1st prize awarded to Kristen Walsh from the NSW Riverina town of Gerogery

Life on the land or in the bush – photographic competition winners announced

 Rural Aid has today announced the winners of their inaugural “Spirit of the Bush” photo competition, after evaluating over the 400 entries submitted in just one month.

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters the organisation put the call out for photographers to send through their best visualisation of the “Spirit of the Bush” and they were inundated with entries.

“We wanted to see images, ground level or aerial, of our Aussie farmers and their families and a depiction of what their life is like on the land or in the bush,” John Warlters said.

“As well as giving the world a snapshot of farming life, the land and the bush in Australia, this competition is also a great way of giving greater exposure to rural photographic talent.”

“First place has now been awarded to Kristin Walsh from the NSW Riverina town of Gerogery. So much of the strength of the bush starts with family and a generational love of the land, and we thought this shot was a striking depiction of the theme. Kristin receives gift cards to the value of $500 for her efforts,” Mr Warlters said.

Kristin Walsh is an amateur photographer who took this photo during the NSW Covid lockdown on a second hand DSLR. In fact, it was the first photo she captured on that camera. 

“It is a photo of my son, Finn, and his dad, Kevin. To me it tells a story of love, caring, teaching and guiding the younger generation. It shows an unbreakable bond between the two. It really pulls at my heart strings to look at and I know if our son is half the man of his father, he will be a great man,” the winner said.

2nd prize awarded to Bunderra Cattle Co – an Australian family owned and operated cattle business located in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

“Second place was awarded to Bunderra Cattle Co with their photograph of the ubiquitous wide, flat land that is seen in so much of the Australian landscape, and a silhouette of a family in front of a spectacular sunset. Their prize is gift cards to the value of $250,” Mr Warlters continued.

3rd prize awarded to Trina Patterson of Rolleston, Queensland.

“Third place was a busy mustering shot taken by Trina Patterson of Rolleston, Queensland. The rich brown tones in this scene are synonymous with much of Australian bush life: cattle, horses, dry grass and dust. Trina wins a Rural Aid prize pack to the value of $100.”

Photographer Trina Patterson said her entry was taken as the drought was “sinking its teeth into Queensland”.

“The Burnes family from Quilpie had already been on the road with their cattle for quite some time when I met them on the stock route near Rolleston in Central Queensland.  I captured this image as young Lacey Burnes was helping push the cattle into the night yard, an electric taped area where the cattle would remain safe until daylight the next day.  Both of the kids were helping their parents with the cattle and there were also two other friends helping them out. The kids knew the routine, they knew what to do and they were so practical and resilient and thoughtful.  True little future bush leaders,” Ms Patterson explained.

In running this competition, Rural Aid was looking to give additional exposure to talented photographers across Australia who are also facing challenging times with events and travel impeded by Covid.

“We thank the 400 photographers who sent us their entries. What a joy it was to see the abundance of talent in our rural creative community,” Mr Warlters said.


Media enquiries: 0447 116 757 |

Media spokespersons: Rural Aid CEO John Warlters – 0409 618 641

About Rural Aid

Rural Aid is one of Australia’s largest rural charities. Well known for the highly successful ‘Buy a Bale’ campaign, the charity also provides financial assistance, water and counselling to farmers in times of drought, flood or fire. Other initiatives support its vision that farming and rural communities are safeguarded to ensure their sustainability both during and after these natural disasters. Visit for further information on these programs and other support for our rural communities.

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