Milson's Point, Sydney
Maggie's Thai, a dining institution in Erskineville, was destroyed by fire in November 2014. Maggie Sang Song spent her childhood in southern Thailand and she is a 3rd generation chef, following in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother. In 1986, at the age of 18, Maggie migrated to Australia with her mother. They opened Maggie's Thai 25 years ago and it quickly became popular for it's traditional Thai cuisine and hospitality. In this portrait I wanted to portray Maggie's culinary genaealogy and connection to culture through her work as a chef. Also, and most importantly, I wanted to portray Maggie's lifelong resilience, from migrating to Australia at the age of 18 with her single mum, to rebuilding a thriving and landmark restaurant business (rising like a Phoenix from the ashes). Maggie's Thai has been sorely missed by her many regulars while it's been closed for the rebuild. At one point the front window of the restaurant was covered in well wishes from concerned patrons. When we went to the worksite to do this shoot, people were coming to the door to ask Maggie when she would be reopening ... Maggie's Thai is now open for business.
The Refugee Camp in my Neighbourhood is a simulated refugee camp situated in the grounds of the Auburn Centre for Community. In 2015 it ran for 3 weeks from 9 to 26 June.
Tour guides, who are former refugees or asylum seekers, guide participants through the interactive exhibition. Throughout the tour participants discover the stories and experiences of local Auburn residents as they experience what it’s like to flee your country and try to find safety.
Pastor Ray Minniecon and Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Marie Bashir AD CVO, the 37th Governor of New South Wales at the launch of the public artwork, by Aboriginal artist Tony Albert, to acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and men who served in the nation’s military.
In February 1965, a group of students, led by Charles Perkins, organised the tour to draw attention to the state of Indigenous health, education and housing, and to try and stimulate local action. Through the efforts of the original Freedom ride, it shone a spotlight on the parlous state of Australia's race relations and now is recognised as one of Australia's most significant civil rights events.
The commemorative Freedom ride concert on the 20 March was held on the University's Front Lawns. The night saw the local community and the Freedom Riders old and new come together to enjoy a free public concert featuring Australian music legends Troy Cassar-Daley, Paul Kelly and Dan Sultan.
Martin Place Sydney
It was an honour to have the KBH portraits exhibited on Dunghutti country, at the site of the former Kinchela Boys Home (KBH). Twelve years in the making, it's the first time all 50 portraits have been exhibitied together. The KBH Portrait Project was the brain child of Raymond Minniecon, whose inspiration and hard work made it happen. I thank the KBH men for their generosity and for trusting me with their stories. And I thank Sandy Chockman for this powerful installation. It has been an honour to do this voluntary work for the KBH men. Making their portraits is my Sorry to the KBH men, and all members of the Stolen Generation and their families, for the injustices of the past.