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Museum of Fire 2022 Art Competition Winner Announced!

At the start of 2022 our team at the Museum of Fire selected “Floods” as the theme of that year’s art competition. In the previous two years the competition had paid tribute to the terrible bushfires of 2019-2020 and more recently the resilience the community showed during the COVID-19 pandemic. These topics all reflect how difficult the last three years have been and while the artworks created by the children could have reflected a very pessimistic or gloomy view of the world around them instead many of the artworks included messages of hope for the future and showed that there is always hope.

(L to R) Museum of Fire CEO Belinda McMartin holding April Kear's artwork, FRNSW Deputy Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell holding Aarav Sharath Akshaya's artwork, SES Commissioner holding Elyssia Christiansen's artwork, Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres holding Stacey Yip's artwork, FRNSW Acting Commissioner Megan Stiffler holding Phoebe Madden's artwork.

When we made the decision for the 2022 competition theme, we were reflecting on the impact of the March 2021 floods on both the Museum and local community. We all hoped that the year ahead would bring with it a much needed break from the trials of the previous years.


Despite all our hope, we jump forward one year to January 2023 and we are once again reflecting on a year that was severely impacted by floods. The Museum was located within a flood evacuation zone which meant that we were forced to close and wait with bated breath until we were able to return to the Museum and assess any damage. Luckily, on each occasion the Museum had minimal damage but that was thanks in large part to the preparation work by the heritage team ahead of each evacuation.


Our team at the Museum have seen firsthand the efforts of the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) and Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) to protect the community and aid in reducing the impact of the floods as well as the important work undertaken in the aftermath of a flood to aid the community in recovery & re-building activities.


Both agencies also play an important role in not just the rescue of individuals during a crisis but they work to promote community awareness around preparation ahead of a crisis and in the aftermath.


The artworks on display in the Museum illustrate these important tasks and represent the hope that comes with seeing a rescue worker approach someone in need. To reflect this element showcased in so many of the children’s works our team have selected the theme of “rescue” for the 2023 competition and we look forward to seeing the creative entries we will receive when entries open in November.


As we enter a new year and look forward to a brighter future, we have much to be thankful for. Despite the hardships of recent years, the Museum is still operating and going stronger than ever. We would like to say a big thank you to all the parents and children who have helped grow the art competition into the success it is today. The winners from last year’s Art Competition have been on display in our main exhibition space this past year and will soon be added to our permanent collection with the artworks from 2020.


The First Place Grand Prize Winner was presented at the conclusion of the ceremony by the Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres with the winner receiving a $200 Museum voucher, an Officeworks art prize, perpetual trophy, and having their artwork become part of the Museum’s permanent collection.


The winner was Stacey Yip (year 6) with her work “Flood Rescue Operation”. In her own words “My drawing illustrates the brave actions of our firefighters in rescuing and evacuating flood victims in NSW.” This was Stacey’s first time entering into our Art Competition, so we are thrilled to be able to display her artwork in our main exhibition space and add it to our permanent collection.

Stacey Yip being presented with her 1st Place Grand Prize Winner alongside the Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres

FRNSW were also represented at the event by Acting Commissioner Megan Stiffler and Deputy Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell. Megan Stiffler presented the FRNSW Commissioner’s Choice Award to the winner Phoebe Madden (Kindergarten) for her work “The Rainbow After the Storm” where she received a FRNSW giftpack from the Museum. Phoebe’s artwork will be displayed in the emergency services academy at Orchard Hills and will also be added to the Museum’s permanent collection. She describes her artwork: “Rainbows show hope after the floods and storms”.


Winner’s List:

First Place

Name: Stacey Yip

Age: Year 6

Work: Flood Rescue Operation

My drawing illustrates the brave actions of our firefighters in rescuing and evacuating flood victims in NSW.


Second Place

Name: Elyssia Christiansen

Age: Year 6

Work: Saving Those Who Are in Critical Danger, Sailing Away

It is heavily raining and storming and all the trees are drenched in water and slowly dying. Houses are drifting away and getting destroyed. People are using boats to travel while waving to SOS helicopters. Eventually, the helicopters save them.


Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner’s Choice Award

Name: Phoebe Madden

Age: Kindergarten

Work: The Rainbow After the Storm

Rainbows show hope after the floods and storms.


People's Choice Award and Heritage Team Award

Name: Aarav Sharath Akshaya

Age: Year 5

Work: Live and Let Others Live! A tree that Stay, Flooding it Away!

Live and let others! We have flood fighters to rescue who is our angel to save our life. It is time to think and change. It helps us to enjoy the moment and ensure we keep the environment for the next generation.


CEO Award

Name: April Kear

Age: Year 4

Work: Destruction

My painting is showing how he flood levels wash away everything in its path and how powerful floods are.


Curator’s Choice Award

Name: Sammy Burkhart

Age: Year 6

Work: Blue Branches

I wanted to paint a tree with leaves of water to represent the flooding and extreme rainfall in NSW this year.


Age Group Highly Commended

Year 6

Name: Sammy Burkhart

Work: Blue Branches

I wanted to paint a tree with leaves of water to represent the flooding and extreme rainfall in NSW this year.


Year 5

Name: Aarav Sharath Akshaya

Work: Live and Let Others Live! A tree that Stay, Flooding it Away!

Live and let others! We have flood fighters to rescue who is our angel to save our life. It is time to think and change. It helps us to enjoy the moment and ensure we keep the environment for the next generation.


Year 3-4

Name: Diya Vinoth Kumar

Work: Flood of Fear

My drawing is about the recovery and rescue of the flood. Our community has gone over times which have been hard for everyone. We lost valuable things from our hands. Now we move on and thank the firefighters, other people who have shown us to be heroes. They are brave, courageous and help us at all times.


Year K-2

Name: Phoebe Madden

Work: The Rainbow After the Storm

Rainbows show hope after the floods and storms.


We look forward to seeing the artworks the children will produce for the art competition next year, so get your creative juices flowing and start preparing!


To get a closer look at the winning artworks and the rest of the shortlisted entries from 2022 click here.

Take a scroll through all of the award winners from the ceremony.

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