Photo in frame for top award

Jessica Cuthbert Albany Advertiser

Albany-based photographer Karin Calvert has been named a finalist in the national award for disaster resilience.

The photograph is a powerful black-and-white portrait of then 73-year-old State Emergency Service volunteer Bob Jeacocke, who worked on the frontline after the devastation caused by tropical cyclone Marcia on Queensland’s Capricorn Coast in February 2015.

It is one of three finalists in the photography category of the 2016 Resilient Australia Awards.

Sponsored by the Attorney-General’s Department and delivered in conjunction with the States and Territories, the awards recognise people, groups or organisations that demonstrate excellence and innovation in projects that help communities be better prepared and more resilient to disaster.

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Calvert, a freelance photographer with more than 25 years experience, covered tropical cyclone Marcia for Getty Images and marked the first anniversary of its landfall on February 20 with an exhibition of her work.

Her exhibition, Twenty: Cyclone Marcia — Rescue, Resilience, Recovery, features 20 portraits and is on permanent display at the Yeppoon Town Hall.

Calvert said the portraits were of members of the community who were instrumental in the rescue and recovery efforts. “The exhibition acknowledges their resilience through the worst of times and illustrates how their determination to regroup and rebuild is unshakeable,” she said.

“For me, Bob Jeacocke is the face of resilience.”

Calvert said she was thrilled to be a finalist and it gave her the opportunity to highlight the epic efforts and resilience of the people of Livingstone Shire during the cyclone.

“If I happen to win with my photograph it would be a win for the on-the-ground emergency services people who often go unrecognised and unacknowledged,” she said.

Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience director Dr John Bates said the image represented the approach taken by so many Australians when they were faced with disaster.

“Bob Jeacocke has been a member of the SES for more than 40 years and has seen more than his fair share of natural disasters over that period,” he said.

“This image portrays a cheerful and humble ‘can-do’ approach to pitching in and helping a community to rebuild.”

Finalists from across Australia will gather in Melbourne today for the announcement of the winners of the 2016 Resilient Australia Awards in three categories: national (covering community, business and Government); schools; and photography.

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