Award for Hazelwood photo

Express photographer Hayley Mills was last week recognised for her work covering the closure of Hazelwood Power Station with a prestigious award.

Ms Mills received the Victorian Country Press Association for best news photograph in a publication with a circulation higher than 6000.

The award was for a photograph of a helmet which formed part of the workers’ “helmet tribute” which hung on the station’s fence following its closure.

The photograph featured a helmet bearing a written message which read “thanks for the memories” and was the only item which appeared on the front page of The Express’ April 3 edition.

The award was judged by former international press photographer and former City of Geelong mayor Darryn Lyons, who said the picture was not the type of photograph he would normally pick as a winner.

“But the closing of Hazelwood Power Station was a big story state-wide,” Mr Lyons said.

“No headline was needed really, it’s a very stagnant picture, but also very stark and very compassionate.

“It was beautifully composed and not many photographers would think of that and its good to see the editor used it on the front page, well done.”