Massive Heritage Bank Photographic Awards prize money boost to $50,000

8 May 2020

A massive prize money boost to $50,000 has made the Heritage Bank Photographic Awards one of the richest as well as longest running in Australia, and thrown out a creative challenge to photographers facing COVID-19 isolation.

The Awards now offer a $15,000 first prize in each of two categories – the Open category, which can be any subject; and the Themed category, which this year is “Resilience”. 

And for the first time ever this year, Heritage has introduced a new mobile category, offering a $5,000 prize for the best image taken on a mobile phone or tablet.  

There is also a $5,000 prize for the CEO’s Choice entry.

This is the 32nd edition of the annual Photographic Awards, and the prize money boost from $7,500 to a total of $50,000 has made it one of the most lucrative in the country.

Heritage CEO Peter Lock said lifting the prize money would help give the competition the profile it deserved, as well as inspire photographers at all levels across Australia.

“The Heritage Bank Photographic Awards has been a renowned competition in Australian photography circles for more than 30 years. They are open to anyone across Australia, so you can take part no matter what level of experience you might have,” he said. 

“The Awards are all about fostering the art of photography and encouraging people to get creative. We’ve taken that a step forward this year by introducing a mobile category, which makes it even more accessible than ever. All you need is a mobile phone and you could be in the running for a share in $50,000. 

“This is a fantastic competition, and lifting the prize money will help give the awards the profile they deserve.”

Mr Lock said this year’s themed category of “Resilience” offered the perfect opportunity for people to unleash their creative talents and tackle a stimulating challenge during COVID restrictions

“What a time we’ve been living through,” Mr Lock said. 

“We’ve had a devastating drought, horrific bushfires, floods in some parts and now the pandemic.

“Through it all we’ve seen the triumph of the human spirit and the way Australians just keep bouncing back and making the best of unbelievably difficult circumstances.

“That’s why the theme of resilience is perfect this year. It’s the ideal chance for you to capture an image showcasing the resilience that typifies the Aussie spirit in the face of adversity.

“Entry is free. Not only is this a great challenge to break up the COVID monotony, it’s also the chance have your creativity recognised and rewarded.

“Whether you use a camera, smartphone or tablet, it provides a platform for you to share your unique perspective on how you see the world.”

Entries are accepted in two categories again this year. 

  • The first is the Open Category, in which the choice of subject is totally up to the photographer. First prize is $15,000
  • The second is the Themed Category “Resilience” - open to the photographer’s interpretation, with first prize of $15,000. The theme lends itself to a variety of interpretations. It could be the landscape springing back to life after rain; an athlete returning after injury; a community responding after tragedy; or someone’s perseverance in the face of adversity.  Put your own twist on the subject – it’s totally up to you. 

The competition is open to Australian residents with no background or experience restrictions in place. 

There are also prizes on offer in three youth categories: 9 years or younger; 10-13; and 14-17.

Entries in this year’s awards close at 5pm AEST on 26 June 2020. The winners will be advised in late July and the top 50 images will go on exhibition at the USQ Arts Gallery in Toowoomba in September 2020.