This is it!

So here it is. Five years in the making. On the 8th of August we held the opening of the exhibition Portraits of Elizabeth and the launch of the book This is our town at the Migration Museum, Adelaide .

A big thank you to Mandy Paul for the lovely opening and closing remarks and to Rear Admiral the Hon Kevin Scarce AC CSC RAN-Rtd for a beautiful, heartfelt speech. I felt honoured!

It was a great night with a large turnout despite the terrible weather. Thank you to all that came. Your presence was what made it all so rewarding.

Thank you Josie for the photos.

Roll the presses!

Have received the final proof of the book, THIS IS OUR TOWN, and the presses are rolling. It looks great, very happy.

With terrific design work by John Kingsmill and a lovely introduction by Mark Thomson we have produced something to be proud of.

For those who are interested, it will be available for sale very soon.




I often say on this blog, “Watch this space”. Well, it’s finally happening.

My book, This is our town, will be launched by former South Australian Governor Kevin Scarce AC CSC RAN (Rtd), at the SA Migration Museum in Adelaide on Thursday August 8.

The associated exhibition, Portraits of Elizabeth: Migration, Community and Identity, will run at the SA Migration Museum from 1 August to 29 September 2019 as part of SA’s Living Artists Festival.

After five years on this project, all very exciting!


The book cover, designed by John Kingsmill, Tabloid Design.

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Signing prints ready for framing. Unusually for me, I will be showing some large (A1 and A2) prints. In fact I’ve never exhibited prints this large before. Nice!

Progressing nicely.

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Work on my Portraits of Elizabeth: Migration, community and identity exhibition is progressing well. The show will be held at the Migration Museum during the South Australian Living Artists festival in August.

It is a somewhat frustrating yet enjoyable process putting something of this scale together. I’m excited and curious to see how the whole thing will knit together and get a true sense of the impact of this story of stories.

Still a lot to do …

The book THIS IS OUR TOWN is also tracking well. With a first draft of the design by John Kingsmill of Tabloid in hand, the process of proof reading and making the odd change begins.

Watch this space!

The accidental winemaker

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Ed Carr, an ex-Elizabethan and Group Sparkling Winemaker with Accolade Wines.

Ed’s journey has been an interesting one. Arriving with his family as ‘ten pound poms’ in 1964, they soon found themselves settling in Elizabeth. After “bumbling” through local schools, Ed studied microbiology and chemistry at university, believing he was destined to become a chemist.

Instead, Ed became a winemaker. Working at a winery as a chemist and microbiologist, he was drawn to winemaking because “it’s about the science”.

Thirty-five years on, Ed has an influential role with Accolade Wines, responsible for the production of, among others, the Arras brand, considered by many to be Australia’s finest sparkling. In 2011 he was named Winemaker of the Year by Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine.

Ed remembers growing up in Elizabeth with fondness. Although the city has a reputation for being a bit rough, Ed feels Elizabeth is no different to many other places. The only time he sensed any stigma about his Elizabeth origins was at Norwood Oval watching his local football side Central Districts play, where a wag in the crowd shouted, “Centrelink is that way, guys!” Typical.

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Two inspiring ex-Elizabethans

I recently photographed two ex-Elizabethans with very similar back stories.

As young teenagers, both Angela Bannon and Cath Kerry travelled to Elizabeth from England as Ten-Pound Poms, attended Elizabeth High School and studied and worked as teachers before moving on to other careers.

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Angela, a practising artist, lived in Elizabeth during her formative years, which she believes “is when you become the person”. She says she felt a real sense of community there, which led to her involvement in local government and various community groups, and an important contribution as partner of the late Premier, John Bannon.

20190213_E Algra_0221 Cath Kerry

With an inherited love of food, it is no surprise Cath left teaching to pursue a very successful career as a chef and restaurateur. She speaks about her and her family’s time in Elizabeth with a great deal of passion and positivity, saying “for us, it was the land of opportunity”.

In later years, Angela and Cath would encounter the stigma so often attached to coming from Elizabeth. As is often the case, this centred around the question, “what school did you go to?” Both found the reactions to their answers very amusing.

