This Instagram Photo Of Pelicans in Australia Is Worth $5000

This photo of hungry pelicans waiting outside a seafood shop has earned Michelle Black, of Port Macquarie in New South Wales first prize in the inaugural #australianlife Instagram competition.

Her photo was chosen from among 30,000 images in the 14-week competition organised by Tourism Australia and the City of Sydney’s Art & About Sydney Festival, which asked smartphone users to share unique moments of Australian life.

Black won $5000 over four other finalists – Natalie Grono (NSW), Nancy Yonathan (NSW), Dani Green (NSW), Emily MacAlpine (NSW) and Kelly Brooks (WA).

During the competition 10 instagrams tagged #australianlife were selected as semi-finalists each week. The selected images can be seen online at

Art & About creative director, Gill Minervini, said the judging panel was looking for an image that everyone could relate to beyond the usual iconic moments.

“Michelle’s caption on her photo suggesting the local pelicans, the luxury of delicious fresh seafood surrounded by nature, representing happiness and freedom as Australian life, resonated with all of the judges,” Minervini said. “The winning photo also has all the elements that make a great image – light, composition and a moment captured.”

Here are the photos by the other finalists.

The Australian Reptile Park were due to give a presentation at the School I teach at, about the conservation of wildlife, the preservation of Australian ecosystems and the remarkable life of reptiles to our Year 7 Science students says Dani Green. To my absolute shock, when I popped my head into the School Hall at recess – Rosie pictured here, was just casually cruising around the desks still set up from an examination earlier that morning, as the Wildlife Educators were busy unloading more snakes, lizards and tortoises.
Happy Little Campers was taken at a campground in Evans Head on the far North Coast of NSW says Natalie Grono. We had travelled there to meet friends and for our youngest daughter to experience her first camping holiday. As we were setting up camp the children happily played on the back of the old landcruiser, which is when the photo was captured.
Broome is such a multicultural town and amid all the 5- star resorts and expensive pearl showrooms you can see Australia’s first people struggling to hang on to their culture and traditions says Kelly Brooks. This picture represents #AustralianLife in the true form, no pretenses, no egos, no facades – just trying to catch some lunch. Simple. .
I was planning to catch a sunrise from the Red Hill Nature Reserve hill top, but instead what I found was a frosty, foggy morning with many ‘magical moments’ says Nancy Onathan. From a variety of birds, trees and flowers, to a big group of kangaroos, on this morning I fell in love with the place. .

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