All about a day in the life of Deniliquin

a day in the life of Deniliquin 1990

A Day in the Life of Deniliquin began on 9th March 1990 when a group of local photographers and community members took photographs that formed a snapshot of the Deniliquin community over a 24 hour period. Project organiser, Marcus Logan, recalls:

“In 1981 two photographers had an idea – get 100 professional photographers together and spend one day taking photographs at various locations around Australia. The completed book, “A Day in the Life of Australia”, became a best seller and was the inspiration, almost ten years later, for the A Day in the Life of Deniliquin project.”

I was so impressed with the ‘Day in the Life’ concept that I couldn’t help but wonder if the same idea could be condensed down to one town and rather than having professionals taking part, local photographic enthusiasts could take on the challenge.

So in 1990 I gathered a few others who were keen on the idea and set about promoting the project and working out exactly who and what we were going to photograph.

Each photographer was given one roll of black and white and one roll of colour film, and, although they could buy a few more rolls, they had to pay for the processing themselves. After the event the films had to be processed and every black and white enlargement was printed in Bruce Richard’s darkroom.

In pre-internet times we had to use whatever techniques we could to promote the project, I’ll never forget appearing live on a morning TV show in Shepparton with Gayle Lindeman.

Needless to say the response then, as now, has been fantastic and A Day in the Life of Deniliquin will no doubt be reprised in 2021.”

Local Hazel Ladson also participated in the 1990 project and was diligent enough to write a diary entry afterward that gives some more insight into the project:
The processing is done by the committee organizing the project and they should recoup that cost from the exhibition they plan to put on from Easter Saturday for a week. Only good photos will be enlarged and displayed but all photos will be put into albums and all are available for ordering reprints and the photographer will get 50% of the sales of reprints. There were 45 photographers out on Friday covering as much of Deniliquin as we could for a 24 hour period. I am really looking forward to the exhibition to see just what does go on in the town over a day. The original plan was to publish a book from it but they were unsuccessful in getting an Arts Council grant so that may not come off.”

It has been over 20 years since the 1990 A Day in the Life of Deniliquin and, unfortunately, only the enlarged prints could be found. The whereabouts of the original negatives and the albums of prints is unknown and around 18 of the enlarged prints are also missing. The 122 remaining photographs have been digitally scanned and form the 1990 Gallery on this website. Details about the photographer, location and subject of each image have been included where known, though much of this information has also been lost.

The search for the original negatives and prints will continue….

Participants 1990
Alan Burnett, Amanda Cockayne, Andy Goodwin, B. Harris, Bruce Richards, E. Kellagher, Eirlys Farrant, Frank May, Gai Geddes, Gayle Lindeman, Gordon Farrant, Hazel Ladson, Judy Bond, K. Deane, K. Norwood, Leanne Calderwood, Mark Logan, Mark Robertson, Marty Kirchof, Michael Jowett, Nancy Hodgkinson, Naomi Battye, Nicole Devlin, Paul Brabander, Peter Moon, Peter Slavich, R. Adamson, R. Hanmer, R. Slavich, Rachel Barnes, Ray Nankivell, Stephanie Robinson, Terry Renwick, Thelma Wharton, Tony Crawford and Wendy McKindlay.

a day in the life of Deniliquin 2001

In 2001, James Giddey, Deniliquin Council’s Cultural Development Officer at the time, restaged A Day in the Life of Deniliquin with the help of community organisers, including Marcus Logan, Michael Jowett and Kate Butler. The group helped coordinate around 32 locals to once again document Deniliquin on the 9th March.

Several community meetings were held in the lead up to the event to talk about possible locations and techniques. Participants paid a nominal fee to participate and were provided with rolls of film, both colour and Kodak’s T400CN film, a monochrome film that could be processed locally through colour processing equipment. In a final meeting before the day, participants identified which locations they would ‘cover’, with some committing to photograph in the early hours of the morning and others late at night, to try and cover as much of the 24 hours as possible.

On the 9th March, participants kept a log of each photo taken, with details of subject, event and location. They were also asked to photograph themselves or their name as the first image on each roll of film to help with identification. Around 73 35mm rolls of film were submitted and processed by organisers. Two sets of standard sized prints were made from each roll with organisers keeping the negatives and one set of prints and the photographers keeping the other set. Around 200 images were chosen and enlarged to 20 x 30cm for exhibition.

