Digital storytelling at PhotoAccess
Digital storytelling allows people to tell their own stories in their own voice. Workshops run over a total of 26 hours and provide professional support for the making of a short film of three to five minutes. Working with Artistic Director Jenni Savigny (Gen S Stories), a photographer and a filmmaker, people write their own film script, record their own voice-over and create their own images. The workshops are fun, safe and highly creative.

Digital stories are a simple and powerful way to celebrate people and also their organisations and communities. The stories are a way of changing attitudes, providing insights, hope or humour. For example, the project Moving Minds (by Mental Illness Education ACT) used digital storytelling as a way of addressing stigma and discrimination towards people living with mental illness. This project won an ACT Health Promotion Award, and also a national award at the Mental Health Services Conference (2011).

Digital storytelling also allows many people to have a voice that would otherwise not be heard and it allows many people to participate in the arts that would otherwise not have the opportunity. PhotoAccess has collaborated with many marginalised communities whose access to the arts is limited for reasons of gender, geography, income, disability or other reasons. For example, In 2012/13 PhotoAccess worked with A Gender Agenda to create Being True to Ourselves – a collection of digital stories by the sex and gender diverse community in Canberra. This project won a national award at the Mental Health Services Conference (2013). We have also worked with people recovering from drug and alcohol dependency (Karralika, Love Stories), people coming out of crisis (Inanna Inc, Now I’m Here), and people living with disability (ADACAS, Being Heard).

An integral part of the digital storytelling process is the screening. It is a chance for people to celebrate with family and friends, for people to know they are not alone, and for everyone to experience the power of real stories. Many of the digital stories have been screened in the Arc Cinema at the National Film and Sound Archives. The following collections are published online:

If you would like to find out more about digital storytelling, and how you or your organisation could get involved, please contact us.

(Image: ADACAS, Being Heard DVD splash page)

2015-03-24 18:00
2015-06-10 20:00

Digital Storytelling by Muslim Women in Canberra
A 2015 digital storytelling project

PhotoAccess and Gen S Stories are providing Muslim women living in Canberra the opportunity to participate in a free digital storytelling course, to make a short film about a personal story, and gain skills in storytelling, photography and filmmaking. The course participants will work with an experienced team of artists (an Artistic Director, a photographer and a filmmaker) through a process that is professional, respectful and culturally appropriate. The course will provide professional support for up to ten women to each make a 3-5 minute film about a personal story.

  • What is it like to live as a Muslim woman in Canberra at this time in Australian history?
  • What would you like the general population to know about living Muslim?
  • Would you like a creative opportunity to express yourself?

What’s involved?
The course involves 25 hours total contact time. These hours are spread over five weeks, with each session lasting five hours. In addition you will be offered a one-on-one two hour tutorial in script development. Making a digital story also involves some homework - writing your script and collecting images.

You will be the film-maker, writing your own script, recording your own voice-over and making your own images (we will provide you with the skills, facilities and equipment to help you do this). The digital stories will be screened publicly at a launch, and also be published online.

The course will be held at PhotoAccess. You will be working on Mac computers, and no experience is necessary. The workshops are safe, fun, creative and professional. If you want to remain completely anonymous, you can still make an engaging digital story.

Here’s who we’re looking for

  • you need to be able to participate fully in each workshop, be part of a group, and be able to tell a personal story
  • you need to be able to commit to all 27 hours of workshops (5 x 5 hours per week + 2 hours script development). Unfortunately we can’t offer partial or casual attendance
  • you need to be okay with your digital story being screened at a public launch, published on a website, and being part of the collection produced as a DVD. You will need to sign a participant’s agreement to this effect

Key dates and times (at PhotoAccess):

  • Information session, 6pm Wednesday 10 June 2015
  • Workshop one, 9:30am-2:30pm Saturday 1 August 2015
  • Workshop two, 9:30am-2:30pm Saturday 15 August 2015
  • Workshop three, 9:30am-2:30pm Saturday 29 August 2015
  • Workshop four, 9:30am-2:30pm Saturday 5 September 2015
  • Workshop five, 9:30am-2:30pm Saturday 19 September 2015

Intersted in participating in the project? Enrol today.

