Ipswich teenager Hayley Caplin has won a national competition with her teddy bear design paying homage to front line hospital workers.
Ipswich teenager Hayley Caplin has won a national competition with her teddy bear design paying homage to front line hospital workers.

Ipswich artist’s touching tribute to frontline health staff

LIKE so many of us, Ipswich teenager Hayley Caplin has been inspired by the sacrifices made by our frontline health and emergency response workers this year.

The creative 16-year-old Bremer State High student was so keen to pay homage to those who have kept us safe, she was at pains over who to single out as the superheroes of 2020.

In the end, she chose our hospital workers.

Hayley beat thousands of other entrants to win Big W’s national competition to design a Community Teddy Bear.

Sales of the cuddly Christmas gift will go toward major children’s hospitals across the country, giving Hayley something to be proud of.

“They asked us to keep to the them of what does Christmas mean to you, but at the time I did the design coronavirus was at its peak,” Hayley said.

Ipswich teenager Hayley Caplin has won a national competition with her teddy bear design paying homage to front line hospital workers.
Ipswich teenager Hayley Caplin has won a national competition with her teddy bear design paying homage to front line hospital workers.

“All I could think about was how much frontline workers had sacrificed time with their own families and risked their own health to keep the rest of us safe.

“It was hard to exclude all the emergency responders, teachers, cleaners and even retail workers.”

Hayley said she was delighted when her mum, Angel Caplin, got the phone call recently to let them know she had won the competition.

Each year BIG W launches a national competition asking Aussies to design a bear – with the winning designs made and sold in all the chain’s stores across the nation.

Dressed in scrubs and donning a stethoscope, the frontline health worker teddy is donning a superman cape to represent his hero status.

Hayley said she was impressed with the detail that translated from her picture to the end product.

“They have very good attention to detail,” she said.

“They even included the cape and the little love heart on his ears; I really love how they turned my picture into a bear.”

Hayley is a high functioning sufferer of asperges, OCD and anxiety disorders and has used her creative talent and love for art as a tool for both her own mental health and to help educate others navigate positive ways to openly express theirs, for many years.

All profits from sales of the bear will go towards children’s hospitals around Australia:

· Melbourne Children’s Hospital

· Perth Children’s Hospital

· Queensland Children’s Hospital

· Royal Darwin Hospital

· Royal Hobart Hospital

· Sydney Children’s Hospital

· Women and Children’s Hospital, SA

Additionally, BIG W will also be donating 2000 bears directly to the hospitals.