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Louise Whelan April 7, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Australia.
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Turkish migrant, Lightning Ridge, Australia 2011

Louise Whelan (b.1967, Australia) completed an advanced certificate in photography at Ultimo College in Sydney. She works across various fields from documentary and fine art photography through to corporate editorial work and still on films. Her current project includes documenting the diverse ethnic communities that make up Australia for the State and National Libraries. This work has been awarded the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2013 presented by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Louise’s first monograph New Settlers was published this year by T & G Publishing. She was also one of the Australian Photographers selected for the Fuji 10×100 book project.

About the Photograph:

“This portrait was taken as part of my ongoing social documentary project of the different ethnicities that make up Australia for the State and National Libraries. It was made in Lightning Ridge, which is situated in the north central part of New South Wales not far from the Queensland border. Opal mining has been the major attraction for migrants since the early 1900s. Typically it attracts those interested in working for themselves. Many migrants set up life in this small mining town by laying out a claim and mining under ground for opal. This Turkish migrant who has been living in Lighting Ridge for over 25 years. As well as mining he also runs a repair business. Lightning Ridge has just lost its much needed funding for the multicultural sector, which provided health services for the aging migrant community. Temperatures in summer can reach the high forties and it has been known for some of these migrants to perish in their tin shed homes in the mining camps.”

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