Picture perfect result for Aurora Photo Contest

Judges have been dazzled by the quality of entrants to the inaugural Flinders Aurora Photo Contest.

The winner and finalists, from public, private and independent schools, were selected through a blind judging process.

The judging panel of eight (from subjects across STEM) was so impressed they decided to award three commendations in addition to the five runners up.

The awards ceremony received tremendous support from parents and teachers and has been watched by more 1,000 people on Facebook.

Chris Picton, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer and Member for Kaurna, presented the award to the winner, Erica van der Wolff, while a teacher from the winning school (Morialta High School), Jason Schutt, was awarded (1X $500 prize) Professor John Beynon, Executive Dean of Flinders’ Faculty of Science & Engineering.

Commendation prizes were presented by Dr Maria Parappilly, while runners-up prizes were presented by competition sponsors and representatives such as Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) Honorary Treasurer Dr Judith Pollard; AIP-SA Chair Professor Gunther Andersson; Flinders’ Associate Professor Briony Forbes; and Dean of Flinders’ School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Professor Joe Shapter.

“We were very pleased with the fact that 77% of contest entrants listed a STEM subject as their favourite, which includes Chemistry and Physics, said Dr Parapilly.

“One of the highlights of this Wednesday’s event was the attendance of a year 4 student, Gracie and her friend Jamie from Hahndorf primary school.

“Although she is young she has an exceptional passion for science, chemistry in particular as per her teacher.

“We are just helping to keep this passion alive in Gracie and trying to find a ‘mentor’ who would be able to answer her questions.”



Overall winner
Name School Photograph title
Erica van der Wolff Morialta High School Wine Glass
Name School Photograph name
Polly Ashby Sacred Heart College Human Concepts
Emma Samie Norwood Morialta High School A Small World
Eleanor Larwood St Dominics Priory College Butterfly Business
Emily Pavia Kildare College Kingship of the cells
Clianta Bhasme Emmaus Christian College Light Trails
Name School Photograph name
Sarah Ridgway St Ignatius College Space Exploration
Bethanie Psaroulis Nazareth Catholic College A Single Step
Grace Lo BassoTo Unley High School Infinity and Beyond

Where competition entrants came from

  • 33% from public schools
  • 55% from catholic schools
  • 11% from independent schools
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