No matter what happened in the past- today is one for us in this great country to look forward to the future. Recent events in Melbourne, where Cooks cottage was vandalized was not a protest, but an act of just that; vandalism. We, as a country have to be much to be proud, and not to be constantly ridiculed and condemned for the past. Today, we are responsible global citizens, taking action to save the environment and helping looking after those less fortunate than ourselves. Our aid and money is made available whenever there is disaster in all parts of the globe whether it be earth quakes, floods, fire or famine. At home we strive to live in harmony with all those around us, and work for the betterment of our society as a whole. You are Australian no matter whether you were born here or have adopted the country, so be proud of it and wave the flag with pride.
CATCH THE CELEBRATIONS ON CAMERA.
Although not an official CAMERA CHALLENGE, its just as important to have your camera at the ready and capture those memories for your album of family history.
HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY – 2014.
For the second time in only several years bushfires are throwing their unrelenting destructive power on the Grampians areas of Victoria’s south west. The bushland beauty is feeling the treacherous impact of ferocious leaping flames. The skies are full of burning embers, and ash with the sun being blotted out by choking smoke that puts an orange veil over its blistering light. Halls Gap, Pomonal and Dunkeld are all feeling the impact with one life claimed at a small place called Rosies Gap. Each of these areas have schools where the FOCUS FORCE FOTO WORKSHOPS have been held. All Victorians, and Australians together feel for their plight, as we do for all others in the same position including those in the Gippsland region through this treacherous period.
A gumtree, surrounded by garland of wildflowers not far from the gates of Halls Gap primary school waits for the treacherous flames to potentially engulf the tiny tourist town in the heart of the Grampians. A mecca for holiday makers and visitors, the scene is subdued and quiet as they and all except for firefighters and a handful of local residents remain in a valiant attempt to beat the onslaught. Our thoughts and support are with them offering what help we can.
Wildflowers like this abound in the area of Pomonal as they do all parts of the Grampians attracting people from all over to visit the many beauty spots of the district. The small place with no more than the school with just on 30 students and the local store is a centre of community spirit. At this time, they will need all they can muster to beat the wrath of the flames. Although we know in the long run the spirit and courage will win through.
DUNKELD’s Mount Abrupt stands tall in this image overlooking the landscape. The protection and relief water brings all year to all of us, but especially to those on the land, and even more so during these trying times.
SPARE A THOUGHT FOR THE FIREFIGHTERS. On the days where the mercury soars we all head for the comfort of the aircon and the coolness of the water. These brave men and women put that all behind them and think only of the others whose property and lives they fight to protect. They have a task that puts their lives at risk to save others. We are indebted to them and their selfless courage as they spend hours at the firefront going without sleep and regular meals during their tour of duty. Many of them have travelled many k’s from their own homes and families leaving them sometimes in harms way
The images portrayed here captured by Kids With Cameras as part of FOCUS FORCE FOTO WORKSHOPS show the splendour of the flowers of the mountain range and surrounding plains. Flowers that capture the beauty in all their glory. Much of it at this time ravaged by natures elements, but like times before they will return with their own vibrance, bringing new life to the environment.
RELIEF & RELIEVED. All of this happened in the latter part of last week as the state sweltered in the tortuous heat. With a sigh of relief in the early hours of Friday afternoon the winds in the area swung to a cool south easterly. Arriving they originally expected it brought refreshing relief and revived hope to all those in the battle. It turned the fortunes to all those and saved both Halls Gap and Pomonal. The locals began returning later that day, and for many the clean up would have begun, and the opportunity to get back to their lives, although it will be some time before that’s to normal.
A quandry for the JAS AWARD was resolved by creating a new category for this year. Chelsea Kincade became involved as a FOCUS FORCE Kids With Camera by association at the MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FLOWER & GARDEN SHOW. Taking part in the project there led who in subsequent Camera Challenges throughout the year that saw take out the prize on several occasions. This led to another problem that was resolved by the making of the ASSOCIATE PARTICIPANT. This will in 2014 include any Kids With Cameras who take part, but don’t participate in a FOTO WORKSHOP program to hone their skills according to the FOCUS FORCE conditions. This will be the first stage in establishing this category, and will eventually be the differation between formal FOCUS FORCE Kids With Cameras and those operating outside the program. It will also help in providing an avenue for all Kids With Cameras to take part in projects at all levels. The JAS AWARD after a long time in the melting pot was first introduced in 2013. It recognizes the dedication and commitment to tasks presented by FOCUS FORCE to Kids With Cameras. Chelsea showed this dedication throughout the year and followed through in a number of Camera Challenges. She added to her titles a number of prizes at the Whittlesea Show. To this she added images that she took on her own family cameras while on trips. Chelsea is a true enthusiast always having a camera within reach, never being caught out with the old line “I wish I had my camera” She took her invitations responsibly and with enthusiasm.
Now Chelsea will return to where it all started for her at the 2014 MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FLOWER & GARDEN SHOW where she will proudly see her SUPER SHOT choices exhibited there. Her JAS AWARD CERTIFICATE will be presented there.
Above. Image shows a framed boat through the wire from the bridge over the Yarra river at Fairfield park and boathouse.