Photo competition drives local pride

Article image - Photo competition drives  local pride The People’s Choice Award was Noel Waterman’s picture of Stanley Kalkeeyorta.

Residents of Aurukun Shire Council in Queensland have celebrated the people and places they most love about their region.

Aurukun’s characters and spectacular skies were among the most popular entries in the ‘Why I Love Aurukun’ photo competition, which attracted 138 entries and enormous social media attention.

Aurukun Shire Council Mayor Dereck Walpo said the competition was so successful that the Council would run it again next year.

Numerous categories were awarded, including, favourite ‘Aurukun Character’, ‘Favourite Activity’ and ‘Aurukun at Work’.

Noel Waterman’s picture of Stanley Kalkeeyorta was the overwhelming People’s Choice winner with a whopping 7696 votes.

“The image of the Aurukun spear-maker has been a favourite on Facebook and many have asked about the scars on his chest,” said the Mayor.

While initiation ceremonies were once a part of Aurukun’s culture, Councillor Doris Poonkameyla said this tradition had not been practised since the missionary time and her cousin Stanley’s scars were from heart surgery.

“Stanley is Putch Clan from Kendall River Outstation, but he grew up in Aurukun. His father James taught him to make spears which local people use to hunt crabs, stingrays and fish in the river,” she said.

The competition was sponsored by Aurukun Shire Council, Skytrans, Black Star Radio and Aak Puul Ngantam (APN).