad, which depicts a youth feeding his grandfather.

The CEO Choice: Open section was won by Christian Spencer. His image, which was chosen as the favourite of Heritage Bank chief executive Peter Lock, was captioned In Beauty I Walk. The Open – Alwyn Kucks Memorial Award Winner was Bird Watching by John Stewart while the Open – Encouragement Award and Bruce McKenzie Award Winner was Chris Sweetapple’s Galaxy Shacks. The Theme (Respect) – Encouragement Award Winner was the highly talented Dalby photographer Janine Waters, who is featured in the Spring issue of Highlife Downs Living. In the under age categories the Open Winner 14 to 17 was Benjamin Maze with Pool of Memories, Joshua Wilkinson was the Open winner 10 to 13 with Ash by iPhone and the Open winner from 7 to 9 was Sophia-Ella Harvey’s My Mum.

The award winners, and those highly commended, were announced at Artsworx at the University of South Queensland on September 18. In presenting the awards Heritage Bank’s acting chief executive Kevin Potter announced that a record 2024 entries, from 605 photographers, had been received for this year’s competition. This represented an increase of close to 50 per cent on the 2017 figures. “The standard of the images we received was amazing,” Mr Potter said. “The number of entries submitted and the number of photographers represented demonstrates the growing national importance of the Heritage Bank’s Photographic Awards. With the three major theme winners each year being hung at the Heritage Bank we must now have the best photographic gallery in Australia.”

The top 50 images selected will be on display at Artsworx at USQ. for the next month.

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