2020 Heritage Bank Photographic Awards winners announced

1 September 2020

Judges in the 2020 Heritage Bank Photographic Awards faced an even tougher time picking winners this year, as a prizemoney boost to $50,000 saw an increase of more than 60% to a record number of entries received.

The winners were announced in a virtual ceremony today.

The annual Heritage Bank Photographic Awards are now in their 32nd year and the prizemoney boost to a total of $50,000 makes them one of the most lucrative, and longest running, in the country.

New South Wales photographer Trung Nguyen won the $15,000 prize in the Open Category for his image “Swirling Sky” featuring the iconic Central Coast lighthouse at Norah Head. 

Queensland’s Peter Rossi also took home $15,000 in winning the other major prize in the “Resilience” Themed Category for his image “Standing Strong”, a portrait of an Aboriginal artist named Leigh.

Heritage Bank CEO Mr Peter Lock said lifting the prize money helped give the competition the profile it deserved, as well as providing photographers at all levels across Australia with a creative challenge during the impacts of COVID.

“We received an amazing response this year with close to 3,000 entries, a record amount that was up more than 60% on the previous year,” Mr Lock said.

“What’s even more encouraging is that our winners across our major categories are from different states. It really goes to show the depth of talent and creativity in our wonderful country.

“What sets this competition apart is that there are no experience restrictions in place, with special youth categories.”

Mr Lock said this year’s themed category of “Resilience” provided entrants with an outlet to tackle a stimulating challenge during COVID restrictions.

“This year’s theme was quite fitting – we’ve seen devastating drought, horrific bushfires, floods in some parts and now the pandemic.

“The way Australians just keep bouncing back and making the best of unbelievably difficult circumstances makes it particularly relevant in capturing the Aussie spirit in the face of adversity.”

Heritage also introduced a new mobile category, offering a $5,000 prize for the best image taken on a mobile phone or tablet.  A $5,000 prize was also on offer for the CEO’s Choice entry.

“It really goes to show everyone has a unique perspective on the world and the diversity in which it’s captured, whether you use a camera, smartphone or tablet.”

Once again, Heritage has acquired the top four winning entries – Open Category, Themed Category “Resilience”, CEO’s Choice Award and Mobile Phone Category - to become part of its corporate art collection.

The winners of all categories are listed below: 

Open Category:  

Winner: Trung Nguyen, Bateau Bay NSW “Swirling Sky” 
Runner-up: Tony Law, Frenchs Forest NSW “Rock Pool Overflow”
Highly Commended: Sara Barritt, Youngtown TAS “Maia”

Themed Category: “Resilience”: 

Winner: Peter Rossi, Mooroobool QLD “Standing Strong”
Runner-up: Peta Hempsall, Pomona QLD “Together in Isolation”
Highly Commended: Debbie Fenton, Boronia Heights QLD “Mother Nature”

CEO’s Choice:

Guy Draper, Tanunda SA “Sowing After Drought”

Youth Photographer Awards:

9 years and under: Lola Ward, Brunswick VIC “Bamboo Walk”
10-13 years: Sonya Clarke, Beaumont Hills NSW “Sharing” (Winner Mobile Phone Award)
14-17 years: Darcy Schmidt, Kaimkillenbun QLD “Contracts Are Back”

Alwyn Kucks Memorial Award (entrants residing within a 50km radius of Toowoomba):

Peter Granfield, Highfields QLD “Osprey Over Wreck”

The top 50 images can be viewed on the Heritage Bank Photographic Awards page.