A King’s College student’s art depicting the shift from negativity to positivity in dealing with alcohol and drug addiction has won top prize in this year’s WRAD Art in School competition.

Year 10 student Michaela Rhyne’s `Through the Eye of the Beholder’ was judged the winner of the $500 first prize.

Second prize was won by Brauer College student Kobi Bidmade for `The Devil Inside’ and third place went to Warrnambool College student Finn Stratford for `Stairway to Heaven’.

Encouragement awards were presented to Judah Greene, Ava Gleeson, Emma Vestey and Iesha Kenna from Kings college and Brauer College students Dylan Williams and Jessica Hughes.

A special encouragement award chosen by the art show committee and volunteers went to Raven Gillespie-Scarce from Timboon P12.

The people’s choice award and the WRAD staff awards were both won by Dylan Williams and Jessica Hughes.

Michaela said the black portion of the face in her art represents the negative perspective of the victim.

“They find it hard to see the brighter side which ends up making it harder to break away from this stage,” she said.

“As the black mask begins to crumble away, they begin to see more clearly, they see the support they have and the mask continues to fall away. The use of the black shade represents the negativity while the colour gold represents the positivity and protection.

“The three figures are symbolic of the community that helped through the recovery process.”

The eighth annual WRAD Art in Schools competition and exhibition is highlighting the role the community can play in helping people recover from alcohol and drug addiction.

Nearly 50 students from five local schools submitted entries for the competition.

Art show organiser and WRAD Sliding Doors non-residential rehabilitation coordinator, Angela Alexander, said the competition aimed to encourage young people to talk about recovery and how to make it sustainable in the community.

Ms Alexander said there was an impressive range of art, and the students had shown great insight when thinking about the issues.

The Department of Health and Human Services supports the event.

The winner of the seventh annual WRAD Art in Schools competition has encouraged people to speak about their problems.

Brauer College year 10 student Zoe Murphy’s `Speak before your mind explodes’ took out the top prize and $500 when the competition winners were announced tonight.

Zoe said she created the artwork to show how important it is to talk about what’s going on in your head.

“You should never be afraid to talk about your problems,” she said. “If you keep all your problems and negative thoughts to yourself you might just explode and fragment into something disastrous.”

Second place went to Brauer College year 12 student Angelique Van Antwerpen with `Do Not Cry’ and third to Warrnambool College year 10 student Cassie Byron with `Forest of the Mind’.

Encouragement awards were presented to Alexandria Keen from Warrnambool College, Molly McCarthy of Brauer College, Kristy Parsons of Camperdown College, Jasmin Garcia of Timboon P12 School, and Miles Anderson of Kings College.

The People’s Choice Award was won by Jasmine Garcia’s Puzzled.

WRAD staff chose Kristy Parsons’ Helping Hand as their favourite artwork.

The top three placings were selected by an independent judging panel of art experts and the encouragement awards were chosen by the art show committee.

The art show will be open until June 29 at Southern Grampians Adult Education (formerly SEAL) 91 Hyland Street Warrnambool.

This year’s theme is ` Lookout: Let’s Make a Difference’.

Art show organiser and WRAD Sliding Doors non-residential rehabilitation coordinator, Angela Alexander, said the theme encouraged everyone to look out for each other and be aware of the important role we all play in healthy positive communities. “We are reminded that recovery is everyone’s business and there is real healing power in human connection,” Ms Alexander said.

There were 65 art works submitted from students at Kings College, Timboon P12, Camperdown College, Brauer College and Warrnambool College.

The Department of Health and Human Services is supporting the event.


Brauer College Year 10 student Zoe Edwards’ `Tears of Hope’ has taken out first prize from a record 90 entrants in the 2017 WRAD Art in Schools competition.

Judges said the entry provided a powerful response to this year’s theme with a visually striking image and thought provoking, reflective artists statement.

Zoe photographed herself in a pose that reflects sadness and hope and added coloured tears to the image.

Zoe said she was inspired by witnessing troubled teenagers and the challenges they face in their lives.