This selection of images from 2001, along with the remaining images from 1990, were mounted on large sheets of archival mounting board and exhibited at the Deniliquin Multi Arts Centre.

In 2011, all but two of the rolls of film remain as well as the all of the albums of prints, though the log sheets, detailing the information about the images that weren’t exhibited, have been lost.

Organisers have scanned the 71 rolls of film and have included around 50 images in the 2011 exhibition and in the 2001 Gallery on this website, that were not originally exhibited. Some of these have been chosen simply because they are outstanding photographs whilst others have gained in significance over the past ten years because of what has changed in the community.

Participants 2001
Alex Murray, Annette Gamble, Charles Donaldson, David Carey, Deniliquin Scout Group, Edith Hall, Gayle Lindeman, George Maddison, Jacqueline Bates, James Giddey, Jess Lucy, John Naimo, Joy Lukey, Judy Bond, Judy Nisbet, Kate Butler, Kate Connell, Kate Freshwater, Kate Pitt, Leon Compton, Marg Bull, Marg McLean, Margaret Jefferies, Mark Logan, Michael Jowett, Nicole Rankin, Peter Moon, Rebecca Flisher, Sam North, Sara Butcher, Selina Ash and Wendy McKindlay

a day in the life of Deniliquin 2011

Recognising the importance of A Day in the Life of Deniliquin as an ongoing historical document, a small group of community co-conspirators received Regional Arts Fund support and local sponsorship to stage the project on 9th March 2011 and to include community skills development and a three-stage exhibition. Local photographer Nick Robinson was engaged in February 2011 to hold photographic workshops in eight local primary schools and to run two community workshops, that focused on general photographic skills as well as a discussion about photographs from 1990 and 2001 and their role as social documentary.

Several community meetings were held in the lead up to the 9th March to allow locals to register their interest to participate, to help with organising the project and to discuss locations and the logistics of street photography.

Changes in photography since 2001 meant that all images were taken and submitted in digital format. This had several benefits: images could be submitted almost straight away and needed no processing; image files contained information on when the photo was taken; and participants could submit just a copy of their images, meaning they could still retain their own original files. Some unforeseen challenges were the varying quality levels, file shapes and sizes and the number of cameras that had the incorrect date and time.

On Wednesday 9th March 2011 it rained almost constantly but that didn’t deter 132 people from the Deniliquin, Conargo and Murray Shires, who submitted more than 4,500 images. Half of those submitting were aged under 18, a testament to the number of schools who participated on the day. Students from Conargo, Blighty, Mayrung, Bunnaloo, Deniliquin North, Deniliquin South and Edward Public Schools, St Michael’s Primary School, Deniliquin Christian School and Deniliquin High School all participated, assisted by teachers and Principals who allocated time on the 9th March for them to take photographs and helped coordinate the submission of images.

From those 4,500 images, organisers selected 350 to form part of the digital exhibition and to appear in the 2011 Gallery on this website. Another 1,500 will be archived so that they can be accessed in the future as an historical visual record.

A selection of images from 1990, 2001 and 2011 forms the exhibition of digitally projected images, presented at the Peppin Heritage Centre throughout June 2011. At the same time, a selection of the 2011 images has been pasted up on buildings around Deniliquin as ‘street art’, bringing the exhibition out into the streets and the community. This website will provide long-term access as well as the opportunity to add stories and build on the historical document formed by the project.

The result is an insightful photographic snapshot of the Deniliquin region over the past 20 years. It is easy to see how much has changed, from the outdated fashions to the shops and businesses that have closed, but what is also apparent is how much remains constant, from children still learning and playing at school to the services and volunteers that hold the community together.

The images from 1990, 2001 and 2011 will be archived so that on 9th March in 2021, the community can continue to document its contemporary history and carry it forward into the future.

