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Photography a developing passion for comp winner


Jessica Huxley
22 June 2017

Jasmine Hollins was already thrilled about her upcoming student exchange to North Carolina in the US, and winning the 2017 Southern Cross University Engineering Photo Competition has made it even better.

Her stunning image ‘Looking Up’ of the Melbourne Central Station, which looks skyward from the clock tower above the shopping centre, has won the final-year visual arts and education student a camera from Lismore Camera House.

“I was in Melbourne visiting my family when I took the photo and I never thought it would end up winning me a new camera,” said Jasmine.

“Melbourne was where I got my creative passion in the beginning. I’m one of the more creative souls in family and I think my unique creativity is a gift which called out for me to explore and devote time to it.

“Now I have a really strong passion to work with youth and I feel that I am naturally a teacher and I want to empower young people and help foster creativity within them too.

“I also want to re-learn some of my darkroom skills and keep that tradition with film camera alive in schools today.”

In one week the Lennox Head local will have completed her final placement at Ballina Coast High School as a visual arts teacher and will pack her bags to spend six months in the United States studying at Appalachian State University, a longstanding partner institution with Southern Cross University. Jasmine’s exchange was facilitated through SCU International.

“For me, photography is a developing passion, even though I’ve been clicking photos since I was 10 years old. I spent quite a lot of time collating all my photos last summer, and released a portfolio online,” she said.

“I’ll be studying a photography unit in North Carolina and travelling while I’m there so it is perfect getting this gift two weeks before I leave.”

As for how she found out about the competition?

“It pays to read all your student emails,” she laughed.

“I had only taken the photo a very short while beforehand, and came to mind when I saw the ad.”

Jasmine is also on the verge of releasing her first poetry book, ‘Treasure or Thieves’. A copy, fresh off the press, arrived just minutes after receiving the phone call to advise she’d won the engineering photo competition.

She said she couldn’t believe her good fortune, and hopes it also means success for the launch of the book in the USA, Canada and Australia. See Jasmine’s portfolio online at

Congratulations to the other Engineering Photo Competition winners:

• Highly Commended: Leah Vaughan with ‘Bridge and Music’

• Commended: Alex Kachel with ‘Stepping Stones’

Professor of Engineering Scott Smith from the School of Environment, Science and Engineering said this year the judges were looking for entries that captured an artistic aspect or displayed an element of intrigue, originality or a striking engineering observation in keeping with the 2017 theme ‘Beautiful Engineering’.

“Getting it down to these three entrants took a bit of consideration, but a great result,” he said.

“We would like to thank the judging committee once again for attending and being part of the competition.”

These winning photographs and another nine entries will be selected for inclusion in the 2018 Southern Cross University Engineering Calendar.