Aussie kids zoom in on nature

By Beau Gamble 7 November 2013
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An AG-sponsored Landcare photo competition has encouraged kids to get outside and capture nature.

IN A WORLD OF iPad apps, laptops and gaming, Australia’s current generation of whippersnappers is probably devoting less time than ever to the great outdoors.

To inspire our kids to take a stronger interest in Mother Nature, Junior Landcare launched a nation-wide photo competition — sponsored partly by the Australian Geographic Society — asking children to photograph their ‘favourite thing in the garden’.

“The idea is to give kids all these experiences that are fun and exciting, so that they know nature’s not something to be feared,” says Heather Campbell, CEO of Landcare. “It’s something you can go out and embrace and live with.”

Children’s photography

Nearly 600 children sent in photographs from across the country, providing a uniquely child-like perspective on everything from birds and beetles to flowers and furry caterpillars. The photo competition was launched in time to celebrate the establishment of the 1000th garden in schools and communities through the Coles Junior Landcare Program.

“With the photo comp, we really wanted to go back to these schools and say to the kids ‘Capture some of those great moments — whether it’s out in your school garden, or more generally in community gardens — capture that feeling of enthusiasm behind gardening,'” says Heather.

The junior photographers battled it out for best picture in five categories, including Australian Geographic’s Choice — awarded to George Haddad from Keira High School, NSW, for his close-up shot of a spider.

“This photo is of a spider wrapping up a beetle in its silk,” says George. “The garden has various fruits and vegetables planted and sprouting.”

This month, Junior Landcare launched a different competition to challenge young gardeners to grow the biggest watermelon they can. To find out more or get involved, visit