Locals capture essence of South West living

The South West Development Commission has revealed the winning snaps which feature in the 2019 This South West Life calendar, with one Margaret River moment selected as this year’s Chairman’s Choice. 

A total of 26 winning entries from the commission’s popular annual photography competition are printed in the free wall calendar as a way of promoting the the South West region.

Commission chairman Nick Belyea hand-picked a photo by Margaret River’s Fran Gronow of her two children, Charlotte and Darcy, to receive the top honour. 

“It came as a real surprise, I’d entered the photo and sort of forgot about it for a while,” said Gronow.

“It wasn’t a posed photo at all, we were just out walking one winter’s day, we stopped and Darcy put his arm around Charlotte. It was really cute,” she said of the image captured on the banks of the river on the Rails to Trails near Carters Road. 

It wasn’t a posed photo at all, we were just out walking one winter’s day, we stopped and Darcy put his arm around Charlotte...

Fran Gronow

“I’ve been taking photos since my teenage years, and I always remember my dad walking around with a camera taking photos, which definitely inspired me to do the same.”

Mr Belyea said the photo captured the essence of childhood in the South West.

“It shows kids in the natural environment, ready to play and have fun, in the beautiful South West and could be at any river or tributary in the region,” Mr Belyea said.

Commission acting chief executive Rebecca Ball selected a photo by Dunsborough’s Therese Sayers that captured the stunningly clear and sparkling waters of the South West.

Margaret River’s Sean Blocksidge and Bunbury local Mick Rowlands both have the distinction of each having two images printed in the calendar.

Blocksidge’s photographs of uniquely South West moments, often centering on native flora and fauna, have garnered fans and followers from across the globe. 

Margaret River photographer Daniela Tommasi was also selected for the 2019 calendar, while Donna Wolter received a runner up commendation for her submission. 

The calendar is available at selected visitor centres while stocks last. To arrange to have one posted to you, email info@swdc.wa.gov.au.