The Who’s Who of the PSC Symposium


Welcoming the second PSC Symposium at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, are highly famous figures in the arts circuit. Our speakers are united in their interests in subject matters pertaining to ‘culture’, which is what our main point of discussion will be for the event. The concept of ‘Borderless Futures – Reimaging the Citizen’ points to a very crucial issue that affects everyone in our present day society, as populations shift about, lending a majority of people to live in places disconnected to their ethnic roots. Moreover, the role of photography and visual imagery today is more powerful than ever, as the individual now has total control over how he or she is represented. We look at the way visuals in the past have taught us to learn about our own histories, and question the protrayal of certain cultures by those who were given the power to capture identities.

At the PSC Symposium, the experts will take the floor, talking about their work and the question of what it means to be a ‘global citizen’ today.

Here’s our list of some people to watch out for:

Daniel Boetker-Smith


  • Co founder of Photobook Melbourne, Director of Asia Pacific Photobook Archive
  • Writes for Vault Magazine, Photoeye and Photofile
  • Winner of Bowness Photography Prize, Australian Centre for Contemporary Photography Award (documentary) and the Substation Art Prize
  • Curated two international photobook events for NGV (Victoria) and MCA (New South Wales)
  • Has been on the jury list for the Kassel Photobook Award in Germany

Anat Cossen

Anat Cossen

  • Born in Israel, where she exhibited work at the Tel Hai Museum of Photography
  • Certified in fine arts (she’s highly skilled in pencil sketching and interior design) receiving her MFA in Fine Art Photography from RMIT
  • She’s a professional commercial portrait photographer
  • Exhibited work at the Linden Gallery, Edmund Pearce Gallery and Open Space Gallery
  • Influenced by themes of ‘identity’ in her work

Philippa (Pip) Kelly


  • Creative producer for Asialink Artists in Residency Project Exhibition
  • Worked for ABC, SBS, Lonely Planet TV as producer/writer
  • Has a background in Anthropology (University of Western Australia)
  • Directed community on-screen projects for The Queensland Museum and Oxfam
  • Apart fro freelancing, she works as a filmmaker for The State Library of Queensland

Sanja Pahoki

VCA & MCM staff

  • Croatian born Australian photographer
  • Winner of 9 grants-awards including The Helsinki Studio Residency (Australian Council for the Arts), The Ian Potter Cultural Grant, The Australian Postgraduate award and the award for Critical Merit from the George Paton Gallery (University of Melbourne)
  • Her work has been exhibited more than 80 times, at venues such as Project Space (Melbourne), Sarah Scout Gallery, The Centre for Contemporary Photography (Melbourne) and at Centre Place (Melbourne) and the Melbourne Exhibition Centre
  • Her work observes elements concerning the idea of ‘self’, identity and anxiety
  • Currently is a lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts and The University of Melbourne


Les Horvat

  • Commercial photographer with over 20 years of experience in the advertising industry
  • Winner of the Kodak Professional Achievement Award, the Ilford Trophy for Black and White excellence and various Silver Awards at The APPA’s
  • Established ‘Twilight Zone Studios’ as the centre of commercial photography in the professional world
  • Has had his work exhibited in Korea
  • Is currently a Senior Fellow at PSC


Alasdair Foster


  • Was Founding Director of Fotofeis (Scotland)
  • Former Director of Australian Centre for Photography
  • Has worked on various media projects as artist, curator, writer, editor, policy advisor, researcher and photographer
  • Current ambassador for the Asia Pacific Photo forum
  • Founding Member of the International Network of Photography Centres


Kristian Häggblom


  • Senior lecturer at La trobe University
  • Exhibited his work in more than 30 venues across the world; Tokyo, Finland, Switzerland, Malaysia and Los Angeles
  • Winner of 11 photography awards from The Nomura Cultural Foundation, The Leica Documentary Photography award (Centre for Contemporary Photography) and the Swiss Arts Council
  • Established and curated the RoomSpace gallery in Japan (Shinjuku)
  • Currently researching the role of photography in surveillance and its socio-political effects


Hugh Hudson


  • Lecturer and Information-Research Development Coordinator for PSC and Honorary research Fellow for The University of Melbourne
  • Writer of the 1800 edition electric catalogue for publications in the Autograph Collection (15th – 20th Centuries) for The State Library of Victoria
  • He has been published 36 times in Art magazines, journals and books concerning Renaissance and Medieval art (Antiques and Art, Paregon, Arth Monthly)
  • Specialist in Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in The State Library of Victoria, writing 11 records for the department’s research repository
  • A distinguished scholar, graduating with a Double Major, Master’s Degree and Doctorate in Art History, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Curatorship.
  • Researcher in subject matter pertaining to visual arts and culture in society, especially in issues regarding ‘cultural management’

Rita Lazaukas


  • Winner of 5 art awards including the Wodonga Hume Acquisitive Contemporary Award, The Blackfriars Drawing Acquisitive and the Tallangatta Arts festival. She was also a finalist for 12 art prizes, for names like Citigroup Photographic Portrait Prize, Dominique Segan Drawing Prize, Hutchins Works on Paper and the Dobell Drawing Prize
  • She has exhibited work at Birds Gallery, Monash University Switchback Gallery, Beechworth, ArtSpace (Wodonga), The Art Gallery of NSW, The Bendigo Art Gallery, Maudespace and the Westpac Gallery (The Victorian Arts’ Centre)
  • She is currently the General Manager of the ‘Amazigh Cultural Tours’ program in Morocco, as a custodian of the arts-culture of Morocco.
  • She has had 20 years of experience working as a curator for well renowned galleries around the country
  • She is a visual artist who focuses on fine arts; her work is inspired by landscapes, cityscapes and architecture.


