Adaptations: Amazing Australian Species Art Competition

“Adaptations: Amazing Australian Species” Art Competition

As part of National Science Week 2024, UNE Discovery is hosting a regional art competition to highlight the extraordinary abilities of our Australian animals, birds, insects and plants as they adapt to their ever-changing world due to human and climate factors. National Science Week is 10-18 August 2024.

This competition is open to budding artists of all ages, who are invited to submit an artwork of their chosen Australian species, and include a paragraph (no more than 150 words) with their entry outlining how their subject has adapted (or is trying to adapt) to a changing environment.

Entrants are encouraged to research their chosen subject, and provide interesting adaptation details with their submission. Artworks will then be included in a public exhibition, that will commence on Monday 12 August in UNE’s Dixson Library and continue until the end of September. Entrants and public will be invited to the awards night/presentation. At the awards night, esteemed academics from UNE and UNE Discovery will enthral guests with their experiences of researching and observing the exciting adaptations by our local wildlife, and how they live their lives in this changing world.

Key dates

  • Entries open – Monday 1 July 2024
  • Entries close – Monday 5 August 2024
  • Judging – Week of the 5 August 2024, with hanging of finalist entries on the weekend of 10-11 August 2024
  • Exhibition opens and awards presentation – Thursday 15 August 2024
  • Exhibition closes – Monday 30 September 2024

Scroll down for more information!

Online entry form
Download PDF entry form

The rules

Who can enter?



“Adaptations: Amazing Australian Species”.

Sizes and medium

2D artworks must be submitted no smaller than A5 (148mm x 210mm) and no larger than 400mm x 500mm (standard canvas size). Traditional mediums of drawing, painting, printing, collage or textiles are welcome (eg. watercolour, oils, acrylic, charcoal, pencil, ink, graphite, pastels, chalk, collage or textiles).

Digital works: we are also opening the competition to all digital artists. Artworks created using photography, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc will be accepted. These must be submitted in line with the sizes mentioned above. Whilst we will accept digital artworks, they must NOT be created using AI (artificial intelligence).

All artworks must be framed or in a ready-to-hang state.

All entries must be your own, original work, and must have been completed within the 12 months prior to the competition closing date (5 Aug 2024). All works should have the Title, Artist’s Name and Receipt/Entry Number (from the online entry) clearly and securely attached to the back.

Insurance of all works is the responsibility of the artist.

Where and when will they be displayed?

Depending on the number of entries received, either a) all artworks OR b) a selection of finalists chosen by the judging panel, will be displayed in the exhibition spaces in the UNE Dixson Library (Building C31) at UNE, from Monday 12 August to Monday 30 September 2024.

Dixson Library hours are generally 7 days per week 8am-7pm. Check the Dixson Library Opening hours here:

Submitting your entry

How to submit your entry

Complete and sign the entry form (either online or hard copy) with all your details along with the 150 words describing how your chosen subject has adapted to a changing environment, and submit it with your entry fee ($5). For online entries, you will need to agree to the competition terms and conditions and you will receive a unique receipt number which will need to be noted on the back of your artwork(s) when you deliver your entry. A maximum of three artworks per artist can be submitted. All three artworks will need to have the unique receipt number noted on the back of the artwork.

You can also download and print the entry form here, and submit it with your artwork and cash payment to “The Shop” at the main UNE campus courtyard from Mon-Fri between 9am-5pm.

For students/children under 18 years of age at the date of the competition, a parent or guardian must sign on behalf of the student and agree to the Terms and Conditions of entry.

Artworks are to be hand-delivered to “The Shop” at the main UNE campus courtyard, University of New England, 1 Elm Avenue, ARMIDALE  NSW  2350

If you are unable to deliver your artwork in person, you are able to mail it (at your expense for postage and insurance) to Lee-Anne McKinnon, National Science Week Art Competition, UNE Discovery, Booth Block, Room 262, 1 Elm Avenue, Armidale NSW 2350. UNE will not be responsible for any damage to artworks mailed to UNE. Packaging and mailing will be the responsibility of the artist.


$5 per artwork entry.

Deadline for entries

The competition closes on Monday 5 August 2024.  Entries must be received by 5pm.


Prize categories

There are 3 categories with a total prize pool of $600

  • Junior (K-Yr6)
  • Secondary (Yr 7-12)
  • Open

Entries will be judged by a 3-member panel consisting of arts professionals and UNE academics.

