Wow! The Wild At Art competition has wrapped up for the year and we're been absolutely blown away by the stunning, heartfelt artworks submitted by Australia's next generation of environmentalists.
Nearly 5,000 kids picked up their paint brushes and pens to help raise awareness of Australia’s threatened plants and animals – what a fantastic effort!
With so many wonderful entries, it was incredibly difficult for our judges to narrow the outstanding talent down to just a handful of winners – but here are their top picks.
Scroll down to view the winning artworks, written pieces and People’s Choice winner. You can also check out the full 100 finalists in our Facebook album and watch the recording of the Wild At Art winners reveal and artist celebration event.
North Quoll With Rapid Ongoing Decline by Aiden, age 7
"Northern quolls are listed nationally as endangered, with the last population estimation at 100,000 with rapid ongoing decline from cumulative effects of inappropriate fire regimes, predation, habitat loss and in particular, invasion of its habitat by cane toads."
Sunrise Threat by Rayyan, age 7
"Orange bellied parrots are critically endangered because of habitat loss and human action. Orange bellied parrots live for two years or more. I chose this species because I love birds and I don't want anyone or anything to harm them. There are fifty orange-bellied parrots left in the wild. I want to help them!"
Help us! We are endangered! by William, age 8
"I chose to draw orange bellied parrots, southern corroboree frog and Caley’s grevillea, because they are critical endangered. caley’s grevillea has lost 85% of its habitats because of the bush fires and city expanded. There are only about 50 orange bellied parrots in the wild, they breed in forest and eat seals, fruits, flowers, berries. It would be lovely to see lots of orange bellied parrots fly across Caley’s grevilleas. There are probably only 59 southern corroboree frogs remain breeding habitat, they are very small, people probably can not notice those frogs, but they are very important part of our environment. If we like to see the colourful orange bellied parrots fly across the Caley’s Grevilleas more often, listen to the southern corroboree frogs rabbit, we must spread the words to save these beautiful plants and animals."
Diamond Firetail by Aahana, age 9
"The Diamond Firetail is a species of estrildid finch that is endemic to Australia. It has a patchy distribution and generally occupies drier forests and grassy woodlands west of the Great Dividing Range from SE Queensland to the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia."
Warrul Thigaraa (Honey Bird) by Lavinia, age 11
"I named my artwork Warrul Thigaraa meaning Honey Bird in Kamilaroi language. Caring for country, it’s plants, animals and their habitat is connected to and part of my Aboriginal culture. It’s important to share knowledge about animals and plants that are endangered to inspire and educate people to make a difference. My artwork represents how important Regent Honey Eaters are to our environment. I hope my artwork will inspire people to plant more nectar trees encouraging more nesting and increase the Regent Honey Eater species and save their habitat. I love to use patterns and symbols, so I was drawn to the distinctive colours and patterns of the Regent Honey Eaters. Yellow means happy to me. I have used gold, yellow and black to highlight the features of the Regent Honey Eater and I was inspired by the unique artwork tree of life by artist Klimt as he uses lots of yellow and patterns in his artwork. I used acrylic paint on canvas. My artwork has a flowing nectar tree with lots of wattle to nourish and sustain the Regent Honey Eaters habitat and stop them from becoming extinct."
Endangered Animals Hideout by Clare, age 11
"My artwork has three types of endangered species animals, the Squirrel Glider, the Gouldian Finch and the Flying Squirrel. The animals were drawing with colour pencils and the background with paint. First one from the top is the Gouldian Finch, next is the flying squirrel then the Squirrel Glider and stacked underneath is the Flying Squirrel again. Importantly, the idea of this artwork was that the three species are gathering and grouping together, hiding in a small cave from the danger outside. The background was made by painting on a piece of paper, some light, some dark colours, ripping it up into pieces of paper and sticking it on to create a realistic and 3D rock texture."
