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New $25K regional photo contest open for entries

Regional and remote Australian Photographers are invited to enter the inaugural Galah Regional Photography Prize, which has a $25K cash top prize.

The Galah Regional Photography Prize aims to ‘celebrate and preserve’ photography from the bush, and will be judged by award-winning photographer, Tamara Dean, as well as Tweed Regional Gallery director, Susi Muddiman.

The Prize is operated by the independent regional Australia print publication, Galah Magazine, founded by editor and photographer, Annabelle Hickson, who abandoned the city life for a pecan farm in the Dumaresq Valley.

‘So much talent exists outside of the major cities and, contrary to the narrative of decline and disadvantage out in the regions, there’s a lot of good stuff going on out here,’ Hickson said. ‘This prize is all about showcasing that excellence. My dream is, over time, to grow this prize into a prestigious annual event that can have a big impact on the careers of photographers living in regional Australia.

Part of Galah Magazine‘s purpose, including with the prize, is to elevate and celebrate rural artists.

‘We are one of the most urbanised countries in the world and a lot of us don’t have a direct link with rural and regional Australia, but stories can act as a bridge. And the more stories we have, the fewer stereotypes we need to rely on,’ she said. ‘Nothing is more powerful than word of mouth. If you know someone who takes photos that are beautiful or have something to say, tell them to enter.

‘We want to see what you see. Or what you think is important. It can be completely abstract, or something literal. The most important thing is that it is your perspective.’

The contest is exclusive to regional Australians, which the Department of Home Affairs designates based on post codes. Click here to find out if you qualify.

Dean notes how regional Australians can find themselves feeling isolated, particularly in connection to the contemporary art world.

‘Having said that, away from the distractions of urban life, the isolation and regional environment can also allow for immense creative inspiration and productivity.’

The judging panel will select 40 finalist images across two categories: Open and Student (Year 11 and 12). This will be printed into an exhibition. Each finalist have the option to sell five prints, with the price set at the entrant’s discretion, and the Prize taking a 30 percent cut. The Terms and Conditions states finalists must also deliver a print of their image to the Arts Precinct, Murwillumbah.

Entry is $33 per submission. Open until midnight, August 14, 2023. Click here for more info.


  1. Phil Bodel Phil Bodel October 10, 2023

    Requiring images to be framed and delivered to Tweed Heads rules out a significant number of regional photographers. If you were really trying to “celebrate and preserve photography from the bush” you’d make the competition more accessible by allowing unframed entries.

  2. Ozzy Unsworth Ozzy Unsworth October 28, 2023

    As a regional Western Australian it would certainly help to be able to submit digital images. Alternately if you really want prints GEM camera club in Western Australia accepts only digital images for it’s Spring in the Hills comp. If your image is shortlisted then the images are printed and mounted locally and the photographer submitting the image pays for the print.

  3. Ben Ben November 17, 2023

    Phil & Ozzy, I just read the T&Cs and you do actually enter digital images. The 40 that are selected as finalists are then asked to send prints – which can be framed or unframed. You could easily ship framed/unframed prints from many printers directly to the gallery.

    It’s great to see such generous prize money being offered, and the opportunity for regional photographers!

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