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:

Ian Kemp’s Turn Around with Photography: Presenting Work at the BIFB

Image by Ian Kemp

Image by Ian Kemp

Currently in the final year of the Advance Diploma under the Photojournalism Major, Ian Kemp was recently selected into the Fringe Program at the BIFB with his eclectic series ‘Scapes’ – a collection of natural and city landscapes from Victoria (Australia) and Biella, Italy.

Ian had turned to photography after a very emotionally shattering experience, as a release to tap into something interesting. Little did he know that this interest of his would yield him so much recognition only a few years after joining PSC. Ian has won awards from the DPReview, The Central Victorian Interclub Photographic competitions and Goldfields Image Makers. He has had his work exhibited at the 8th Pakhenam National Photographic Exhibition, The 40th Warrigal National Photographic Exhibition, the 46th Ballarat National Photographic Exhibition, The Market Art Winter (Castlemaine) and The Centre for Contemporary Photography (Fitzroy); the list just goes on and on!

Ian Kemp with Jeff Moorfoot and Sally Brownbill

Ian Kemp with Jeff Moorfoot and Sally Brownbill, at the BIFB 2015 Opening

Returning from Italy a few months ago, after working as a commercial photographer, Ian is involved with the BIFB in more ways than one, stepping into the busy role of the prime Volunteer Coordinator for the event. Despite his hectic schedule, he sent us his own thoughts about his experience in being selected for the prestigious festival:

“My Scapes series is a collection of landscapes and cityscapes that I have made this year. The landscapes are taken at Mt Hotham, Lake Wendouree and the Grampians and the cityscape is from Biella, Italy. Some of the images are from my semester 1 folio, some from my first exhibition in February this year. I chose the landscape genre because I do not like it very much and wanted to explore the creative possibilities that it might present. I’m not a fan of representational landscapes and so I chose to adopt a painterly technique using textures and referencing the work of Australian Impressionist painters and Fred Williams. I sold a photograph on the first day of the BIFB to someone who, ‘fell in love with [my] beautiful work,’ and that really excited me, I guess that’s the ultimate in feedback, isn’t it? My work is in the Fringe program of the BIFB and this is a part of the Festival that should interest students at PSC; artists have to organise all elements of their exhibition and it is a great way to get their work out into the public domain.”

Visit Ian Kemp’s website to see more of his work:

Raquel Betiz Presents ‘Forget Me Not’ at the BIFB

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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. 

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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.

A Rare Experience Awaits You at the PSC Symposium 2015


PSC returns to Ballarat for the second time for the grand Symposium opening on Saturday, 29th of August. This year, the theme is ‘ Borderless Futures : Reimaging the Citizen’ which may be deemed as controversial, but a current issue nevertheless. Discussions surrounding the power and role of photography in examining cultural identities in the face of globalization and movement, will be the centre of all discussions in the ‘Old Law Court Building’. The venue will be bustling with 20 guest speakers for the event, ranging from artists, lecturers and directors of various institutions.

Image by Katrin Koenning

Image by Katrin Koenning

Keynote speakers heading the two major panel discussions are Judy Annear and Nikos Papastergiadis, who are highly distinguished curators and educators in the industry. Judy has been touted as Australia’s most prolific writer on the subject matter of photography, working previously on publications with Art Network, Photofile, Art-iT Asia and Broadsheet. She has been the senior photography curator at the Art Gallery of NSW for 20 years. Nikos shares a rich history of being an influential figure in the industry. He is currently the director of the Research Unit in Public Cultures at the University of Melbourne, simultaneously leading projects with the Australian Research Council. Being the strategist for the government in the past, providing expertise on issues surrounding issues on cultural identities, Nikos has been an important writer, working on various publications since 1993.

Apart from our well renowned keynote speakers heading the theme of our Symposium, other guests of equal stature will look into different spheres of photography tradition, transformations, history and the presence of social media.

Very rarely do such significant events in photography occur. The PSC Symposium will undoubtedly be a momentous occasion attended by important artists and scholars who will converge to partake in incredibly important conversations.  It is a great opportunity to be a part of this and we encourage you to book your place here as soon as possible, due to limited vacancies. We look forward to meeting you there!



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.

PSC’s Busy Month of August Continues with the BIFB and Symposium

Amber McCaig: 'Americana'

Amber McCaig: ‘Americana’

As a major festival sponsor of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, PSC gets ready for another season of exhibitions and panel discussions, creating a buzz in the photography industry worldwide.

Our very own Print Shop at PSC has been busy with their sponsor duties printing the works of artists Yurko Dyachyshyn and Amber McCaig (PSC graduate) opening in the BIFB Core Program, along with emerging artist and PSC student Raquel Betiz exhibiting in the Fringe Program this year! The artists chose our own Print Shop thanks to a rich list of clientele and numerous referrals. Printing such large scale work for the various exhibitions required a high level of expertise to transform small images into spanning pieces, using test prints of each photograph to get more clarity in definition and colour. Furthermore, artists had to consult the Print Shop about the choice of paper for their work, to get the perfect look that would allow their subjects to come alive. The Print Shop at PSC is a prized centre for photography printing, playing a major role in our sponsorship of the BIFB 2015.

The BIFB photography festival is held for a month every second year, featuring established and emerging photographers from Australia and around the world – some of whom are graduates and current students of PSC.

During the course of the next week, the PSC blog will be focusing on the stories and works of our graduate students Amber McCaig (winner of the last BIFB Folio Prize), Jenny Hodge and Marie Watt (of the Bachelor Pathway), along with current students Emma Rose, Ian Kemp and Raquel Betiz, plus our first year coordinating teacher of the Advanced Diploma course, Craig Wetjen – who are all being showcased at the BIFB. It is an honour for us to see the developments and achievements of these amazing artists and we look forward to hearing about their experiences at the event.