One winner will be selected from each of the category finalists.

Artists retain copyright in their artwork and will be named as the creator of the work.  By signing the entry form agreeing to the competition terms and conditions, artists agree to releasing their winning entries under a Creative Commons (CC BY-SA) licence ( ), allowing UNE to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and remix and use it, even for commercial purposes.

Prizes will be awarded and presented to the winners at the exhibition awards ceremony to be held at The Bistro on Monday 12 August. Further details will be provided at a later date. Winning prize money will be deposited by direct debit to the winner’s nominated bank accounts.

More information

Further enquiries can be sent to Lee-Anne McKinnon at UNE Discovery (

Terms and conditions

Terms and conditions for “Adaptations: Amazing Australian Species” Art Competition 2024

Terms and conditions

  1. Artists are invited to enter the “Adaptations: Amazing Australian Species” art competition by submitting their completed artwork, an entry form, and 150 words (maximum) relating to their chosen Australian species with their entry payment either online and delivery to
  2. Artists may enter multiple individual artworks to a maximum of three (3) works. The same entry procedure and entry form must be completed for each artwork and entry fee is $5 per artwork submitted.
  3. All artworks must be clearly marked on the back with the artwork title, name of the artist and the receipt/entry number which will be provided after online payment has been made or upon delivery of the artwork to “The Shop” at UNE. The details must be clearly and securely attached to or written on the back.
  4. If any participant is under the age of 18 years, they are required to obtain their parent’s or guardian’s permission to enter and agree to these terms. Completion of the entry form and signature of parent/guardian will be required upon submission of an entry.
  5. Entries are assessed by the panel of judges who will select the winners based on artistic merit, creativity and interesting interpretation. There are 3 entry categories with a total prize pool of $600 as follows:
    1. Adults/open artist $200
    2. School student/senior (Yr 7-12) $200
    3. School student / junior (up to Year 6) $200
  1. Winning prize money can be claimed following provision of bank account details provided to Lee-Anne McKinnon via email at or by telephone on 6773-1813 within 30 days from the exhibition awards ceremony date. Prize money will be deposited by direct bank transfer to the winner’s nominated bank accounts within 60 days of receiving bank details.
  2. Members of the committee and judging panel and their families may take part in the competition and are eligible to be included in the finalist selections but will not be eligible for winning any category. UNE reserves the right to verify the validity of all entries and to cancel any entry which, in the opinion of UNE, fails to comply with these terms and conditions, is unsuitable, contains objectionable content or infringes copyright.
  3. The decision of the judging panel is final and no correspondence or discussion regarding its decision will be entered into. By participating in the competition, participants agree to be bound by the decisions of the competition judging panel. It is a condition of entry that all rules are accepted as final and that the competitor agrees to abide by these rules.
  4. The closing date for entries is 5:00pm Monday 5 August 2024. Artworks and entry forms will not be accepted beyond this date.
  5. The winners will be officially announced at the exhibition’s awards ceremony at The Bistro, University of New England, Thursday 15 August 2024 at a time to be advised.
  6. Winners may be notified earlier than 15 August 2024 to facilitate in media coverage of the exhibition.
  7. Works submitted for the ‘Adaptations: Amazing Australian Species” art competition will be available for collection from Dixson Library front desk between Tuesday 8th October – Saturday 12 October. UNE is not able to return items by post or courier. It is the artist’s responsibility to arrange collection of their works and to arrange any packaging and insurance.
  8. Insurance of all works is the responsibility of the artist.
  9. Artists retain copyright in their artwork and will be named as the creator of the work.  By signing the entry form agreeing to the competition terms and conditions, artists agree to releasing their winning entries under a Creative Commons (CC BY-SA) licence ( ) allowing UNE to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and remix and use it, even for commercial purposes. The full licence conditions are available here:
  10. UNE collects personal information such as name, age and email address about the entrants to enable them to participate in the competition and for the purpose of carrying out the competition.  For further information see the Privacy Management Rule. Any requests to access, update or correct information should be made to .
  11. Participants agree to the publishing and disclosure of their entries and personal information (for the purposes of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW)), including but not limited to their name, image, video footage, audio recordings, written material or testimonial statements in any marketing, web, media or other publications associated with the competition or UNE in any format.
  1. UNE will not be liable for any personal injury, loss, damage or expenses (whether direct or consequential) to persons or property arising out of or otherwise connected with this competition or entry into this competition.