Award honours a wildlife warrior

WHEN long-distance cyclist and environmental activist Krista Bernard passed away last year, the world lost a true wildlife warrior.

More than a woman with wanderlust, the 41-year-old former Byron Shire resident was a vocal Rainforest Rescue advocate and regularly documented her epic travels around the world.

In 2000, Krista was named Australian Geographic's Young Adventurer of the Year after cycling from Indonesia to Egypt, a journey that would spark a lifelong passion for pedalling.

"Krista led a very full life and her sudden death was a shock to everyone," said Krista's mother, Mary Bernard.

"We do not want to dwell on that but instead prefer to pay tribute to her extraordinary life."

In doing so, Mary and her husband Clency debuted the Krista Bernard Award at last year's Ocean Shores Art Expo (OSAE), which sees family members choose a piece that "most speaks to us of Krista".

"Last year's winner had created handmade books with beautiful words and illustrations - so typical of what Krista loved to do," said Mrs Bernard, adding that the award includes $1000 prizemoney.

"Krista was a great inspiration to others and it gives us enormous pleasure to support creativity in the community."

OSAE president Ri Fraser said the award embodied Krista's creative, inventive and adventurous spirit.

"The expo is a place in which creatives can be celebrated and remembered, it is open to all, and its aims are to create bonds within the community through the arts," she said.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Ocean Shores Art Expo and will see Margot Anthony, AM, return after a decade to open the show.

Coinciding with Ocean Shores Public School's Festival of the Imagination over the Father's Day weekend, the interactive arts and crafts program runs from Friday, August 30, to Sunday, September 1.

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Topics:  art awards community

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