In a nod to the beauty of Outback New South Wales, a photograph taken near Lightning Ridge has won the 2023 Christmas Card Photo Competition. The competition, conducted by Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton, featured ‘Sunrise at Kangaroo Hill’ by Lightning Ridge resident Naomi Stone as the winning entry.
“This photo captures the intensity of the sunrises experienced in Outback New South Wales,” said Mr Coulton.
“Ms Stone’s photo includes such eye-catching colour that it immediately got my attention, and I think a sunrise is always a hopeful thing, which is a nice message as well.”
The photo serves as an iconic reminder of the area’s opal industry, highlighting the rocky soil and old structures of Lightning Ridge.
“The rocky soil and old structures featured in this photo are an iconic reminder of the industry out at Lightning Ridge, which is opal country; this is a nod to both the history of the area and how resource-rich the Australian outback is,” Mr Coulton explained.
“My congratulations to Ms Stone for getting up early to take such a wonderful photo!” he added.
Although the competition received fewer entries than last year, the standard of photographs was incredibly high according to the Parkes MP.
“The quality of both the winner and some of the shortlisted photographs in this year’s competition has been outstanding,” praised Mr Coulton.
A total of 14 photographs from ten different photographers made the final cut. Among these were shots of serene gardens in Dubbo, children at play in paddocks in Warren, and fence posts against the horizon.
“Well done to each of these finalists,” Mr Coulton said. The selected photos will feature in a collage on his 2023 Christmas card and a limited print run of full-sized 2024 calendars.
Residents of the Parkes electorate can look forward to receiving Mr Coulton’s annual Christmas card and fridge magnet calendar this December, showcasing all the finalists’ works. Additionally, a limited number of full-sized calendars for 2024 will be made available through Mr Coulton’s offices towards the end of the year.