Any questions? Call PhotoAccess on 02 6295 7810 or email To find out more about digital storytelling at PhotoAccess and to view examples of past projects click here.

This project is funded by the ACT Government's 2014-15 Participation (Women's) Grant.

2014-12-05 18:00
2014-12-06 16:00

A collective of art galleries and art spaces in Canberra's leafy inner south have come together to form the Inner South Arts Hub, and in early December will throw open their doors to welcome the wider public into their artistic communities. Galleries and organisations include: Artsound FM, Bilk Gallery, Canberra Glassworks, Canberra Contemporary Art Space Manuka, the Gallery of Australian Design, M16 Artspace, Megalo Print Studio + Gallery and PhotoAccess. Art After Dark events will be held on Friday 5 December, and Art & Ride events are scheduled on Saturday 6 December. For a full program of events and activities click here.

PhotoAccess will be hosting a members’ drinks and late night exhibition viewing event in the Huw Davies Gallery from 6-8pm on Friday 5 December as part of the Art After Dark event. This event will double as our Christmas event, and provide an opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to PhotoAccess this year. This event is open to the public and we hope to see you there. On Saturday 6 December, as part of Art & Ride, PhotoAccess will be hosting artists talks in the Huw Davies Gallery at 2pm, with exhibiting artists Madeline Bishop and Ngaio Fitzpatrick, and at 3pm in the PhotoAccess darkroom Octavio Garcia Alvarado will demonstrate the chemigram alternative processes etching technique - all welcome.

WIN: A special piece of Jewellery donated by Bilk Gallery, by collecting a Stamp from each Gallery on your map. Come to the East Hotel for the Closing Party at the end of the day on Saturday 6 December, (3-5pm) collect a raffle ticket for visiting all the Galleries and go in the draw to win. Winners announced: 4:30pm, East Hotel.

WIN: $150 voucher for PhotoAccess. Instagram your favourite moments throughout the day using, #InnerSouthArtsHub. Winners announced: 4:30pm Saturday 6 December, East Hotel.

2014-12-16 22:36

(Image: Mel Edwards, Detail of a ceiling canopy, National Gallery of Australia (detail), 2013, Inkjet print)

CAPITAL LENS | A selection of works from the 100 Views of Canberra collection
November 2014 - April 2015
Promenade Cafe, Hyatt Hotel Canberra
120 Commonwealth Avenue, Canberra, ACT

Showcasing work by: Edwin Bien, Emily Davidson, Mel Edwards, Rebecca Hanrahan, Paul Jurak, Dean Klemick, Carolyn Larcombe, Christine Rufflet and Jennie Widowson.

Launch event 4pm Friday 28 November 2014, Promenade Cafe, Hyatt Hotel Canberra.

Capital Lens is an exhibition of nine works from the PhotoAccess 100 Views of Canberra collection, curated by PhotoAccess for the Promenade Cafe at Hyatt Hotel Canberra. Published in 2013, the 100 Views of Canberra project exists in two formats; as a book and as a collection of exhibition quality prints, showcasing the work of over 100 photographers. This important and insightful project documents the grand, not so grand, and human faces of Canberra in its Centenary year. All works are printed on A3+ paper. Click here for more information on the Capital Lens exhibition.

2014-11-10 00:00
2014-11-23 12:00

Sight and Sound
2XX FM Radiothon and PhotoAccess Instagram competition

If video killed the radio star, then Instagram killed the digital camera star.

Kidding! Everyone is alive and kicking, and we want you to combine sight and sound and Instagram your favourite moments throughout 2XX’s radiothon to win a $150 voucher towards any PhotoAccess course in 2015.

Whether it’s an awesome crowd shot, beads of sweat falling from a musician's brow, or a frantic Saturday made to look like a lazy Sunday using a Toaster filter, we want all photographers and Instagram aficionados to start snapping. The winning entries will be judged by Director of PhotoAccess, Jan Falsone. The winner will be contacted via their Instagram account.

Caption your Instagrams @2XXFM, @PhotoAccess_Inc and use the hashtag #2XXradiothon.

