Photos capture life in care

Brieanah. Picture: Lucy Jarvis
Brieanah. Picture: Lucy Jarvis

FOOTBALL, family, friends and culture drew the focus of a northern suburbs girl’s first foray into photography.

Brieanah (14) took several photos of things that mattered to her for the Department of Communities annual exhibition to give the public a glimpse of life through the eyes of young people living in out-of-home care.

Registered young people were provided with a camera and given the opportunity to participate in a photography workshop run by fourth-year Murdoch University photography student Cathryn Jupp and photographer Greg Lewis.

They then submitted four black-and-white photographs of things that were significant to them, along with a photo of their right eye, and wrote short descriptions of each image outlining its significance.

“I took this picture because I love playing AFL with all my friendly and family. AFL is a sport that makes me feel good about myself and is something that can get all my anger out even on the worst days.”

Brieanah, who loves doing art, said she took one photo of a symbol of her Aboriginal culture and another to represent her love of AFL.

“AFL is a sport that makes me feel good about myself and is something that can get all my anger out even on the worst days,” she said.

She also took one of her friends’ hands “because it shows we all have eight fingers and two thumbs regardless of our skin colour” while the fourth was about family.

“I love getting to spend time with my little sisters at the park and just having a laugh and a good time,” she said.

“This photo is important to me because it shows we all have eight fingers and two thumbs regardless of our skin colour.”

The free As Eye See It Photographic Exhibition is on display at the WA Shipwrecks Museum until October 20.

Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk launched the exhibition on August 30 ahead of National Child Protection Week, which runs from September 1 to 7.

“This year we have 16 young people who have bravely shared their lives with us through their art,” she said.

“Some of these children have experienced hardship and trauma, and as a result some of the images are quite poignant.

“I have chosen to take a picture of this because it is a symbol of my culture. In other names it is the indigenous flag with a story to me.”

“This is a rare opportunity to hear their voices and to provide them with a sense of pride that their work is being exhibited.”

For the first time, the exhibition includes submissions from three young men at the Banksia Hill Detention Centre, providing perspective from an unusual viewpoint.

With more than 5300 children and young people currently in the chief executive’s care, the Department of Communities regularly seeks people who can care for vulnerable children and young people.

Anyone interested in fostering can visit childprotectioncareers.wa.gov.au/foster-carer-recruitment .

“The reason why I chose this picture is because I love getting to spend time with my little sisters at the park and just having a laugh and a good time.”