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Ballarat grandmother wins national photo competition

Ballarat grandmother Colleen Valance secured the top spot to win St John of God Health Care’s Healthy Men, Healthy Minds photo competition.

St John of God Health Care healthy men winnerPart of Men’s Health Week, the annual photo competition aims to raise awareness of men’s perinatal mental health and wellbeing by asking parents and family members to submit photos that capture special moments between children and a significant man in their lives.

Colleen’s photo was selected as the overall winner from 254 entries and she will receive a GoPro HERO5 for her successful entry.

Colleen said the photo of her son-in-law Andrew and grandson Jimmy was taken by a family friend at the beach last Christmas. Jimmy has a rare genetic condition called Fragile X and as part of the condition suffers with anxiety.

“Jimmy has a great love for the beach and this photo really captured just how content he is when he’s there, at his happy place, with his family,” she said.

Grandmother of six, Colleen said that she‘d probably share the GoPro with her family to capture more happy family moments as well as using it when she’s travelling.

“I’m retiring next year and plan on doing lots of travelling so a new camera will come in quite handy!”

Congratulations also go to Sharna and Jemma for their entries (see below) which were runners up in the competition.

National Director Raphael Services Helen McAllister said the competition continued to grow year-on-year and was a positive way to generate awareness about men’s emotional health and wellbeing.

“This year the competition saw a record breaking number of entries, votes and competition views,” she said.

“The winning photo captures so well the invaluable connection between a father and a child. The image is full of joy and has a wonderful composition.

“Healthy Men, Healthy Minds plays an important role in the calendar year to remind us about the importance of men’s emotional health. We know that up to one in 10 men experience anxiety when they welcome a new baby or when their partner is pregnant.”

This year the competition focused on providing additional advice to dads and father figures about the signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression, how to emotionally equip yourself when becoming a dad and tips to connect with your child.

St John of God Health Care Healthy men runner upSt John of God Health Care Healthy men runner up