2014-11-07 00:00
2014-11-25 17:00

Send us a Selfie project
PhotoAccess has partnered with the Community Cultural Inclusion Program on their latest Send Us A Selfie project. Grab a camera, take a photo of you enjoying yourself at a Canberra community or cultural event, and then click here to upload your Selfie and go in the draw to win a PhotoAccess course gift voucher. You can also post your Selfie on Twitter or Instagram using #SelfieCBR. Entries close Tuesday 25 November 2014.

2014-10-26 00:00
2014-10-26 12:00

(Image: Sean Davey, 2012)

PhotoAccess has partnered with the Canberra Photographic Society on a Photo Challenge. The aim of the Photo Challenge is to create photographs which reflect six specified themes at the Australian National Botanic Gardens on Sunday 26 October 2014 between 9am and 5pm. Photographers will then be asked to choose six of their own images which they feel best express the themes, before uploading them to an online gallery. Full instructions will be provided at registration on the day.

If you're a current PhotoAccess or Canberra Photographic Society member, and keen to take part in the Photo Challenge, please arrive for registration between 9am and 12pm on Sunday 26 October 2014 at the Australian National Botanic Gardens cafe. Participation in the Photo Challenge is free for members - so come along, test your camera skills, meet fellow photographers, and have some fun!

2014-07-24 18:00
2014-08-02 16:00

YWCA Canberra recently partnered with PhotoAccess on an eight-week Black-and-White film photography workshop for students of Lake Tuggeranong College in mid 2014. The students took photographs with analogue cameras, developed the film and printed the images in the PhotoAccess darkroom. The resulting works will be exhibited in the Tuggeranong Arts Centre Foyer Gallery in an exhibition titled The Big Picture - opening 6pm Thursday 24 July and running until 2 August 2014.

2013-07-25 12:52
2013-11-24 12:52

100 Views of Canberra book
Published in 2013, the 100 Views of Canberra book showcases the work of over 100 Canberra photographers. It is important and insightful, documenting the grand, not so grand and human faces of Canberra in its Centenary year.

Cost: Only $45.00

You can pick up a copy of the book from PhotoAccess, or order online. To order online simply send an email to with your name and the number of copies you wish to purchase, then follow the Online Payments link to pay. You can collect your books from PhotoAccess. Please note that there will be a charge for postage if you would like to have copies mailed.

Click here for a preview of the first few pages of the book.

You can also pick up a copy from:

The 100 Views of Canberra publication and accompanying exhibition (exhibition was held in the PhotoAccess HUW DAVIES GALLERY in August 2013) were supported by the ACT Government's Community Centenary Initiatives Fund.

(Images: Kerstin Styche)

PhotoAccess has a long history of supporting Indigenous artists. A particular focus for our support has been artist residencies and NAIDOC Week exhibitions each year for emerging Indigenous photomedia artists.

We are inviting proposals now for 2015 NAIDOC Week. If you would like to be considered for a residency in 2015 read the information in this article and then email attaching a CV.

The PhotoAccess emerging Indigenous photomedia artist program
With assistance under the ACT component of the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy we have been able to provide emerging Indigenous artist residencies based on digital storytelling and exhibition projects since 2006.

The aims of the residency program are to:

  • assist emerging artists to develop their practice and present work to a wider audience
  • provide established artists with opportunities to acquire new skills and produce and show new work.

Support for artists in residence includes membership of PhotoAccess, use of facilities and equipment, free enrolment in courses and workshops, help with grants applications, informal mentoring and advice, technical and creative support with projects and, in some cases, exhibition opportunities. Details of each residency and the support provided are decided on a case-by-case basis and normally run for one year.