“I wanted to convey that there is always hope for you and it’s okay to express your emotions,” she said.

“You can leave your dark past behind and have a bright and colourful future.”

Tears of Hope also won the people’s choice award.

Second prize went to Timboon P-12 college student Shelby Gristede for an artwork using symbols to reflect hope, community and connectedness.

Third place went to Brauer College student Zara Young for an artwork showing mental health doesn’t just affect those diagnosed but also the people surrounding them.

Encouragement awards were won by Lily Hose of Mercy Regional College, Kirralie Lumsden of Emmanuel College, Sarah Delwig of Camperdown College, Luke Lane of Emmanuel College and Ariana Silver of King’s College.
WRAD staff choice was shared by Jessica Treble of Timboon P12 and Ebony Taylor of Brauer College.

The winners shared more than $1000 in prizes.

Students from Camperdown College, Emmanuel College, Mercy Regional College, Brauer College, Timboon P12 and Kings College entered the competition.

The 90 entries will be exhibited at the Outlaw Gallery at the former Fletcher Jones building throughout June.

This year’s theme was `The Big Picture of Recovery- a Kaleidoscope of Caring’ in which every student, teacher and school participating comes together to build a bright and beautiful ‘big picture’ of substance misuse recovery –for individuals, families and community.

The competition has a focus on the dual diagnosis of substance use and mental health issues.

A record 90 entries were received this year in the 6th Annual WRAD Art in Schools Competition.
Six schools took part – with grateful thanks for the enthusiastic involvement of Brauer, Emmanuel, King’s, Mercy Regional, Camperdown and Timboon.

We acknowledge the significant time and effort that Art Teachers devote to supporting the WRAD Art in Schools competition. We extend thanks for this hard work- from facilitating class discussions so students explore themes in creative & original ways, to ensuring art work is well presented and completed to deadline.

Opening of the month long gallery show and awards night on 1st of June at the Outlaw Gallery was very well attended with 111 people counted through the doors.
11 prizes were presented, as this year the WRAD Staff Choice award was shared between two artists due to a dead heat in votes from staff.

The WRAD Art in Schools competition is a unique show as it allows students to explore difficult and challenging topics within the facilitated environment of the classroom. It raises awareness of addiction and mental health and helps to break down stigma and barriers which helps to improve pathways to services, support and recovery

Planning is already underway for 2018 WRAD Art in Schools and consultation has begun with stakeholders.
Prize awarded Student Name School
First Prize $500 Zoe Edwards Brauer College

Second Prize $250 Shelby Gristede Timboon P12 School

Third Prize $100 Zara Young Brauer College

Wrad Staff choice joint winner $50 Jessica Treble Timboon P12 School
Wrad staff choice joint winner $50 Ebony Taylor Brauer College
Peoples choice $100 Zoe Edwards Brauer College

Encouragement Award $25 Art Supplies Voucher Ariana Silver King’s College
Encouragement Award $25 Art Supplies Voucher Sarah Delwig Camperdown College
Encouragement Award $25 Art Supplies Voucher Kirralie Lumsden Emmanuel College
Encouragement Award $25 Art Supplies Voucher Lilly Hose Mercy Regional College
Encouragement Award $25 Art Supplies Voucher Luke Lane Emmanuel College

2016 award winner Mercy Regional College student Sarah van der Schans
2016 - sarah winner

An artwork that puts recovery from alcohol and other drug addictions into focus has won a major regional award.

Mercy Regional College student Sarah van der Schans’ `Finding Focus’ has won first prize in the annual WRAD Art in Schools competition, now on display at the Outlaw Gallery in Warrnambool.

The artwork was described by judges as an aesthetically striking piece that took a unique approach to the theme, ‘Optimism the key to recovery.’

Ms van der Schans said that in creating the artwork she tried to symbolise that even if stuck in the bottle, it is always possible to find a way out.

“The act of focusing on what is outside the bottle depicts optimism, which is the key to recovery from addictions,” she said.

“It is the first step to breaking out of the bottle and finding the path to a new beginning.”

