I was brought up, as so many of my generation were, to be seen and not heard, and preferably not be seen at all. Modesty was considered the supreme virtue. So speaking about achievements does not come easy. Here is an attempt at a list of some of them.
- Took up documentary photography to cope with culture shock after move from eastern states capital city to tiny west coast towns on the edge of the desert and southern ocean, going from one of the finest senior high schools in the nation to one of the most disadvantaged junior high schools in Australia.
- After teaching myself photography with a Kodak Instamatic 33 and staging my first photography exhibition, was offered a job as part-time newspaper photographer and then district correspondent for a newspaper group in regional Western Australia from age 15, later moving to another regional newspaper group closer to Perth.
- Exhibits officer for a regional museum in southwest of Western Australia producing photographs, artworks and restoring historic farm and industrial machinery, while also working as a wedding photographer to put myself through university.
- Studied photography, conceptual art, printmaking, painting and art history at Curtin University School of Art and Design in Perth, Western Australia. Denied right to study filmmaking due to being enrolled in Fine Art and not Design.
- As a consequence, concurrent to my enrolment at Curtin I studied filmmaking and cinematography at Central College of TAFE, later tutoring in cinematography and consulting on design of new photography teaching facilities.
- Winner of tertiary-level Channel 7 Young Filmmakers Festival Award and special cinematography award for groundbreaking 28-minute science fiction feature film co-produced with Central College of TAFE. The awards were rescinded by festival director majority from Curtin University’s School of Art and Design due to their dispute with Central College of TAFE on its right to tertiary status. “I’m sure you understand the School’s prestige mustn’t be damaged by TAFE college students winning for the very first time,” we were told minutes before curtains-up on Festival Award presentation night.
- Production assistant on German telemovie and Canadian television series in Western Australia.
- Tutor then lecturer and de facto senior lecturer/head of department at Curtin University School of Art and Design, participating in effort to reform photography education in Western Australia in conjunction with Dr Bill Gaskins from Nottingham Trent University, Dr Mike Weaver from University of Oxford and Ron McCormick from the School of Documentary Photography at the University of South Wales.
- Fellowship in Photography at Edith Cowan University where I worked on personal projects and consulted on design of new photography teaching facilities.
- Photography teacher for creative high schools and self-run independent photography workshops.
- Commercial and corporate photographer on location for mining companies in Western Australia.
- Magazine editorial portrait photographer for a range of glossy magazines and broadsheet newspapers in Sydney, specializing in emotive full-face close-up portraits, semi-surreal environmental portraits and documentary reportage of creative and innovative Australians. Discovered my work was being collected by a number of respected Australian art directors and designers.
- Acquired debilitating photochemical-reaction dermatitis and permanent photochemical allergy requiring stepping away from analog photography, later taking up digital photography and moviemaking when hardware and software had become sophisticated, accessible and affordable.
- Conceived, cofounded and worked as European Contributing Editor for (not only) Black+White magazine, based in Sydney then London.
- Built global networks of photographers and directors twice, once as subjects for magazine stories and once for commissioning and producing for global advertising campaigns.
- Creative production roles in advertising agencies and creative agencies engaged in advertising, events, marketing and public relations, including Leagas Delaney, Saatchi & Saatchi, Malcolm Garrett’s AMX Studios and George P Johnson in London and Sydney, as well as digital divisions of corporations such as Singtel Optus.
- AMX Studios pioneered e-commerce with some of the first online stores and I worked with them on proofs of concept of new online business models for BT (formerly British Telecom) using the latter’s world-first high-speed fibre broadband network in central London.
- Conceived processes for placing photo libraries online in early days of the World Wide Web then set about convincing established London photo agencies and picture libraries to develop online presences.
- Commissioned, briefed and produced established and up-and-coming photographers and directors for global and national advertising campaigns, scouted talented young photographers to help them get their first step up the career ladder, with special emphasis on undervalued female photographers and promising young Australian photographers.
- Fortunate enough to have worked with some of the finest copywriters, art directors, photographers and directors in the world, and my partner is one of the finest technical writers/illustrators in the world, one of the rare ones with a combined engineering and advertising agency background.
- Researched, wrote and pre-produced TV series on the motivations and methods of notable Australian and foreign photographers. My New Director Program commission to produce and direct the first 50-minute episode of the series for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation was cancelled at the very last minute due to demands from the then Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, as he believed the episode centred around a conflict photojournalist might possibly reveal the illegal actions of past Presidents of the United States during and after the Vietnam War.
- Exhibited photographs at University of Western Australia, Australian Centre for Photography (ACP), Art Gallery of Western Australia and other galleries and museums.
- Independent self-funded media professional working in photography, moviemaking and self-publishing, based in Sydney.
Header image by Carmel D. Morris.