It's amazing how Southern Africans ‘pop' up in the most unexpected places in Australia. I recently met a Zimbabwean while shopping for an appliance, was helped by an Afrikaans South African in my local library, and then I received an email asking Sabona to publicise a competition run by a not-for-profit organisation Community Connections based in Lismore, Northern New South Wales, and subsequently discovered the program co-ordinator, Kay Knights is (yep, you've guessed it) originally from South Africa.
Kay relocated to Australia in 1983 and recently discovered Sabona in her accountant's office. And to add to the South African connection, Kay sent the above photo together with a write-up by Hannah Buss. Hannah submitted the photo and information as an entry in the Thanks Dad Photo Competition organised by Community Connections. The competition aims to thank men for spending positive times with children and to encourage them to do more. Entrants are asked to submit pictures that have captured a special moment between a child and a special man in their lives. It could be the child's dad, granddad, uncle, foster dad, sports coach, or even older brother.
Hannah is photographed with her dad, a wildlife vet in the Kruger National Park, and her brother Sean. She writes: “Also there on that day was my aunty, uncle and cousins who live in Australia and go to visit my dad and other relatives in South Africa sometimes. We sat or lay down and ate chips and drank soft drink, just like a normal picnic, except for the fact that a wild animal could come out of the bushes or behind a tree at any time. My aunty was so scared that she didn't sit down for one minute and she spent the whole time looking through her binoculars for animals that could hurt us. It felt nice to be with some of my family in such
an unusual place.”
All entries to the competition go onto a website and become part of the National Thanks Dad Exhibition for 2010 that will tour the country. Last year about 550 photographs were exhibited in libraries, shopping centres, schools and at conferences, around the country. Community Connections hopes that the enjoyment that people get from viewing the photographs encourages men to spend quality time with their children.
Winning photographs, which are judged on how they capture the special moment between the child and the man his or her life, are chosen from 11 categories. A total of $1,200 in cash prizes are given out.
Entry forms can be downloaded from www.thanksdadphotos.org.au or phone Community Connections on 02 6622 3143. Entries can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Thanks Dad, PO Box 1005, Lismore, 2480. The competition closes on August 25, 2009. Entry is free for those who cannot afford to pay, but a supporter's contribution is appreciated by Community Connections.