A poignant image of a daughter and her elderly mother separated by a window pane, captures a universal experience of COVID-19.
It’s one of a series of striking photos a national photographic competition highlighting life during the pandemic.
Run by the NSW Mid North Coast Local Health District, the theme of the Your Health Link contest is “We’re all in this together, keeping safe and healthy during the pandemic”.
It drew almost 2000 entries from across Australia, including every state and territory.
Margaret Edwards’s image of her twin sister at a window “visiting” their elderly mother during lockdown in Melbourne won the mobile category.
“It was very hard because she had trouble hearing and it was very hard for her to hear us and talk to her meaningfully.
“The message I am trying to convey is, we are all in it together during the pandemic and we are all trying to support each other.”
Life turned upside down
Lucia Staykov, from Adelaide, said the pandemic had turned her family’s world on its head.
She won the competition’s open category with a quirky image titled “My family self-portrait in lockdown”.
“I took this photo when Adelaide was in a strict three-day lockdown,” she said.
“We didn’t mind spending time with each other even though COVID has turned our world upside down.”
‘Reconnect and rebuild’
Wollongong’s Toby Schuback received the high school winner’s trophy for “Suffero”, showing a man and woman about to share a meal.
“I never dreamed that I would win any photo competition,” he said.
He said the pandemic posed challenges for his family, but things had now improved greatly.
“My mum was a casual teacher and she didn’t have any work because everything was online,” he said.
“We are better than ever [now] really, everything is going just fine.”
The primary school award went to Sonya Clarke, from Sydney, for her photograph “Isolate together, family matters”.
The competition also included a people’s choice award via the Your Health Link Facebook page.
Aurelia Susilo from Wollongong won that category with her image “The virtue of togetherness”.
Many of the images reflected the way families had adapted and maintained connections during lockdowns.
Amy Strobach, from Stanthorpe, Queensland, placed third in the mobile category for her touching image “Papa keeps up the routine from the other side of the world”.
Competition organiser and Your Health Link Program Manager, Carolyn Guichard said the submitted photos were outstanding.
“The judges were impressed with the unique and creative images that showed how the world has changed due to the global pandemic, and ways we’ve adapted,” she said.
“We received a range of entries and a broad range of themes…some of them very funny, some depicting isolation, physical activity, working from home and people’s experiences in regard to their mental health during this period.
Judge Toni Fuller said the best images stood out for the right reasons: “Including an emphasis on love, consideration and caring for one another,” she said.
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