22.6 C
Byron Shire
February 2, 2023

Local photographer finalist in National Portrait Prize

Latest News

Food prices are up, and so is…

I was shocked to see the cost of local bread I buy in Mullumbimby had risen 40 per cent. That particular loaf is becoming a luxury item.

Other News

Four arrested over alleged break-ins, trespass – Casino

Four boys have been arrested by police investigating alleged aggravated break and enter and trespass offences in Casino on Monday, 30 January.

Trove runs out of funding in June. How will the loss of the service affect Australian and Pacific research?

Most of Trove’s 22 million annual page visits come from members of the public: family historians, students, and general browsers interested in the six billion records it houses. But over the past 14 years, the archive has also become a crucial resource for academic work.

Witches in the Starcourt

A new year is here! It’s a time for women all over the region to pick up their brooms and set their witchy intentions for 2023. There is no finer time and place to do it than with your Country Witches, comedian Mandy Nolan and singer/songwriter Áine Tyrrell. 

Environment law fails to protect threatened species

A University of Queensland finding says that the federal environmental laws are failing to mitigate against Australia’s extinction crisis.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Have your Perfect Say

Here in the Byron Shire our crisis is so famous it’s made international news. It’s been in the US Rolling Stone even. It’s been in documentaries. It’s been in The Guardian. It’s what we live with here – every day. We live in a community where there is nowhere to live and the whole world is watching what we do next, wondering if we will do what their super star tourist destinations did and regulate the housing market. People in places like Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Miami found out that tough regulations actually aren’t bad for business after all. That’s just property market profiteering propaganda.

Letters – 1 February 2023

The Echo loves your letters and is proud to provide a community forum on the issues that matter most to our readers and the people of the NSW north coast. So don’t be a passive reader, send us your epistles.

Pin Point. Photo Rod Poole (the finalist photo cannot yet be made public).

Lismore-based photographer R J Poole is one of eighty finalists from over 3,000 entries in this year’s Living Memory: National Photographic Portrait Prize.

The Portrait Prize is one of Australia’s premier art events and will be shown at the National Portrait Gallery in King Edward Terrace in Canberra from July 31 until November 7, 2021.

Mr Poole told The Echo he was honoured to be a finalist. This is the first time he’s entered the competition. ‘There so many artists doing so many things, that being seen or heard above this background noise is extremely difficult,’ he said.

‘Added to this is Australia’s concentration of people and resources in Sydney and Melbourne. So competitions are one of the few ways regional-based artists have any chance of recognition.

‘The Australian arts are heavily institutionalized and under funded, so I’ve invested a lot of energy in traveling and exhibiting in other parts of the world where art in general is more valued,’ said Mr Poole.

‘While I’ve struggled to find any interest or support for my work at home, my art has been more warmly received elsewhere – so my shortlisting in the National Portrait Prize is a welcomed acknowledgement.’

Work in Australia and overseas

Just Beyond Sight. Photo R J Poole.

With a background in the military, Mr Poole has been active in the photographic art world since the 1980s, and has exhibited widely.

His signature body of work the ‘Anima Series’ is inspired by the feminine aspect of the male psyche and includes such themes as gender identity, spirituality and innocence.

While most of the Anima Series is photographed locally in the Northern Rivers, it includes overseas work in Sweden, the Czech Republic, Romania and the American Mid-West.

R J  Poole is also known for his iconic photographs of the Bentley Blockade.

With few exceptions, Mr Poole collaborates with various people in Lismore, some of whom have been working with him for up to seventeen years and who provide an alter ego through which he expresses himself.

While the finalist photo is under wraps for now, R J Poole’s work can be viewed on the follow sites:



and Flickr:

Looking for America

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. He’s not the only local talent, Francis Cloake, Byron Bay has also been chosen as a finalist for one of her fabulous portraits

  2. Thank you to David Lowe and the Echo for supporting local artists and events. I’ve long been critical of the arts establishment in our region. Arts Northern Rivers and the Lismore Regional Gallery make little or no effort to identify or reach out to individual artists throughout our community. At the very least, they could offer acknowledgement and recognition for those members of the local community who are active in exhibiting, publishing, performing their work in locations around the globe or being honored by organisations outside of the Far North Coast who appreciate and encourage the talent that lives here. I know of many local artists who feel this way and have expressed their concerns to me, so I know I’m not alone in thinking this way. The arts establishment needs to be more proactive in initiating contact rather than expecting people to come to them.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Abouchar honoured with Order of Australia

The new head of the Byron Community College (BCC), Chantal Abouchar, has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her contributions to business and the media.

Appeal for flag stolen from Bruns

The two Aboriginal flags that fly high over the Brunswick River Bridge on Invasion Day have become a potent symbol of survival and solidarity for many in the Shire. 

TELSTRA – The end of the line?

I live in a valley that was ravaged by flood last year. Telegraph poles were swept out of the ground by landslides and many...

Dear Byron Shire Council

Why, oh why, did you not add a traffic calming device when you recently sealed Clay Rd, Mullumbimby? This was a beautiful, quiet lane, that...