Bella Capezio

Isabella Capezio

  • Teaches at The Photography Studies College and co-runs the Ruffian Gallery (Footscray)
  • Designed and ran the Footscray Foto Focus intensive photography workshop
  • Organiser of workshops and competitions for the Asia Pacific Photobook Archive
  • Her work adheres to cultural influences of Mexico, questioning spiritual practices and traditions.
  • She has published 7 photobooks which span her journeys to various countries (Cambodia and Ethiopia)


Claire Monneraye


  • Curator of Exhibitions as well as the International and Satellite Projects at the Australian Centre for Photography
  • Previously worked at the Centre Pompiduo and Reunion de Musees Nationaux (Paris)
  • Recently curated a collaborative exhibition with curators based in Berlin and Budapest, titled ‘Ex & Post – Eastern Europe Under the Lens’
  • Graduated in literature, philosophy, history with a Masters in Cultural Heritage Studies
  • The themes she likes to work with are representations of culture in society and the female identity

We’re sure to have piqued your interest and know that coming along to the Symposium will be an eye opening event! Read more about it here: and don’t forget to book your spot:

Raquel Betiz Presents ‘Forget Me Not’ at the BIFB

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Raquel at her own BIFB Fringe Exhibit area at Ballarat, presenting ‘Forget Me Not’.


Raquel Betiz talks about her life at PSC and the inspiration behind her work.  Changing her career path from tourism to photography, learning the art has opened her eyes to a world of adventure and happiness.

She has also been chosen for the Ballarat International Foto Biennale calendar, which you can order from the event site. 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Our Own Emma Rose on Being Selected for the BIFB

Emma Rose, our talented graduate of PSC who has returned to extend her journey with us through the Pathways Program, speaks about her experience in getting selected for the Projections Program at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale this year:
Image by Emma Rose

Image by Emma Rose

There have been 45 artists chosen, from 16 countries around the world.
My series, Fish Tank, includes 20 photographs exploring today’s rapidly shifting landscapes: the humdrum of daily routines, rise of solo lifestyles and the overall ease with which people are interacting with largely artificial spaces. As government surveillance heightens, there’s a looming presence and an overriding sense of isolation of the individual in an indifferent world.
Image by Emma Rose

Image by Emma Rose

I’m an Advanced Diploma graduate from last year’s fine-art major, with a background in journalism and theatre. My work has been significantly influenced by Melbourne’s distinct brand of architecture. I have a passion for people-watching and capturing fleeting everyday moments — particularly the dynamic between humans and inanimate objects and the modern landscapes they inhabit.
Image by Emma Rose

Image by Emma Rose

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale runs from August 22nd to Sept 20th, and the Projections Program loops on a big screen at the Ballarat Mining Exchange from 10am to 5pm daily throughout the festival.

Exploring Stories with PSC’s Amber McCaig at the BIFB


Photograph by Amber McCaig


“I just love people and photographing people, but especially just real people and getting to know them by delving a bit deeper and trying to explore their environment and their life.”

PSC graduate Amber McCaig, is one of the 21 major photographers invited to showcase her most recent work at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale. Having presented her previous projects in London, Tokyo and Sydney, she now is set to launch her series ‘Americana Now’ on the 22nd of August in the Core Program of the festival. Amber is well-renowned in the photography circuit and remains to be a huge inspiration to the many students still studying at PSC – after all, she has been a finalist in the Renaissance Photography Prize, won 3 silver medals at the Canon APPA awards and 2 silver medals at the Victorian Student of the Year Awards!

Apart from having a rich portfolio while studying at PSC; experimenting in still life photography (which was as thought provoking, imaginative and symbolic as her portrait photography) and finding her niche, her career has had a remarkable turnaround as a result of achieving her degree. Amber is currently a producer for Andrew Richey Photography, and she manages Ripe Studios in South Yarra.


Amber’s ‘Americana Now’ series is an exploration of the quirks that people acquire and how they form attachments to certain ways of life that may seem unexpected to ‘outsiders’. Amber recently expressed that her purpose with the series was to question why certain people felt so strongly about the 50’s and 60’s (in particular), and why they wanted to “embody it physically and mentally”. Through her work, we are undoubtedly exposed to an unseen community of individuals who celebrate a shared sentiment of nostalgia. Amber’s work is insightful and daring, as we get a glimpse of the personal spaces of her subjects, whose stories unfurl before us, frame by frame.

