Pheonix P12 and Michelle Dunn produce photography exhibition

SNAPPED: Pheonix P12 student Haylee Cain taking photos of rescued animals at Wala Wildlife Santuary as part of Michelle Dunn's program With Camera In Hand. Students helped promote local charities. Picture: Michelle Dunn
SNAPPED: Pheonix P12 student Haylee Cain taking photos of rescued animals at Wala Wildlife Santuary as part of Michelle Dunn's program With Camera In Hand. Students helped promote local charities. Picture: Michelle Dunn

Students at Phoenix P12 Community College have learnt compassion for the suffering of other sentient beings and at the same time producing art.

Working with local photographer, Michelle Dunn the students took photos at Wala Wildlife Sanctuary and YMCA’s ReCranked bike recycle program.

The aim of the project was to raise awareness about the two charities and understand the broader social issues surrounding them.

The program was part of Dunn’s community development initiative With Camera In Hand and will be featured in an exhibition at Backspace Gallery.

The exhibition opens this weekend.

Dunn said the school wanted activities which would appeal to their year 9 students.

“Phoenix are doing some really great things to engage students and I was excited to be part of that, using photography as a creative tool for learning and engaging with the community,” she said.

Dunn said the students’ work was of impressively high quality. 

“They bypassed talking and just focused on the visual element,” she said.

“I learnt you can’t expect verbal confirmation but they are taking it all in.”

As part of the program, the students shared the pictures on social media to raise awareness for the causes.

Wala Wildlife Sanctuary is a charity looking after injured, sick and orphaned wildlife, domestic and farm animals.

Sanctuary owner Karen Pohlner said the project would help raise awareness of the services the sanctuary provides.

“It’s about bringing compassion back for the animals which I think some people have lost it because they are living such fast-paced lives.”

“People don’t think animals are important but they are.”

Ms Pohlner said the sanctuary provided a place they could bring injured wildlife, for example if they hit an animal which jumped in front of their car.

An exhibition of the Pheonix College students’ work will open this Sunday, June 18 from 2-4pm at Backspace Gallery, 15 Camp St, Ballarat Central.

All print sales of the students’ work go to Wala Animal Sanctuary and the YMCA Recranked program.