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Local photographers snap up prize in Buloke woodland competition

THE Buloke woodlands in the Mallee photo competition flourished with entries from right across the Mallee region and the winners have now been announced.

Local photographers snap up prize in Buloke woodland competition

Mallee CMA Chairperson Sharyon Peart and Board Member John Arnold present Lindsay Cupper with a prize for his entry in the fauna section of the competition. Photo: Mallee CMA.

Local communities were invited by the Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA)
to submit entries to the photo competition and try their luck at snapping up a prize.

The competition aimed to raise awareness of Buloke woodlands in the Mallee region,
which are listed as endangered under the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act 1999.

The woodlands are characterised by the Buloke, a distinctive tree belonging to the Sheoak
family that has long, wiry branchlets instead of leaves. Other trees that grow among
the Bulokes include Slender Cypress-pine, Belah and Sugarwood. Eucalypts are not
common in these woodlands.

The competition attracted 116 entries among the five categories: landscape; flora; fauna;
our impact and junior (for entrants younger than 18).

Mallee CMA Board Chairperson Sharyon Peart said the competition was a unique way to
highlight the significance of the woodlands in the Mallee to local communities.

“We had an overwhelming response to this competition and it was fantastic to see local
talent of all ages capturing the beauty of our local environment,” she said.

“Buloke woodlands were once widespread, but have been extensively cleared in the past.
They were also harvested for fence posts and building materials, as Ouyen resident Kevin
neatly captured in his winning photo ‘Stumped’,”

“It’s always great to see the wider communities taking an interest in the work we do and
it’s such a pleasure to recognise the local talent we have and present them with a prize
for their work,” she said.

Fiona Murdoch of Colignan won the flora category with her close-up of the vibrant Silky
Swainson-pea, while Koorlong resident Lindsay Cupper won the fauna section. Mr Cupper
perched atop a portable 20 metre wind-up tower to photograph a Peregrine Falcon
feeding its chicks in the nest. Mr Cupper is a renowned cinematographer, who helped film
the acclaimed documentary Australia - Land of Parrots.

There were also many entrants in the junior category. Tyrrell College at Sea Lake
incorporated the competition into its year 8 photography class, who jumped in a bus and
spent an afternoon driving around photographing Buloke woodlands. The winning student,
Ella Barry from Culgoa was thrilled to receive the prize for her photo ‘Gateway to the

The judging panel included Mallee CMA staff members along with Mallee CMA Board
Member John Arnold, and Chairperson Ms. Peart awarded the winners of each category
with a $500 gift voucher.

The main threat to Buloke woodlands is now rabbits, kangaroos and stock, which graze on
seedlings and stop trees from regenerating.

The Mallee CMA offers a range of incentives for Land managers who have Buloke
woodlands on their property, to help control pests in these areas and fence them off from
stock to give Bulokes and other native species the chance to regenerate and recover.

Winning photos:

‘Grand Tree’ - winner of the landscape section. Photo: Kevin Emmett, Ouyen.

‘Silky Swainson-pea’ - winner of the flora section. Photo: Fiona Murdoch, Colignan.

‘Peregrine Falcon’ - winner of the fauna section. Photo: Lindsay Cupper, Koorlong.

‘Stumped’ - winner of the our impact section. Photo: Kevin Emmett, Ouyen.

‘Gateway to the Mallee’ - winner of the junior section. Photo: Ella Barry, Culgoa.

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