Getting kids outside is one of the best things parents can do. The science backs it too.

    Cerise Otimi – Grade 3 Flying Heron. Cherry Lake, Altona

    People who more frequently visited nature reported a more positive well-being and lower rates of mental distress, reported in an international study of 18 countries.

    Photographer, Ruth Schwarzenholz is helping kids in Altona do just that, by starting a local photography competition. She recognised how just tired everyone was from the continuous lockdowns, especially her own daughter 8 year old Kira. As a commercial and local family photographer of twenty-five years in the West, she turned back to her craft and started to take her daughter on adventurous photoshoots, rain or shine. Noticing the shift in her daughter’s mood, the excitement to explore and capture natural wonders 5km from home, this was something all kids could do.

    Ethan Ritcher Grade 1 “The Picture Frame of Nature” Jawbone Conservation Reserve, Williamstown

    Ruth explains, “The idea and theme was to get kids outside with their families and take photos of the tiny insects to the magnificent landscapes we have in our 5km radius around Altona. Opening your eyes to the natural beauty we don’t normally envelope but now can appreciate by being healthy as well.”

    Louis Robinson. Grade 1 Busy Bee Cherry Lake, Altona

    The photo competition is open to all primary school kids in Altona with the competition entries closing midnight, 3rd October. Federal MP for Gellibrand, Tim Watts is sponsoring the prizes; a Fuji Instax (preps to grade 2) and a Canon IXUS 190 (grade 3 to 6).

    Finalists will be selected by 10th October and posted on the competition’s Instagram page @5km_natural_wonders where you can vote by simply commenting on the post.

    Athena Thompson
    Athena Thompson
    Athena Thompson is a professional problem solver by day (business consultant at, and supreme question asker by night. Exploring Melbourne’s west one curiosity at a time.

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