We also work in partnership with community organisations to provide learning and exhibition opportunities for young Indigenous people in the photo-based arts. Below is a brief summary of our recent work with Indigenous artists and young people:

Kerry Reed-Gilbert is a Wiradjuri woman from New South Wales, and Megan Cope is a Quandamooka woman from North Stradbroke Island in South East Queensland - In July 2014 Kerry exhibited inkjet prints in the PhotoAccess Huw Davies Gallery in an show titled Spirit of Country, and Megan exhibited a video work titled The Blaktism in the HUW DAVIES Multimedia GALLERY. Spirit of Country Catalogue, The Blaktism Catalogue

Marissa McDowell is a Wiradjuri woman, from Cowra in the Central West of New South Wales. Marissa was our 2013 Emerging Indigenous Photomedia Artist and presented her first solo exhibition Colours of India in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY during NAIDOC week. Colours of India catalogue

Jenni Kemarre Martiniello's exhibition Grandmothers’ Countries was exhibited in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY during NAIDO week in 2012. Jenni is a poet, writer, visual and glass artist. Jenni was one of three artists involved in the second PhotoAccess Indigenous Artist Digital Storytelling project in 2007 and her River story, inkjet prints and fabric banners were shown in the PhotoAccess 2007 NAIDOC Week exhibition. Grandmothers' Countries catalogue

Kerstin Styche, a Wiradjuri woman with family connections to Western New South Wales, born and raised in Canberra, was our fourth PhotoAccess Emerging Indigenous photographer. Her NAIDOC Week exhibition Walan Budhang Yinaagirrbang (Strong Black Women) showed in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY in July. Kirsten was also selected for our Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) graduate emerging artist residency. Her second exhibition, Identity Through Our Eyes, showed in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY in November and December 2011. Catalogues for both exhibitions can be accessed by following the links below. As well as her two PhotoAccess residencies and exhibitions, Kerstin was presented with the Len Barratt Award for the outstanding CIT graduate in photography in October, and named ACT NAIDOC Artist of the Year in July. Walan Budhang Yinaagirrbang catalogue Identity Through Our Eyes catalogue

Nick Radoll, Tyrell Kamira Sams, Lyndy Delian and Jo Kamira were involved with the ACT Indigenous Strategic Arts Initiative run in 2009 by Ed Whalan for PhotoAccess and Jennifer Martiniello for Billabong Aboriginal Corporation. Their residencies and exhibition were supported under the PhotoAccess Emerging Indigenous Photographer program. The 4 Emerging Indigenous Photographers exhibition was shown in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY in July 2010, opening during NAIDOC Week. 4 Emerging Indigenous Photographers catalogue

AUtonomies by Jessie Boylan with Emma King was based on the Australian Government’s ‘Intervention’ in Northern Territory Indigenous communities. Jessie is a non-Indigenous woman who has worked extensively with Indigenous communities in northern Australia. Emma King spoke about the project and exhibition at a Sunday in the gallery event and we assisted with a short tour of the exhibition later in the year. AUtonomies catalogue

Our second Emerging Indigenous Photographer was Lyndy Delian, whose exhibition 12000 was shown in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY during NAIDOC Week in July 2009. Lyndy spoke about her work and exhibition at a Sunday in the gallery event on 12 July. Lyndy Delian catalogue

Working with Billabong Aboriginal Corporation and coordinator Jennifer Martiniello, we conducted two 10-week workshops as part of a photography project for young Indigenous people under the ACT Indigenous Strategic Arts Initiative.

Otis Williams was our 2008 Emerging Indigenous Photographer. Crossing, his exhibition based on the Fitzroy Crossing community in Western Australia was opened in NAIDOC Week 2008. Crossing catalogue

(Images: Duncan Smith)

Duncan Smith is a Wiradjuri man resident in Canberra. He is an outstanding cultural practitioner and leader. His PhotoAccess residency and Back to Country exhibition was supported by the ACT Arts Fund and the ACT Indigenous Arts Officer. Duncan spoke about his Back to Country exhibition and the return to Wiradjuri country project which was the basis for his images at a Sunday in the gallery event on 26 October. Back to Country catalogue

We provided technical and creative support for a film project with partner Southside Community Centre. I’m Awesome U Know was made by 22 Indigenous primary school boys involved in the ACT On Track Program. The project was coordinated by Cathy Laudenbach (Southside Community Centre) and Edwin Daughtry (PhotoAccess) with support from Ed Whalan. The project was assisted by a grant from the ACT Arts Fund. I’m awesome U Know was shown in the Multimedia Room in October and November 2008. I'm Awesome U Know catalogue