Gouldian Finch Flock by The Scots College
"This kindergarten class chose to create a vibrant and lovely flock of Gouldian finch birds. They were captured by the bright colours and expressive nature of these birds. they were sad to learn they were threatened and want to use their artwork to bring awareness to this issue. Some students created the background while the other drew the birds "playing"."
Birdy, birdy, flying high by Art Box Workshops
"John Olson's. ""You beaut country"", an abstract painting of the Australian outback, inspired the background of our group artwork of the Turquoise Parrot that favours open grassy woodland for its natural habitat. The Turquoise Parrot is bright and stands out in the Australian countryside, unlike the red golden and brown fur colour of feral predators such as foxes and cats that have an unfair advantage of camouflage when hunting for prey. The only hope for the Turquoise parrot is that it can fly high, and a ban should be placed on foxes and feral cats in our country."
Australia’s Blue Breasted Fairy Wren by Ava, age 10
"I decided to research and paint Australia’s Blue Breasted Fairy Wren because it is such a pretty bird. Blue is my favourite colour, and I love blue birds. The Blue Breasted Fairy Wren mainly lives in southern Western Australia where wheat is farmed. Even before I was born in 2012, it was predicted to be a threatened bird species, since the land where they live was logged for wheat farming. Sadly, they are now a threatened bird species. Farmers did not listen to stop wheat farming in the area. Even though wheat is important, the Blue Breasted Fairy Wren is just as precious. I think getting the balance right between farming and Blue Breasted Fairy Wren numbers is essential to stop our whole ecosystem from falling apart. Otherwise our beautiful Blue Breasted Fairy Wren may not exist anymore, which makes me very sad."
Treasures of the Australian terrain by Ryan, age 12
"My artwork was drawn utilizing an ink fountain pen and features multiple endangered Australian animals and plants, both iconic and less known thriving in a roadside environment. I have included 2 signs in my drawing for the protection of both endangered flora and fauna, 1 "animals ahead in the next 15 km"sign and the other is a "protected vegetation" sign. My drawing's meaning is to tell people to be aware and pay attention to signs about protected flora and fauna and be careful and diligent when in areas where endangered life resides. I would hate to see the beautiful and unique Australian flora and fauna be pushed to extinction due to the careless acts of humans."
Hanging On by Scarlett, age 11
"The Mountain Pygmy possum clung to the flimsy twig, hopefully gazing at the speckled moth rustling on the leaf. The Bogong biscuits the people were giving them were ok, but finding a real Bogong moth was special. There used to be an abundance of moths but now they were extremely scarce. The possum reached out, desperately wanting to try a real moth, but her foot caught on a bump in the twig. She slipped just managing to hold on to the dew-covered branch. The fading numbers of Bogong moths has led to the already endangered Mountain Pygmy Possum having nothing to eat. This Possum was not only hanging on for its life but their whole species is hanging on for existence. If we don’t give them a helping hand to climb back onto the branch there will be no more cute, fluffy Mountain Pygmy Possums left in the entire universe."
Capricorn Yellow Chat by Yoyo, age 8
"I am happy girl, I like warm colors and dancing and singing, would like to be able to fly like bird in the sky, feel cool and wonderful! The Capricorn yellow chat is a small passerine bird endemic to Australia, I met them in Queensland, they are so cute and pretty, they are known for their remarkable adaptions that aid their survival in their arid habitat. The Capricorn yellow chat is listed as Critically Endangered. Hope everyone can take action to protect our environment and our wild friends."
Beautiful Banksias by Yolanda, age 8
"One day, while reading a book about endangered flowers, I came to the page about Banksia Cuneate, also named Matchstick Banksia. This beautiful flower enchanted me. I decided to draw an image for Banksias. I painted a picture with watercolour, and it made the flower vivid. I noticed only about 500 Banksias that are still in the wild. I hope people will protect Banksias, even other threatened plants."
Spider Orchid at Sunset by Huw, age 7
"I like the look and the name of this beautiful flower and it makes me so sad to know that there is no more plants like this left to see in nature. I used watercolours to paint it at sunset and every night when the sun sets I look at the plants and trees outside my window and I hope that people who are bigger than me can do something to protect the other members of the spider orchid family. And maybe one day, I can plant and grow flowers like this in my own garden..."