Participants 2011
Abbey Smith, Alisha Everingham, Alyce Fisher, Amanda Barlow, Amanda McCrabb, Amber-Rose King, Andrew Londrigan, Angel Lenhard, Anne Apedaile, Annie Tonta, Ashleigh Petterwood, Ashleigh Saville, Ava Robinson, Bernard Clancy, Bethany Mills, Betty Mathews, Billy Seymour, Bob Johnson, Bronwyn Taylor, Caleb Weir, Carlie Howman, Chelsea Heagney, Cheyenne Reynolds, Chloe Rutter, Claire Huntly, Colin McCrabb, Conargo Public School, Connie Haines, Dale Panton, Dalton Emery, Darren Bassett, David Baker, Deniliquin Library, Deniliquin Pastoral Times, Dorothy Gemmell, Ed Anderson, Eliza Conallin, Elizabeth Mullens, Elle Lawson, Ellie Dawe-Roach, Emily Hall, Emily Mildren, Gary Purkeljc, Gayle Lindeman, Georgia Jacobs, Georgie Tomlin, Gladys Perryman, Hannah Nisbet, Harley Moore, Hayley Williams, Hazel Ladson, Isabel Michael, Isabella Wright, Jane Frazer, Janice Caniglia, Janiece Gallpen, Jasmine Hearn, Jayne Barlow, Jennifer Bradshaw, Jesse Nisbet, Jo Howman, Jordan Amor, Jordan Hill, Judy Bond, Judy Nisbet, Julie Mullins, Karen Zanatta, Kate & Anthony Smith, Kate Butler, Katie Murphy, Keily Nethercote, Kerrie Dick, Kim Thomas, Kristy Howman, Kyla McGregor, Laura Marshall, Leah Robinson, Lisa Brant, Lorene Hare, Lucy Simpson, Lucy Willoughby, Lyn Rose, Lynda Barclay, Mackenzie Cheeseman, Maddi Dowell, Maddison Strong, Marg Bull, Margaret Atkins, Mark Maher, Mary Gemmell, Mason Taylor, Mathilda Jacobs, Mick Hehir, Neville Ladson, Nicholas O’Connor, Nick Robinson, Nikia Blake, Nina O’Brien-Hehir, Olivia Hosking, Olivia Van Zeyl, Pam Thorpe, Rachel Hampton, Rachel Sharp, Ranii Jukes, Rhonda Nevinson, Riley Seymour, Ron McKenzie, Ruby Hehir, Sally Osborne, Sally Wright & Jake Lowe, Scott Kilpatrick, Shae Fitzpatrick, Simone Dudley, Sonia Simpson, Sophie Hood, Stacey Clancy, Stephen Cooke, Suzanne Hauser, Tahli Banks, Tallulah McKenzie, Tarria Moore, Taylah King, Taylor Murray, Thomas Middlemass, Toni Nets, Tony Spink, Val Hardman, Wendy McKindlay, Zara Lindeman, Zoe Austin and Zowie Crump.

a day in the life of Deniliquin 2021

Planning for A Day in the Life of Deniliquin 2021 began in the middle of a community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this presented some unique challenges, it helped organisers realise how the project might help build resilience and reduce social isolation by encouraging participants and audience members to acknowledge and celebrate what they feel connected to in their community – something much needed after years of drought and the restrictions of the pandemic.

Early financial and in-kind support from Edward River Council helped kick-start the 2021 project with an update of the website and hosting and back-ups sorted for 10 years, ensuring it can continue through to 2031. Deniliquin Business Chamber and Outback Theatre for Young People quickly came through with supplementary funding and grant support, which helped promotion and the engagement of nearly 200 people who registered to participate.

From 12.01am on Tuesday 9 March 2021, photographers were out and about taking photos and many crossed paths during the day. There were photographers at schools, on farms, in rural townships, in pubs, clubs and cafés, at the Deniliquin Rice Mill, up in airplanes and operating drones. Some continued on until midnight, with the last photo of the night sky taken at 11.56pm. Overall, 140 people submitted photos, with a quarter of participants aged under 18 years, thanks to the support of teachers, principals and staff at Conargo, Blighty, Deniliquin South, Edward and Deniliquin North Public Schools, Deniliquin Christian School, Deniliquin High School and St Michael’s Primary School.

Collecting and sorting images was a time-consuming task, with the dedicated committee eventually whittling more than 3,000 photos down to 500 to be included on the website and an additional 500 to be added to the ever-expanding archive of images.

In the midst of all of this, the Deniliquin Historical Society – the original custodian of the 1990 project – discovered a long-lost box containing the colour films from that year. Not only did it provide an opportunity to create higher quality scans of the 1990 images that had originally been selected for exhibition, it unearthed many, many images that were not deemed remarkable at the time but, with the hindsight of 31 years, are a treasure trove of historical information.