Our second Indigenous Artists Digital Storytelling Project culminated in a NAIDOC Week exhibition of digital stories and other works by three artists — River by Jenni Kemarre Martiniello, Wiradjuri Echoes by Duncan Smith and Telling My Story by Renee Smith; the project was led by Ed Whalan and assisted by the ACT Indigenous Arts Officer. 2007 NAIDOC Week catalogue

The first Indigenous Artists Digital Storytelling Project culminated in a NAIDOC Week exhibition of digital stories and other works by Indigenous visual artists Leise Guthridge (Sisters’ stories—Anna) and Liz McNiven (Spiritual Land)

2010-03-18 17:39
2010-04-01 17:39

(Image: Kerry Baylor, Breach)

PhotoAccess 25th Anniversary Print Portfolio
This limited edition print portfolio is 16 images donated by artists associated with PhotoAccess as board members, board advisors, staff, course tutors and exhibiting members to commemorate the PhotoAccess 25th Anniversary in September 2009. Macquarie Editions printed the portfolio with UltraChrome HDR pigment inks on 310 gsm Canson Infinity BFK Rives 100% rag in a numbered edition of 25, with one artist’s proof. Boxed sets have been acquired by private collectors and Canberra Museum and Art Gallery. Seven boxed sets remain for sale. Images numbered 11 to 20/25 are for sale individually and a number have been acquired by private collectors. Proceeds from the sale of the edition help PhotoAccess continue its work providing community access to the photo based arts through exhibitions, courses and special projects.

The portfolio would not have been possible without our supporters:

Macquarie Editions: Stephen Best is a PhotoAccess member, master digital printmaker and owner of Macquarie Editions. His first solo exhibition, Coast, was shown in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY in 2007. Stephen has printed a significant number of exhibition images for PhotoAccess members and other artists around Australia and is renowned for the quality of his work.

Abell’s Kopi Tiam Restaurant at Manuka: Lorna Sim is a partner in Abell’s Kopi Tiam restaurant and a long-standing member of PhotoAccess. She and Abell Ong have supported and shown photography in the restaurant for many years and are very pleased to be associated with PhotoAccess and the commemorative print portfolio.

Barbie Robinson: Barbie Robinson is a member and staff member of PhotoAccess. Her exhibition 256 Shades of Grey was shown in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY in 2005. She is supporting the edition in memory of her mother, Beb Bartholomew. Beb came to openings at PhotoAccess and sat happily in 'her' chair at the front desk sipping champagne and people-watching. She loved encouraging and supporting people she saw as 'having a go'. She had a special affection for PhotoAccess, observing a supportive environment for both its staff and its artists. Ed Whalan was her particular pin-up boy because of his role in introducing Barbie to the intricacies and boundless delights of photography.

The PhotoAccess 25th Anniversary Print Portfolio was exhibited in the PhotoAccess HUW DAVIES GALLERY from 18 March - 14 April 2010. Download Catalogue

The Tocumwal Archive is a collection of stories and photographs, about living in the houses that were moved from the Tocumwal air force base in New South Wales, to the Canberra suburb of O'Connor. The base was built during the Second World War as an inland defence against Japanese invasion. As camouflage, the sleeping quarters for air force personnel were built in the form of houses. After the War, the acute housing shortage in Canberra gave the houses a new purpose. From the late 1940s, about 200 of them were transported to the growing suburbs of Ainslie and O'Connor. In O'Connor they were located in two groups of four cul-de-sacs meeting at a central park and bounded by Macarthur, Macpherson, Miller and Tate Streets. The area is listed as an Australian Capital Territory (ACT) heritage precinct. Collection for the Archive began in 1996 with a PhotoAccess project supported by the ACT Heritage Council. Stories and photographs are archived according to the donor's name. Ongoing community collection and maintenance of the Archive is encouraged. The Archive is open for research use and the contribution of material at the ACT Heritage Library in the Woden Town Library. The Tocumwal Archive website is hosted by PhotoAccess and was initiated as part of Party in the Park , a 2005 ACT Heritage Festival event co-ordinated by Northside Community Service. It features a fraction of the material held in the Archive.

For privacy reasons house numbers and full names are not included with recent stories and photographs featured on the website. The Tocumwal Archive