Parkes Shire youth are being encouraged to use creative arts to share their experiences and perceptions of the drought, bushfires and COVID-19, as part of a new competition.
'The Art of Resilience' competition invites students aged six to 18 years to create works using the theme 'resilience in the face of drought, bushfires and COVID-19'.
The competition categories include photography, song writing, poetry, drawing and painting.
Parkes Shire Drought Officer and competition organiser Roger Kitson has been working with farming families for the last 18 months across the shire, and has found how important creative arts is.
"During times of crisis creative arts can be used as a means of self-expression, mental health, healing and unity, as well as equip us with resilience and provide hope," he said.
"When I first moved to Parkes I was amazed by the amount of local talent, and this competition will provide an opportunity to showcase the creative capacity that exists within our region's young people."
Fellow organiser and local artist, Sean Cassidy agreed.
"The youth of the bush and their families have survived the ravages of a record-breaking drought, only to be confronted by COVID-19, one of the most destructive pandemics in many years," he said.
"This competition provides an opportunity for the young people of the Parkes Shire to have their talents identified and championed.
"It's also for them to record and show their courage and resilience through using the arts."
Entry forms can be found on Neighbourhood Central's website.
Submissions close Friday, July 31, with the winners announced on Friday, August 14.
Winners will be selected from Parkes, Peak Hill, Trundle and Tullamore, and will be showcased as part of The Art of Resilience exhibition to take place on Friday, October 16 (subject to the latest COVID-19 restrictions and advice).
Winners of the song writing and poetry categories will have their work professionally recorded to then be produced into a collaborative CD.
Winners of the painting, drawing and photography categories will have their work professionally published in a digital style format.
The competition is an initiative of Neighbourhood Central and Ub Ubbo Exchange with the support of Parkes Shire Council.