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Clever Photos Inspired by Passion For Change Win Judges

Published: 26 Oct 2016

A passionate desire to see a sustainable and ethical global fashion industry was the inspiration for CIT graduate Lydia Downe's winning entry in the UN Information Centre (UNIC)-Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) 2016 Photographic Competition.

Lydia’s win was announced tonight at the official opening of an exhibition of CIT student’s entries selected as competition finalists hosted by the CSIRO Discovery Centre in Canberra. As the major prize winner Lydia will head to Fiji to work with UN women as an intern.

2016 is the seventh year UNIC and CIT have collaborated to inspire excellence and provide CIT photography students with a chance to win an internship with a UN organisation or an Australian national cultural institution.

The 2016 competition honors the Year of Living Sustainably celebrating 193 countries, including Australia, agreeing to implement the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) one year ago.

Lydia chose SDG 12: 'Responsible Consumption and Production' as the theme for her clever series of photographs. One highlights the stark contrast between the fashion industry's glamourous ideals and the ugly results of consumerism. A second photograph offers a positive response to the industry's exploitative work practices and environmental effects. A third photograph powerfully exposes the industry's human cost by recalling the 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh.

"This year was both challenging and rewarding due to the many topics within the main theme of sustainable development. It resulted in a wide variety of work and ideas" CIT Technology and Design Director Fiona Dace-Lynn said. "The judges felt Lydia gave considerable thought to how best to address the topic, each photograph was strong conceptually and technically and they formed a strong cohesive group. She conducted considerable research and wrote in some depth about how she constructed each photograph."

"All the students are to be congratulated for their creativity in articulating their views on sustainability. Their powerful images show us that we can all be engaged in the transition to a more sustainable world," Christopher Woodthorpe, UNIC Director said.

Three other finalists also won internships with CIT partners: Jessica Charley won an internship with the National Gallery of Australia; Alec Morris with CSIRO; and Ari Rexhepaj with the Australian War Memorial.

Copies of wining photos are available on request strictly embargoed till 6pm Oct 26, 2016


Media enquiries:
Deborah Nesbitt, phone (02) 6207 8218 or 0402 398 612, or email deborah.nesbitt@cit.edu.au.

Course enquiries:
Canberra Institute of Technology, phone (02) 6207 3188 or email infoline@cit.edu.au