Tassie Devil by Jiaao (Oscar), age 5
"I found Tasmania Devil is a cute animal. Although they sometimes like not friendly, they are still one of our unique Australian wild animals. My painting captures the roaring moment of 2 Tassie devil. and some human who attracted to see them. People look at my painting and think it is a Picaso art piece. What do you think? I like nature and use my unique way to draw."
Love Heart Family by Cecilia, age 6
"The animal I chose was a masked owl because I like her face, which looks like a love heart. I drew the mother owl catching a delicious mouse for her two babies living in the tree hole. The babies are opening their mouths widely and waiting for the food. This is what I drew from a real photo, so I used a black pen to show their natural home. There were fewer owls now because they had fewer homes, so I used coloured pens to draw what I imagined their home would be. There were many hills with various glowing plants, love heart leaves, a rainbow trunk, and lots of shiny stars in the sky. I noticed the owls’ heads and feathers had beautiful dots and stripes; they looked like the QR codes and barcodes on the supermarket’s receipts. So, I cut it and pasted it on my owls."
Bridle Nail-Tail wallaby by Georgie, age 7
"I chose bridle nail-tail wallaby because they are so cute and fluffy and adorable and they are extinct and hippity hop, hippity hop, wallaby hop from rock to rock, adorable and cute, carrying little Joey in their pouch. Please, please, please, let this hippity hopping adorable baby Joey and mum and dad keep hopping from rock to rock around Australia."
Miracle for Fawn Hopping Mouse by Claire, age 9
"Wouldn’t this be a miracle? To be able to witness pinkish squeaks frolicking freely amongst a brilliant picnic of speckled gold and amber? Nibbling small helpings of seeds, insects and lush vegetation? It sounds like a picture made in heaven… or maybe it is. There is a poor awareness concerning the fawn hopping mouse, which are already presumed extinct in the Northern Territory. It is saddening that there are no conservation objectives for the rodent species.. Yellow is a symbol of hope and happiness and my watercolour painting of the threatened Myall Creek Wattle is a representation of my endearing optimism for biodiversity to thrive. For far too long, humans have trampled over nature. What can we do to bring these artworks to life?"
The Great Barrier Reef by Zhilang, age 12
"Calm currents surround the reef. The coral itself is majestic- coral of all shapes, sizes, and hues blend, a canopy of swaying bristles illuminated by passing sunlight, occasional clownfish can be spotted hiding among them. But splotches of bleached coral pervade this serenity. Shadows of an ongoing cruise shadows the scene. Suddenly, it appears. A pair of dark eyes blink back amongst the coral, crying for care- for help. The Great Barrier Reef- 10% of Earth’s coral ecosystems. Supporting multitudes of marine species, it’s the backbone of many food webs. It’s alive- everything from the fish to coral polyps are. But many don’t treat it as such- and the fact that ignorance still exists even when a vital part of Australia’s environment is endangered forbodes upon what our world could become in a few years. Do what you can- recycle, volunteer, conserve, spread the word. Don’t let our reefs down."
I’m still loving my world —from the glowing Southern Right Whale by Scofield, age 6
"I watched a video of the Southern Right Whale with my mum and I was astonished when I saw the Southern Right Whale jumped out of the sea and glowing in the sky as the water splashed on it. They were so elegant and beautiful, they can live up to 50 years, and they were so special because each of them had unique white rough patches on their black bodies. However, I was sad when I knew they were almost extinct 100 years ago because people wanted to hunt them. What made me more sad was they were very friendly to human but human wasn’t nice to them. In my drawing, all the marine animals like fish, octopus, jelly fish, even turtle are either busy foraging or running for their lives except the Southern Right Whale, it is enjoying its sea life and it is shining alone."
ACF would like to thank every child who took part in the 2022 Wild At Art threatened species art competition. You are all winners!
Header artwork: Leadbeater's possum by Minji, age 8