Family Keeps Us Going

Exhibition Date

Saturday 11 June 2016 to Sunday 28 August 2016




Family Keeps Us Going: Portraits and Stories of Families of Aboriginal Nations Living in South-West Sydney

Photography by Jagath Dheerasekara in collaboration with the storytellers.

A powerful series of images and stories, developed in extensive collaboration with the storytellers and Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation’s Waranwarin Child and Family Centre showcasing families living in south-west Sydney in 2014/15. This project used photography and oral histories to express belonging, identity, memory, culture and land. The images reflect the diversity of families and their connections to Country across Australia.

Jagath Dheerasekara is a politically engaged, award-winning photographer whose work also encompasses human rights and oral history. He grew up  in Sri Lanka and now lives and works in Sydney. Jagath, who has received the Amnesty International Human Rights Fund Grant, is a passionate facilitator of community cultural development art projects. 

On display on Level 1, Macquarie Building.

A family of 16 poses for a portrait outside their home.

Harold ‘Buck’ Davis

Dunghutti | b. 1955, Kempsey, New South Wales

Harold and family at his home, Leumeah, 2014

Standing L–R: Margaret (granddaughter), Margaret (daughter) carrying Kyleah (granddaughter), Chris (grandson) carrying Logan (grandson), Jamie (son), Harold, Isaiah (grandson), Roy (son), Jaiden (grandson), Valerie (daughter), Timothy (grandson) holding Michaela (granddaughter)

Seated L–R: Wade (brother-in-law), Susan (wife), Arty (brother-in-law)


Photograph arranged and chosen by Harold ‘Buck’ Davis

MLOH 846

Harold ‘Buck’ Davis
A family of four poses for the camera in front of a tree with an Aboriginal artwork.

Michael Paduch-Ducket

Dunghutti | b. 1970, Sydney, New South Wales

Michael and family at Cascades, Mount Annan, 2014

L–R: Mary (wife) Michael, Tori (daughter), John (nephew)


Photograph arranged and chosen by Michael Paduch-Ducket

MLOH 846

Michael Paduch-Ducket
A family of 14 gather closely on a lounge and look at the camera.

Margaret Russell

Ngunnawal | b. 1953, Yass, New South Wales

Margaret and family, Bradbury 2014

L–R: Peter (brother), Amir (son-in-law), Margaret, Nicole (niece), Lisa (daughter), Kaylene (daughter-in-law), Jarod (nephew) holding Olivia (niece)

L–R: James (nephew), Issac (grandson), Kaliesha (granddaughter), Peter Jr (nephew) holding Jivarnah (granddaughter), Tailee (grandson)


Photograph arranged and chosen by Margaret Russell

MLOH 846

Margaret Russell
Two men stand outside, side by side with arms around one another's shoulders, smiling at the camera.

Larry Hoskins

Dunghutti | b. 1950, Kempsey, New South Wales

Larry (L) with Chris (nephew) at the Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation, Airds, 2014


Photograph arranged and chosen by Larry Hoskins

MLOH 846

Larry Hoskins

Grace Connolly

Wiradjuri + Gunaikurnai  | b. 1960, Fairfield, New South Wales

Grace and family at her home, Airds, 2015

L–R: Brett (partner) carrying Nate (grandson)

Grace holding photo of George (father) and Roslyn (mother)

Miya (granddaughter) holding photo of Joe (brother)

Tammy (niece) holding photo of Patrica (sister)

Marli (granddaughter) holding photo of Doris (sister)

Renee (daughter) holding photo of Agnus (sister)

Tori (granddaughter) holding photo of John (brother)

Frank (brother) holding photo of Grace, Margaret (sister), himself & Vickie (sister)

Roslyn (daughter) holding photo of Cedric (brother)

Andrew (son) holding photo of Ralph (brother)


Photograph arranged and chosen by Grace Connolly

MLOH 846

Grace Connolly


Celebrating NAIDOC Week

As part of our NAIDOC celebrations the Library will also display a collection of 15 dramatic photographic portraits taken by Michael Riley, one of Australia's leading Indigenous contemporary artists; A common place: Moree Murries 1990 can be seen in our AMAZE gallery from the 11 June to 28 August 2016.

A black and white photograph of two men standing side by side looking at the camera.

Michael and Jacko French

From 'A common place: Portraits of Moree Murries 1990'

Michael Riley (1960 – 2004)

© Michael Riley Foundation, Licensed by Viscopy


Silver gelatin photoprint

20.3 x 25.3 cm

State Library NSW

PXA 591

Coming soon

Planting Dreams: Shaping Australian Gardens

Saturday 3 September 2016 to Sunday 15 January 2017

Exploring the ideas, influences and inspirations that have shaped our gardening culture.

Planting Dreams: Grand Garden Designs

Saturday 3 September 2016 to Monday 17 April 2017

Australia’s leading garden photographers capture the essence of contemporary landscape design across the state.

Next Door

Tuesday 30 August 2016 to Sunday 27 November 2016

A photographic exploration of neighbourliness in 1990s Sydney suburbia, by Paul Blackmore

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