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Conor Ashleigh January 11, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Australia.

New South Wales, Australia 2011

Conor Ashleigh’s (b. 1987 Australia) passion for social justice was ignited at the age of 16 when he spent time volunteering in a school for students who were crippled from land mines, one of the brutal legacies of the Khmer Rouge regime. Struck deeply by his experience he began to travel and volunteer in communities throughout Asia. After Conor returned to Australia he completed a Bachelor of Development Studies at Newcastle University while also working with homeless youth. His work has been published in the: Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, New Internationalist, Big Issue, Wall Street Journal online and Grazia among others. He has also worked on international assignments for the Asia Foundation, AusAID, UNICEF, Catholic Mission, Red Cross  and Oxfam.

About the Photograph:

“Baby in a chapel is a visual exploration of a family navigating life in rural Australia. Parents Rose and Kai consciously chose to leave the city and relocate their family to the country to live closer to the earth and also to have less distractions or the demands associated with making ends meet in a city. Their two daughters Mali and Persia (Lily) have now grown up in their community since late 2008. Life in the bush is focused more on adapting to the natural environment. Too much rain can lead to the seven bridges into town flooding while not enough solar power to run basic appliances makes basic domestic processes difficult. Living close to the land means the family grows much of their food and has an abundance of clean drinking water. They also have an abundance of time to spend with their daughters free from disruptions. The time Rose and Kai have spent with their girls can be seen in their close relationship as well as their personal confidence and curiosity with the world. Visiting the family for a few days every couple of months I’m able to recognize how the girls change. Baby in a chapel is an ongoing project.”