Some big news

Fortuitous to spend time with two people with fascinating migrant stories, as it’s just been confirmed that I’ll exhibit photos from the Elizabeth Project at the Migration Museum in Adelaide during the SA Living Artists festival, SALA, in August 2019 (registration yet to be completed and accepted). A book of the project is under way and the plan is to launch it there. Watch this space!


Holdens no more

It was sad to see that all the Holden signage has been removed at the Elizabeth factory. This is a stark visual representation of the major changes under way in Elizabeth. Hopefully the Lionsgate Business Park, the new occupant of the site, will prove a success.

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Suburban Landscapes

In an earlier post I included a photograph from the series ‘Suburban Landscapes’, an assignment I completed while studying photography in Adelaide back in the early 1980s.

The initial idea was to revisit old haunts in the foothills out back of Elizabeth, where I explored and played as a child. The plan was to take photographs that evoked nostalgia for that time in my life.

I soon discovered, however, that the proliferation of new housing was far greater than I’d anticipated, so I decided instead to document those changes.

I presented the photographs in a hand-made book, with the photographs in a sequence that began with empty paddocks, showing the gradual intrusion of development through to completed houses, shops and churches.

Revisiting this project was intriguing in the context of my current ‘This is Our Town’ initiative on Elizabeth.

It’s apparent that my approach at the time was highly influenced by a favourite photographer of mine, Robert Adams, an influence that continues to this day.

suburban landscapes cover The book cover. Nice house in the Fields for just 32.5K!

untitled-1   View from Blair Park Dve.  Craigmore

untitled-2  Blair Park Dve. Craigmore

untitled-3  Christine Ave. Hillbank

untitled-4 copy  Wanbi Crt. Craigmore

untitled-5 copy  Waltham Cnr. Craigmore

untitled-6 copy  Marian Cres. Hillbank

untitled-7 copy  Rear view of Hilltop Bve. Hillbank

untitled-8 copy  Stanley St. Hillbank

untitled-9 copy  Gladman Cl. Hillbank

untitled-10 copy  Craigmore Christian Centre









Looking back, looking forward.

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2018 was a busy year for the Elizabeth Project.

I got to meet lovely people and take lots of nice photographs.

A highlight was getting to know the ‘three Andrews’: Andrew Senior, his son Drew and his grandson Andy. They had all worked at the Holden factory in Elizabeth, which they speak of fondly, particularly the friendships they made. “They become your family,” according to Drew. Between the three Bradleys, they put in 77 years at Holden. Andrew Senior was there for 30 years, Drew for 38 and Andy nine. An impressive record, one that would be hard to match in this era of career fluidity.

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The most significant development for the Elizabeth Project in 2018 was the ‘THIS IS OUR TOWN’ exhibition, hosted by the Playford Civic Centre in August. This was the perfect venue to present a selection of photographs taken over the past four years to the people of Elizabeth. And they seemed to love them! It was a delight to see people engage with the work from their particular understanding of what it means to be an Elizabethan.

In planning this project, the end of 2018 was to be the deadline for all photography. However, more interesting people have emerged and agreed to be part of the project. So, photography will recommence in January. Watch this space.

Work continues on the ‘THIS IS OUR TOWN’ book and the History Trust of South Australia has come on board by way of a grant to assist with the cost of publishing. This is terrific news for the Elizabeth Project. Thank you!

To all who have followed and supported this project, thank you, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

I look forward to keeping you updated in 2019.

One year on

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Today marks one year since the closure of Holden in Elizabeth. Spending the day there on the 20th of October 2017 is still very fresh in my mind. The media presence, the many Holden cars and, of course, all the people that came from far and wide to celebrate Holden and its workers and to grieve the passing of the Australian brand. It was all very moving.

So, where are things at now for the people that worked there?

A couple of interesting articles worth a read –

I remember talking to a Holden enthusiast for this project who told me there would be no Commodore within two years of the closure. The loyalty of Holden drivers to the  Commodore and the fact they were built in Australia by Australian workers has proved to be very strong and was possibly underestimated by General Motors. Here we are only one year later –