2017 Winners Exhibit

Collin Leafasia - Shell Money

1st Prize Winner – Shell Money By Collin Leafasia

About the Photographer:
Collin Leafasia is a university student and amateur photographer based in the Solomon Islands.

“I am an amateur photographer and still have a lot to learn. I only really started taking my passion for photography seriously when I got a DSLR camera, although I had already been taking photographs with less sophisticated cameras before. After posting photos that I had captured on Facebook, I had a few requests to be a wedding photographer at weddings and other small events.” 

About the winning image:
The photograph of a lady  from Malaita Province making shell money tells a story of women in the Solomon Islands. It tells a story of a segment of the population who are the financial backbone of families in Solomon Islands today.  The traditional significance of shell money use in the Solomon Islands, i.e. starting a reconciliation process, correcting a wrong and its purchasing power.  It is worth noting, that the art of making shell money is mostly done by women.

“I think capturing a photograph of a woman making shell money tells a story of the powerful role that women have in our society, although it is quite sad that this role is not always recognised and valued,” he said.

Shell Money is a traditional form of ceremonial currency/payments in some Pacific Island Countries before bank notes were introduced. It is used for ceremonies, settling disputes, and bridal and land payments. A beautiful string of painstakingly carved discs of shell which are strung together with a piece of string.


Hannah James - Bilums

2nd Prize Winner – Bilums by Hannah James

About the Photographer:
Hannah is a self-taught amateur photographer based in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.  She loves capturing images of landscapes and people and has published 17 postcards featuring her images which are sold at hotels and craft markets in PNG.  She also sells many of her images to post crossers worldwide who buy her images for use in publishing.

“I dont know if I should call myself a photographer, as I am still learning how to get good photographs, what category to put my photographs under (e.g landscape shot, portrait shot, etc) what type of program to use to edit my photographs (what i do not like doing) and I believe i have so much to learn yet.”

About the winning image:
“There was something about her (subject of the image) that captivated me, how old and fragile she seemed yet she came all the way to sell her bilums at the main town market.  She had braved the weather with only an old sweater and a flimsy umbrella that offered little protection from the cold showers that day, just hoping that she will sell at least a few bilums to earn some cash among all the other bilum sellers there that day.

It made me wonder what was going through her mind, what she was planning to use the money for, whether she had grown children who supported her, whether she had to sell bilums everyday, if she had a safe place to keep her hard-earned money and was she happy?”



Adi Nacola - Breaking barriers

3rd Prize Winner – Breaking barriers by Adi Nacola 

About the Photographer:
Adi Kautea Nacola is an award winning professional photographer in Fiji whose expertise ranges from photo journalism, weddings, portraits to commercial photography. Her images have featured on multiple international publications and most recently on Oxfam Australia’s website on an article featuring 2016 Cyclone Winston catastrophe.  

Awards: 2016 Sports Photographer – Fiji Sports Council 

About the winning image:
The photograph documents the aftermath of the 2016 Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston and the challenges of rural farmers and fishermen who were forced to search for food, water and shelter.

“Two days after Cyclone Winston, I hit the ground running, knowing that these images would help with sourcing aid for Fiji.  Armed with only my camera and my faithful taxi driver friend (who let me pay him back for the trip later), I covered as much ground until I hit ground zero in Ra. I met this elderly woman on the highway, she broke down in front of me and sobbed that she had lost everything.  An hour later, I was throwing up because I was deeply affected by what I had seen.”


Special Commendations

Taniela Veitata 1       Mother watching over child - Feroz Khalil       Life from the sea - Jomel Bartolome                                      Taniela Veitata (Fiji)                                                                            Feroz Khali (Fiji)                                                             Jomel Bartolome (Fiji)


Helpless Child - Feroz Khalil       Hannah5        DSC_0136                          Feroz Khalil (Fiji)                                                                             Hannah James (PNG)                                                               Zahoor Shah (Fiji)

 Fruits of Labour - Naziah Ali        Taniela Veitata 2      Hannah James 2                                     Naziah Ali ( Fiji)                                                             Taniela Veitata (Fiji)                                                                      Hannah James (PNG)