Second prize was won by Ahliya Harris from Timboon P12 with, A Sanguine Life and third prize went to Brauer College’s Zhane Rodgers with Lotus.

Encouragement awards were presented to Kaiting Stott, Kings College; Jack Conlan, Brauer College; Dimity Moloney: Mercy Regional College; Charlotte Rose Cossens, Brauer College; and Samuel McNamara, Brauer College.

WRAD Staff choice Award was won by Jessica Treble of Timboon P12 for Contentment from Within.

Ms Treble said the picture presented the journey a girl has taken from being abandoned, where addiction was the only thing she knew, to where she was free from the dark past. Birds were depicted to symbolize eternal freedom.

People’s choice award was won by Samuel McNamara of Brauer College.
The competition attracted 31 entries from Brauer College, Emmanuel College, King’s College, Mercy Regional College, and Timboon P-12 School.

The theme encouraged young artists to highlight the positives of life and to consider the potential the future can hold despite past impacts of drug and alcohol addiction.

All entries will be exhibited till the end of August at the Outlaw Gallery at the Fletcher Jones complex

WRAD Improved Services Coordinator Angela Alexander said the WRAD Art in Schools competition has been held annually since 2012 and continued to prompt discussion among art teachers and students about the impact of drugs and alcohol in the community.

“WRAD remains committed to working with the community to promote good health on a number of levels,” Ms Alexander said.

“This year we had 31 diverse and striking works and we received positive feedback from teachers that once again the competition has provided a powerful and valuable opportunity for discussion and exploration of sensitive, complex and controversial topics,” she said.

“Students report they have benefited from the experience, gained insight and thoroughly enjoyed the process.”

Funding from Commonwealth Department of Health for project funding made the competition possible.

2016 people' choice Samuel

Samuel McNamara of Brauer College.

2016 - second ahliya
Ahliya Harris from Timboon P12


2015 art first2015 First prize: `Small Victories’ by Rhianna Thomas, South West TAFE.

“When creating this piece I was trying to bring attention to the small victories people accomplish and how they should be celebrated – especially in relation to addiction and mental illness.

What one person can do easily may be a struggle for the next and just because you can do something easily doesn’t mean it isn’t a big deal for someone else.”


2015 art second2015 Second Prize: `Eyes that see in the dark’ by Rose Geddes, Camperdown College

“This artwork was inspired by a series of selfies.

I took a series of photos and put it into a photo collage. The original images were full facial photos.

I then cropped them to focus in on the eyes. I believe they capture some sort of story, and many emotions, I wanted to communicate different moods and really show how much people hide behind their eyes.

The message I’m trying to convey is what people show on the outside is completely different to how they feel on the inside, and the eyes are a portal to that very complex place.”

2015 - third2015 – Third Prize: `Vectors Of Our Emotions’ by Alex Jones, Brauer College.

“The hand is the most tactile and comforting part of the body.  We use our hands to convey thoughts and emotions, often subliminally. Our hand-body language signals what we don’t say with words and conveys messages and feelings to others; beckoning for help or reaching out in comfort.

In my realistic illustration I have depicted a hand falling into the depths of despair, whilst reaching out to others to prevent an inevitable decent.  By recognising the hand in need we are able to help and support those around us. A gentle touch, a firm grasp or just a friendly gesture will provide the trajectory to change lives. These vectors have both force and direction; the hand can be pulled and persuaded to make positive choice, whilst resisting temptation.”


2015 people's choice2015 People’s Choice: `You Are not Alone’ by Ahliya Harris, Timboon P-12


“The two young girls symbolise and represent the dual issues of substance abuse and its connection to mental health. Their vulnerability, isolated and alone in the forest, reflects people suffering from dual diagnosis. The smiling group of faces, surrounding the children, represent the support a healthy strong community can provide. The entwining roots symbolise how we as a community are all in this together, I was inspired by the recent incident of the young autistic boy lost in the bush and the community rallied around to save him.”


2015 wrad staff choice2015 WRAD staff: `Facing New Hope’ by Luke Perry, King’s College.