Experience ‘Americana Now’ at the BIFB this Saturday and catch Amber herself at the Launch Program.

Christopher Koller: Portraits In Black and White 1980 – 2015 Exhibition

Strange Neighbour
395–397 Gore St Fitzroy Vic 3065
Exhibition Opening: Friday  29 May, 6-9pm
Exhibition Dates: May 29th – June 20th 2015

Christopher Koller’s work was proudly printed by Peter Hatzipavlis at The PrintShop@PSC using our Fine Art Print services.

‘Portraits in Black & White 1980- 2015’ is a selection of works that show Christopher Koller’s varied approaches to photographing people; including reportage, staged images, narrative-based work, and intimate portraits of family and friends. This exhibition also focuses on the craft of photography as the artist uses a diversity of film camera formats: 6×6, 6×7, 35mm, and printing types.


‘Trust’ 2008, type C print, 85 x 105cm


PSC Teacher Wins Australia’s Biggest Photography Prize

PSC is delighted to announce that Bachelor of Photography teacher Hoda Afshar has won the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2015.

The National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition held at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) is selected from a national field of entries that reflect the distinctive vision of Australia’s aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects. From 2500 entries the judges shortlisted 44 images to be exhibited at the NPG in Canberra. The exhibition opened last Friday and will be on display until the 8th June and will then travel to galleries all over Australia.

The winning image is from a series called ‘The Smell of Narenj’ that Hoda made during a recent trip to her country of birth, Iran. The photographs in this series reflect her personal view on contemporary Iranian society—a country whose reality is often either misrepresented, or hidden behind a heavy curtain. Hoda’s photographs do not claim to expose this reality; they are merely an attempt to capture the Iran that she knows — a knowledge that has been affected by the sense of nostalgia created through the distance caused by her migration to Australia. Her work deals with the impact of Iran’s complex history in the uncertain contemporary conditions of political life in Iran.

Hoda moved to Australia in 2007 and pursued her passion for photography. In 2010 she started a Masters in Fine Art at Curtin University and expanded her research into a PhD programme. Her work investigates the discourses around contemporary social issues including globalization, imperialism and power relations, displacement and post-identity politics. Her artwork also attempts to open lines of communication in a world both homogenized by global economy and unsettled by mass migration.

We are very proud of Hoda, a valued member of the PSC family, this is a great achievement that situates her at the forefront of contemporary photography in Australia.

Congratulations Hoda!


‘Portrait of Ali’ by Hoda Afshar (2014) – Winner of National Photographic Portrait Prize 2015

2015 Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award

We are delighted to announce that Bachelor of Photography lecturers Ying Ang, Hoda Afshar & Katrin Koenning have all been shortlisted for the Josephine Ulrick & Win Schubert Photography Award (first prize is worth $20,000). Being recognised in this prestigious national prize places our wonderful lecturers amongst the best in contemporary photography in Australia. Congratulations!

Winners will be announced later this month and the exhibition will be on display from 28 March – 31 May 2015 at the Gold Coast City Gallery.


The Flying Dutchman in Blue’ (Coogee 2) – Image by 2014 Award Winner Shaun Gladwell

Up Close and Personal – Exhibition

Queen Victoria Women’s Centre
Ground floor, 210 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Exhibition Open: 8:30am-6:30pm, Monday – Friday throughout March 2015

Photography Studies College and the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre are delighted to present an International Women’s Day photography exhibition featuring work by female students and graduates that celebrates their distinctive stories and vision.

IWD exhibiton poster 2015

Christopher Koller: Isola Bella exhibition

Fehily Contemporary
3a Glasshouse Road, Collingwood VIC 3066
Exhibition Opening: Saturday 14 March, 3-5pm
Exhibition Dates: 5 – 28  March 2014

Christopher Koller’s work was proudly printed by Peter Hatzipavlis at The PrintShop@PSC using our Fine Art Print services.

Christopher Koller’s latest suite of photographs transports viewers to Isola Bella, an extravagant Baroque palace garden on an island in Lake Maggiore, surrounded by the foothills of the Italian Alps. Completed in 1671, the garden and palace are still owned by descendants of the Borromeo family, Milanese bankers and allies of the Sforzas, who used them to stage parties and theatrical events.


003 two 003 two

Christopher Koller, Isola Bella


Christopher Koller, Isola Bella

White Night Melbourne

PSC teachers Elli Ioannou & Nic Kocher have work on display this Saturday 21 February as part of  White Night Melbourne. Visitors can experience visual art, exhibitions, illuminations, music, theatre and film presentations on display at various locations in the city from 7pm to 7am. 


Image by Nic Kocher

Nic’s work The Entropy Continuum is in the Tears Before Dawn precinct in Flinders Lane and Elli’s film I’mperfect Beauty will be shown with several other short films in the Indie Screen/Chill Out Area in Bourke Street Mall. Congratulations Nic and Elli and have a great White Night!