From Alice Springs and Hobart to Bendigo

From Alice Springs and Hobart to Bendigo

25 May 2011

Online photojournalism students came from locations across the country to join other lovers of photography in attending a fully subscribed symposium in Bendigo organised by La Trobe University and Bendigo Art Gallery.

Back row - Tansy Curtin, Alison Nordstrum, David Callow. Front row - Stephen Dupont, Nicci Cumpston, Anne Ferran, Matthew SleethSeventy people from Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Alice Springs, Hobart and Bendigo came to attend the symposium on Friday 20 May, which has been hailed a resounding success.

The symposium included presentations by keynote speaker, Allison Nordstrom, Curator of Photographs at George Eastman House in New York, and practicing photojournalists and artists Stephen Dupont, David Callow, Nici Cumpston, Anne Ferran and Matthew Sleeth.

‘I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from and enjoy such an event - and Bendigo is most definitely the loveliest place for it, especially on a sunny autumn day,’ said Melinda Caracella, who travelled from Melbourne.

‘Allison Nordstrom took us on an incredibly informative walk through the history of the archive and the collections of French, American and British photographs it houses, including those that can be seen in the American Dreams exhibition. ‘

Marcus Brownlow travelled from Adelaide for the day specifically to attend the symposium and see the American Dreams exhibition.

‘The symposium was pivotal in my decision to attend the exhibition and I am so glad that I did because it was such a rare opportunity to see the American Dreams exhibition at the same time as hear from the Curator of Photographs from George Eastman House and other practising Australian photographers’ said Mr Brownlow.

‘As a student of photography and visual art, it was tremendously energising to see artists' works and to learn firsthand about their influences, challenges and future plans. Each of the presenters had found their own unique visual voice and it was a privilege to hear them talk about it’ he said.

La Trobe University senior lecturer and head of photography, Julie Millowick said the American Dreams exhibition is a great drawcard for Bendigo.

‘Speaking as an educator, La Trobe's regional students are incredibly fortunate to have such an exhibition as American Dreams in their midst, and such is its drawing power that many of our Bundoora students have made the journey up the Calder as well for the event,’ Ms  Millowick.

Ms Millowick said the American Dreams experience was further enriched with the La Trobe University sponsored free public photographic symposium featuring Ms Nordstrom and  a diverse group of international and nationally acclaimed practitioners.  

‘The symposium was inspirational. The feedback has been beyond our wildest dreams.  I personally would like to thank the vision and drive of everyone concerned, and particularly that of Professor Hal Swerissen from La Trobe University,’ said Ms Millowick.

For online photojournalism student, Carl Dziunka the most memorable part of the symposium was being able to rub shoulders with the big names of the industry.

‘To be in the same room as these big names rather than just to see them in magazines or other media outlets was just incredible and an experience that doesn't come along too often’ Mr Dziunka said.

Fifteen La Trobe students from the on-campus photography and online photojournalism enrolments who achieved the highest marks at the end of last semester were selected to attend an exclusive workshop on the day after the symposium with acclaimed photojournalist Stephen Dupont. 

‘Stephen has spent the past 15 years in Afghanistan and generously gave students a valuable insight into his working methods, motivations and inspirations.  His deep love for Afghanistan and the people was clearly evident,’ said Ms Millowick

‘He then turned the tables and delved into the work of the students.   What an amazing memory of their La Trobe education those students will take with them into the future’ she said.

Symposium and workshop participant, Pen Tayler said having the chance to participate in a La Trobe sponsored high profile event in Bendigo was an opportunity she’s very glad she didn't miss.
‘The symposium inspired me to work harder to step outside my comfort zone in my photographic work as well as demonstrating that the process and the presentation can be as important as the image.

‘Attending Steven's   workshop at the Bendigo campus of La Trobe University the following day was particularly beneficial especially with regard to multimedia. His down-to-earth approach and willingness to answer any of our questions as well as being able to view more of his excellent work made the day well worth it’ said Ms Tayler.


Media enquiries

Zerin Knight, Ph (03) 5444 7375 F +613 5444 7526 M 0428 463 161 E


Above Photo: If used, please credit attached photos to La Trobe University online photojournalism student, Carl Dziunka.





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