Recipient Profile: Award-winning photographer with a keen eye for chemistry

Posted: Fri, 13th April 2018 | Written by: The Team at Western Chances

Having entered her work in photography competitions for many years, Amy Venema was ecstatic last year to learn she had won several awards for her photography including a blue ribbon prizes at the Royal Melbourne Show.

Recipient Profile: Award-winning photographer with a keen eye for chemistry
Top: Amy in front of her award winning photography at the Royal Melbourne Show; bottom: Amy's photography of the Hobsons' Bay skate park featured on airtime flags on the local area

Amy’s love for photography came from her father.

“My dad loved photography and he always had a good eye for shapes and framing.  He gave me his old camera which I used to take snaps. In early high school, I bought a canon 1100D kit that was on sale in a store.”

Amy began entering photos in the Royal Melbourne Show junior competition and then progressed to the adult competition. She had previously won 2nd prize at the Show for a photo taken at the War Memorial in Canberra. This year, she upped her game winning 1st, 2nd, two 3rd prizes and two highly commended prizes

“I was with my mum the time that I found out and I was ecstatic. I jumped up and down and I had the biggest smile on my face. Finally, all my hard work had come to a fantastic result and it showed me that giving up is not an option. Just keep going and you will get there!”

But for Amy, photography is a hobby. Her real passion lies in Chemistry. Amy is currently studying Science at the University of Melbourne and plans to complete a Master of Education afterward, to become a chemistry teacher – passing on her enthusiasm for the subject to other students.

Amy received her first Western Chances scholarship in 2014 when she changed high schools for the VCE years. Going from a short walk to school to a two-train commute placed extra financial stress on Amy’s family, as did the additional  school materials required for VCE. Amy was initially nominated by Hobsonss Bay Youth Services and has for her academic talents and work in the community. She was awarded transport fees, stationery photography equipment and text books. Amy was successful in having her scholarship renewed in each year since and has received funding to attend Summer school and purchase education supplies and annual MYKI  cards.

“Over the years Western Chances have paid for my MYKI ticket, textbooks, arts supplies, numerous camps, lectures and summer school.  Through all the difficulties I have faced I have been able to stand confident knowing that Western Chances has had my back through my later years of schooling.”

Amy’s says she aspires to be a great teacher and wants to give back to the school community by creating an amazing classroom experience.

“My dream is to become a VCE chemistry teacher and to be the best one that I can be. I had an amazing chemistry teacher in VCE.  She put so much effort into her classes and she is someone that I look up to.”

An update from Amy

Since we first published this story Amy has had an exciting opportunity as a photographer and emailed us the good news.

Published here with Amy's permission:

Hey Western Chances!

I just wanted to write to tell you some exciting news. A few months ago I was asked by Hobsons Bay to take some photos of skate parks in the area to be put on the airtime flags. 
And they were put up last week!! 

I'm so excited, I have my own photos on the flags, not just one flag but all of them. 

If you drive past the Altona Meadows skate park, I hope you can have a look - so cool!

Congratulations to Amy on all of her success!

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