With an aim to tell some of the fascinating stories behind the photographs, Create NSW with the support of South West Arts, provided funding through the Country Arts Support Program (CASP) to mentor a young person to create short video interviews with photographers and the subjects of iconic images. Local Olivia Duffey is in the process of completing the interviews, which will be available on the website on completion.

A Day in the Life of Deniliquin was chosen by Edward River Council as the inaugural mural for a new site in a Cressy St arcade, with additional financial support from Deniliquin RSL through the Club NSW Club Grants program for mural design. The mural was unveiled in February 2022 and shows a selection of images from 1990, 2001, 2011 and 2021, as well as an overview of the project, 2021 sponsors and a QR code link to the website.

Still in the planning are an exhibition and celebration of the project in June 2022 and a town walk using QR codes to link locations with images from the project. Please get in touch if you would like to help.

Special thanks to:

Committee members – Kate Butler (coordinator), Helen Flisher, John Haig, Ruth Landale, Nina O’Brien, Kate Pitt, Nick Robinson, Gayle Beckton, Judy Bond, Frank Bond, Mary-Anne Butcher, Tiffany Carroll, Jen Edwards, Wendy Johnston, Vicky Lowry, Daph Tyndall.

Our sponsors for 2021 – Edward River Council, Outback Theatre for Young People (Sarah Parsons), Deniliquin Business Chamber, South West Arts (Kerry-Anne Jones), Create NSW, Deniliquin RSL, South West Music Regional Conservatorium.

Participants 2021

Adam Bodey, Alanna Raper, Amanda Barlow, Amber, Andrew, Angelina Huddle, Anna Bowie, Arun Babu, Barbara Webb, Bianca Armytage, Bob Johnson, Brett Petersen, Carla Armytage, Catie Michael, Charley, Christie Gavel, Claire Wing, Dan Walsh, Darrelle Bracken, Daryll Bellingham, David, David Leech, David McPherson, Deanna Matthews, Di Bull, Donna Crane, Donna Jefferies, Elizabeth Laverty, Eloise Maher, Emma, Emma Arthur, Emma Dennison, Ethan Simmons, Felicity Michael, Frank Bond, Garry Baker, Gayle Lindeman, George Maddison, Georgie Hanson, Gwen Gazzara, Hadrian Counsell, Hazel Ladson, Heidi Plant, Helen Flisher, Hilary Armstrong, Hugh Compton, Iain Goodway, Inga, Jack C, Jan Harris, Janiece Gallpen, Jemma Keast, Jenna Kaine, Jennifer Choice, Jo Burn, Jo Howman, John Haig, Jordon Gardam, Judith Harvey, Judy Bond, Judy Nisbet, Julie Crockart, Julie Selleck, Kane Harding, Karen Martin, Karen Tunny, Kate Butler, Kate Pitt, Kellie Stubbings, Kerri Munnerley, Kerry Nevinson, Kiara Clancy, Kim Thomas, Kirsty Thomas, Kobie Nixon, Kylie Charlton, Laura Hand-Ross, Laura Hayes, Leah Robinson, Leanne Hedt, Leanne Wall, Louise Bashford, Lynda Barclay, Lynda Danckert, Marg Bull, Maria Foundas, Martin Smith, Matt Johnson, Megan Hunter, Michael Jowett, Michael Ladson, Michelle Archinal, Mick Hehir, Mitchell Grimwood, Montana Sutton, Neville Ladson, Nick Robinson, Nicole Willis, Nina O’Brien, Pamela Wettenhall, Patrick Carrol, Paul Clear, Peter Papandriopoulos, Priscilla Paul, Rachael Pitt, Rebecca, Rebecca Flisher, Rebekah Monday, Rhonda Grant, Rhonda Nevinson, Rosanna Russell, Rose Keane, Rosie North, Ruth Landale, Ryan Heffer, Ryan Poka-Barlow, Sally Osborne, Samuel, Sarah Parsons, Saxon McCleary, Shae Fitzpatrick, Sivonne Binks, Sophie Bashford, Stacey Clancy, Stuart Benger, Sue Miles, Susan Pearn, Tallulah McKenzie, Tjaegan Bright, Tracey Ho, Triah Reid, Vicky Lowry, Wayne Bradley, Wendy Johnston, Wendy McKindlay, Xander Buchanan, Xander Strong, Zara Lindeman, Zayden Jones, Zowie Crump.