“This piece of artwork was created using range of different pencils and charcoal. This drawing consisted of creating the shape of the eye and the eyelashes, filling in the detail within the eye, then finally adding the pupil into the centre. My inspiration came from a historical artist named M.C. Escher and his artwork “Eye”.  The detailed artwork he crated greatly inspired me to create my own eye using the similar aesthetic qualities. This drawing I have created symbolises a drug addict looking towards new hope; which is in this case is their family giving them support. I believe that this expresses the idea of family support from an interesting perspective, really capturing the raw emotion this particular person and family are feeling.”




ens bay`Hello My Name is Ivy’ by Charlotte Cossens, Brauer College.

“Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is known as a toxic weed that can consume and completely take over. I have used poison ivy as a metaphor for conveying a message of how substance abuse can completely dominate, destroy and devour one’s mind, emotions and life. The twisted and distorted ivy growing from inside of the skull represents how one can be poisoned from the inside out.

My realistic rendering illustrates how life can be shattered through the wounds inflicted by substance abuse and mental health issues. My powerful visual aesthetics aim to convey the message that ‘open minds’ can be tempted and fall prey to poison at any time, any age and anywhere. The enigmatic lips and gaze of the eyes allow us to question the hidden stories and secrets within while the beauty suggests help is always within reach.

The WRAD Art in schools competition enabled me to explore the theme of dual diagnosis and incorporate this into my artwork titled Hello my name is Ivy.”



enc mans 2`The Beast Within’ by Brianna Mansbridge, Brauer College.

“In my painting for this year’s WRAD Art in schools competition, I wanted to highlight the changes that substance abuse can make in a person’s life. I painted this digitally by scanning my original sketch and using it for a template to create the finished artwork.

To portray my idea, I used the story of Little Red Riding Hood. As a child, I was fascinated by Red and the Wolf. I asked myself, if Red were to fall for the wolf’s tricks, what would have happened to her? This is my interpretation of that idea. The wolf being above Red’s head is symbolic of the fact that even the most kind-hearted people can be overthrown by their demons. In this case, substance abuse.

Substance abuse can change people, which is why I’ve painted Red with a more mischievous expression. Red’s demon is the wolf. Story tales are told to children and often have darker underlying messages, which can be interpreted in many different ways. This is my interpretation of ‘The Little Red Riding Hood’.


enc3`Dont Ruffle My Feathers’  by Taylah Cook, Brauer College

My art work explores the perception that through the vast extent of help and assistance that is available in our convivial community, it is possible for a sufferer of dual diagnosis and mental health to change and grow.

From what was once days full of obscure emotions and inconsistency with the reality of their existence, thus becomes a bright and healthy future; all with the help and guidance of our healthy strong community. Mental health is everyone’s business and we can all lend a helping hand to those who need some support to get back onto their feet.

‘Don’t ruffle my feathers’ visually supports this year’s WRAD Art in schools competition by highlighting the theme: “Everyone’s Business – Healthy Strong Communities”.


enckurt`Peace, Love, Empathy, Kurt Cobain’ by Connie Savage, Timboon P-12 School.

“My drawing portrays Kurt Cobain, an iconic and troubled musician who endured both substance abuse and mental health issues. The surrounding border represents us, a community needing to reach out, understand and support those like Kurt Cobain that suffer with dual diagnosis.”


Below is a sample of some of the other works which made up the overall collection and we commend all of the artists who took part in this special event.’


enc bailey`Tides of Emotion’ by Bailey Timms, Emmanuel College


everyone's business`Everybody’s Business’ by Brauer College Prep for VCE Studio Art and Year 11 Studio Art classes



alice`Mad as a Hatter’ by Emily Dews, Brauer College.



SAD`The Sad Truth’ by Jessica Miller, Emmanuel College.


mixed`Mixed Emotions’ by Jorja Sharp, Terang College.



dog 2`First Glance’ by Ben Maher, Brauer College.


pop`Bubbles Pop’ by Georgia Billings, Brauer College.