Una Porter, c1990

Una Porter’s photographic albums, held in the University of Melbourne’s archives, present labelled photographs narrating her journey through China, Hong Kong, Japan, and India during the 1920s. Porter undertook her tour on a philanthropic mission, documenting her travels and compiling two albums of the photos she took. The albums are particularly important in revealing information […]

‘White Australia has a Black History, 1987;, National NAIDOC Poster, 2006-0038-00031

Initially compiled by George Seelaf, the inaugural Arts Officer of Victorian Trades Hall Council, this collection of political posters was donated to the University of Melbourne Archives by Trades Hall secretary Brian Boyd in 2006 (2006.0038). In addition to the union campaign posters and various papers, photographs and audio recordings, the collection comprises political and […]

Una Fraser with Malcolm Fraser, 1930

The Una Fraser collection in the University of Melbourne Archives includes two large scrapbooks of various ephemera – newspaper cut-outs, photos, letters – collected by Una Fraser, Malcolm Fraser’s mother, during the 1950s and 60s. Carefully clipped and pasted into the scrapbook, with dates noted by hand, they convey the sense of personal and intimate […]

Dr Rachael Weaver School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne I first became interested in the Australian writer William Hay ten years ago, when Ken Gelder and I re-published Hay’s 1921 story, ‘An Australian Rip Van Winkle,’ in our Anthology of Colonial Australian Gothic Fiction (2007). The tale is a delightfully strange one, about […]

"10 October: Anniversary Chinese Revolution", c1920s

Katherine Molyneux It is a photograph of an dusty street in an unnamed city. There are bicycles and a blurry power line. In the background is a low-rise building that might be a market. In the foreground – dominating the scene – is a ceremonial gate, which appears to be made of wood. It is […]

"Wesley college masters", 1926

Oscar T. Serquiña, Jr. A personal photograph collection may reveal the roots and routes of its collector’s life. While its primary function is to collate representations of objects, persons, and events, a collection may also lay bare more than what is visible to the eye. Such is the uncontainable paradox of archival materials, especially photos, […]

India photograph album, 1926

Nathan McCall Accompanying the photographs are captions written by Ms Porter. These captions present an insight into Ms Porter’s reactions to some of the people and places that she saw. Of particular interest are three photographs captioned. The first is an image of a bearded man with a Tilaka painted on his forehead, indicating that […]

"Outcastes", India photograph album, 1926

Alice Helme A picture says a thousand words. We all know that ubiquitous and often overused phrase. It is the cornerstone of art analysis and an art historical approach to dissecting pictorial representations. An image presents a visual narrative, conveying a story or meaning through the silent channels of sight. These narratives are fabled to […]

"Dom types", photograph album, 1926

Charmaine Toh Martyn Jolly has noted that photographic albums were both oral and visual records – their owners would show them to friends and family accompanied by an oral narrative.1 This oral element is of course now lost, but I raise it that we might recognize the importance of situating the individual elements of such […]

Ainslee Meredith Winja Ulupna is an Aboriginal women’s residential drug and alcohol recovery house based in St Kilda. Established in 1976 through Australian Government investment in residential rehabilitation programs controlled by Aboriginal communities, as distinct from State rehabilitation units (Brady 2002), Winja Ulupna, or ‘women’s haven’, was also the first rehabilitation house in Australia specifically […]

Jimmy Yan  The 1988 Australian bicentenary was marked by its contradictory history and dual claims for national attention. There was the assertion of settler-colonial nationalism and, in response, a vigorous revival of the movement for Aboriginal land rights and self-determination. In the wake of the indigenous boycott of the celebrations, the Australian Film Institute (AFI) […]

Victoria Perin ‘Capital A Art as it is conventionally understood is at best only a minor contributor to the development of cultural values, about as important as fashion and interior design, in other words not very important at all. The real generator of cultural values in Australia has been the trade union movement and, since […]