Self-portrait a winner for local dad

This gorgeous photograph of Lismore father Luke Going and his daughter Chia was selected from more than 100 entries as the winner of the 2006 Thanks Dad National Photo Competitions open section.

The award is particularly special for Luke as he is an aspiring photo journalist and took the photo one afternoon while mucking around at home with his self-timer.

I was trying to capture the timelessness of our eternal bond, said Luke. Being a father has opened my heart to the sacredness of all life. Never before have I experienced such a strong primal feeling to protect and lovingly give all of myself for the purpose of Chia feeling that her heart is safe and full.

Luke would now like to embark on an overseas adventure, taking photos and telling stories of the people he meets as he travels the globe.

I want to explore the world and its people and I wish to take my family with me to open their minds to the colours and contrasts of the world at large, Luke said. I want to meet and photograph people in their natural environment and document the interrelated similarities we all share. Because no matter where we come from, our essence is from the same source.

The Thanks Dad National Photo Competition, auspiced by Community Connections North Coast, celebrates relationships between fathers or male carers and their children. According to co-ordinator Kay Knights, Lukes photo reflected the spirit of that concept.

Theres a real spontaneous happiness in the photo, Kay said. Its a moment of shared joy that was captured beautifully. Its just one of many gorgeous moments between men and children that are being celebrated and we urge people to come and see the exhibition while its on show around the region.

The exhibition is on display at the Lismore Neighbourhood Centre until next Tuesday, September 26. It will then be on show at Ballina Fair from September 28-30 and at Lismore Shopping Square from October 11-14.

Entry forms for the 2007 competition will be available at these venues or visit

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