youth art competition australia

Photo credit: Ocean Imaging | Great Southern Reef

The Competition


The #SeaToSource Sea the Change: Youth Art Competition is a chance to share your passion for marine life and a pollution-free world.  

The challenge? Get creative by making a poster, video or artwork, showing how you could repurpose or reinvent a common ocean litter item, or inspire others to change their usage or disposal of these items, to create positive change for our incredible marine life. 

Follow the simple instructions below and show the world how people can create positive change for our oceans and waterways. 


This competition is open from September 12th, 2022 and closes on March 5th, 2023 at 5 pm AEST

Open to anyone 18 years and under


The Background 


By 2050, there’s set to be more plastic in the oceans than fish. In fact, right now, one garbage truck of rubbish enters the ocean every minute. We believe we can do something about this, so we’ve been taking action on ocean litter. Teams of local people led by CVA have been removing litter from our beaches and waterways and collecting information about the types of litter found in the process. Using this information, we aim to work with local communities — including schools and young people — to identify the source of the litter and stop it before it becomes a problem. 



Check out our findings from our last two years of #SeaToSource in this infographic: 



youth art competition australia


You can download our national litter items snapshot from our last two years of #SeaToSource here! 


Get Started

Step 1: Research 

Get started by spending some time researching plastic pollution and the impacts it has on our environment. To get you started, we’ve selected 8 champion species that call the Australian Great Southern Reef their home, or you can choose your own favourite Great Southern Reef species! Using this species as inspiration, paired with data collected by CVA teams about the most common litter items found in our waterways, you will investigate the impact of ocean litter on your chosen species, and marine species more broadly. 


Can you guess which one is which?





Our oceans are home to a myriad of weird, wonderful, and exciting marine life! These species can be affected by ocean litter in different ways, but you can be part of the solution. By repurposing or reimagining the way we use or dispose of items, and inspiring others to change their behaviour, we can all play our part to protect these amazing creatures that call the ocean home. 


FREE Resources for Parents and Teachers (PDF)


Step 2: Get Creative 

Whatever your turtle-ly awesome creative talents are, we want to see them! This year we are accepting posters, videos or artworks that showcase the impact of litter on marine species and inspire change.  

You will also be provided the opportunity to provide a short description/reflection statement with your submission. This written reflection should be no longer than 150 words. 

Entries must be no larger than the following sizes/lengths: digital poster (A3), video (3 minutes) and artworks (2m x 2m x 2m). 


Potential examples of submissions: 


  • Complete a clean-up of your neighbourhood and repurpose the waste into a creative sculpture or artwork highlighting the plastic litter commonly found in our environment and its impact on marine life. Check out this incredible ocean-inspired bottle-top art created by a QLD school! 
  • Create an anti-litter or anti-plastic poster to be placed around your school or the local community. The poster will ideally incorporate the chosen marine species. For example: “Pipe up for the Pipefish; Swap single-use water bottles for reusable ones”. 
  • Create a video from the point of view of a marine animal. If you were a sea creature, what message would you want to share with humans? Imagine an ocean without litter – how would it feel? 
  • Create a poster, video or artwork explaining how a common item could be repurposed or reinvented. Why not invent something completely new? For some inspiration, have a look at this initiative from Lids4Kids which turns plastic lids into skateboards, or how Replas turns soft plastics like chip packets and chocolate wrappers into useful items such as benches and fencing. 
  • If you’ve already made eco-friendly changes at school or home, such as Nude Food days, share the changes you’ve made and explain the positive impact that these changes can have on our waterways and marine life 


Schools Art Competition Australia 2022



Judging Criteria  


All entries will be judged based on the following criteria: 

Impact & messaging – Does the entry inspire others to create positive change? Is the written reflection insightful and impactful? 

Creativity and design – Is the entry designed well?  

Originality – Is the idea behind the entry original and innovative? Does the entry utilize plastic in new and inventive ways? 

Ecological connection – Does the entry connect the issue of litter/waste with a marine species living in the Great Southern Reef? 


Step 3: Submit your entry 

Entry is across three age categories: 

  • 8 years and under
  • 9 – 12 years old
  • 13 – 18 years old

With submissions accepted for both individual and group (two or more people) streams. 


First prizes will be given in each of these categories, which include: 


  • 8 years and under – Activity kit (valued at $150) to educate and inspire your junior #SeaToSource champion
  • 9 – 12 years old – $150 gift card to spend at Biome, to help you purchase items like reusable lunchboxes, food wraps and cutlery on your journey to cleaner waterways
  • 13 – 18 years old – $150 gift card to spend via RedBalloon, to help you explore and experience your local natural spaces and waterways 


A special #SeaToSource merch pack (cap, t-shirt, tote bag and certificate) will also be awarded to the individual winner of each age category. 



The winning group/class entry for each age category will receive their choice of: 


  • A $500 Bunnings gift card to purchase items for use by the school/group OR
  • A group activity craft pack (up to the value of $500). 


***Up to 30 x 6 month subscriptions from Australian Geographic will also be awarded as spot prizes to outstanding entries***


The competition opens on September 12th, 2022 and closes on March 5th, 2023 at 5 pm AEST.

Winning entries will be contacted via email on March 17th, 2023. 



Ready to submit your entry now? 



Or, need more time? Get a reminder email.




Other questions? Contact us at [email protected] 




Youth Art Competition Terms & Conditions




#SeaToSource is a project supported through funding from the Australian Government. Find out more at 


Proudly supported by our partners

Australian Government