In addition to playing such an important role during the Biennale, PSC is delighted to host our own Symposium event on the 29th of August, at Ballarat. Laid out for the Symposium is a series of thought-provoking panel discussions, titled ‘Borderless Futures – Reimaging the Citizen’, lead by industry renowned and respected keynote speakers Judy Annear and Nikos Papasterigiadis.


About the Ballarat International Foto Biennale:

Officially established in 2009, the BIFB is one of the most important events in Australia, dedicated to promoting the best photography from the region and beyond. The Core Program in the BIFB presents 21 prominent artists in 7 locations around the quaint town, while The Fringe Program exhibits around 300 emerging artists. The participating venues (totalling to 80 this year), will be bustling with artists at seminars, talks, workshops, competitions, video installations, documentary screenings, book signings and portfolio reviews. The BIFB aims to spark conversations about trends and bountiful opportunities in photography.

To be a part of the huge event, visit the BIFB page and book a place for yourself at the PSC Symposium.

PSC is delighted to present …

A Spotlight on Fashion Photography at the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.

A Kaleidoscope of talented artists from our wonderful city will be showcasing their hard work and eclectic styles during the week of 28th August to 4th September. While the fashionistas and models get set to note the various who’s-who of the fashion industry, we know that the main character of the show is the ‘fashion photographer’; the one who captures the magic and keeps the memories alive, forever.

Being Melbourne’s foremost centre of photography education, PSC students collaborated in the 2014 Melbourne Spring Fashion Week on a unique exhibition with Nixi Killik  to create striking new images of her work in an urban inner city environment – see our earlier blog post for further details here and watch the behind the scenes video.

This year we’re proud to announce an even greater role by hosting 3 events as part of the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, thanks to the recognition given by The City of Melbourne to carry this event forward.

On Sunday 30 August, we celebrate the amazing efforts of fashion photographers, by sharing high-level industry knowledge and professional expertise to the public, with our fashion photography masterclass (session limited to 10 people only) taught by the talented and extremely sought-after photographer, Ed Purnomo.  You can book your place for this workshop here.


Image: Ed Purnomo

Following this, on Wednesday 2 September, is ‘When the Sky Fell Down: The Myth of Guy Bourdin’, a tribute to French fashion photographer, Guy Bourdin; a preview of a documentary about the photographer who worked for names like Chanel, Bloomingdales and Gianni Versace and made waves with his fresh and daring approach to fashion photography. The director-producer of the documentary (from which the event is titled), Sean Brandt, will walk us through the journey of the brilliant artist, with rare footage and exclusive interviews, accompanied by senior curator of NGV, Susan Van Wyk and PSC Bachelor course director Daniel Boetker-Smith. Sean Brandt, who worked with Guy Bourdin during 1982 – 1985, was accepted as an exclusive director of Sundance Institute. His profiles include shooting editorials for GQ, Vogue (starring Pharrel Williams), L’Oreal and Harpers Bazaar.

Sean brandt

Image Sean Brandt

Finally, on Thursday 3 September, we present the third event in the PSC-MSFW series ‘Don’t Stop Now: Fashion Photography Next’ seminar by Magda Keaney; artistic director of Glassworks (Canberra). Magda will be presenting her upcoming publication ‘Fashion Photography Next’, which was exhibited at the FOAM Museum (Amsterdam) amongst other venues around the world. Her experience working at the Victoria and Albert Museum, The National Portrait Gallery, as well as the Fashion Space Gallery (as creative director) in London, truly makes her book an authentic account of the goings-on in the fashion world, as it highlights the current practices and economy of the industry, in the light of photography.


Images Magda Keaney

Seats are filling fast for these events; if you’d like to be part of it then don’t miss out, click the banner below to book your place. We look forward to seeing you there.


2015 Bowness Photography Prize Finalists Announced

Congratulations to PSC student David Bibby who has been announced as a finalist in this years Bowness Photography Prize!

The Bowness Photography Prize is an initiative of the MGA Foundation and was established in 2006 to promote excellence in Australian photography. It has become one of the highest awards for photography in the country and receives hundreds of entries from renowned and up and coming photographers.

David’s image is from a folio series he produced as part of his Bachelor of Photography studies. Another image in this series received a gold award at the Victorian AIPP awards earlier this year. David was thrilled to hear the news,  ‘I’m amazed and very excited that this series has been received so well. This will be my first gallery appearance, and of course the next challenge is perfecting the print’.

Well done David!

Check out his stunning image and read his artist statement below.


Image & artist statement (below) by David Bibby

Fear of dark places gave our ancient ancestors an evolutionary advantage, by priming brains and bodies for a fight-or-flight response when faced with the threat of danger or the unknown. These primal fears also had a strong influence on our cultures. Our fear of darkness and of forests, as dark places that conceal the unknown, has placed them at the centre of many of our myths, legends and folktales. 

Despite, or perhaps because of our fear, we seem to have an attraction to the darkness and there is something intrinsically beautiful in many dark images. Maybe the darkness has become a refuge in the modern world for those things we can’t control, including mystery and imagination.

#PSCPenang at the Obscura Festival

The Obscura Photo Festival is not obscure at all. It is in fact, one of the most prominent events in the photography industry. Held in Malaysia for the fourth time, the festival attracts artists and photographers from continents far and wide. The venue is ‘George Town‘, Penang – a buzzing city that was once a tiny village discovered by a British trader in 1786. Adorned with the architectural remnants of the colonial era, and coloured by an amalgamation of rich cultures from the peninsula, the city is slow and laid back, giving you the feeling that everything is suspended in time.  With the onset of the Photo Festival, one can expect the pace to shift, with the flurry of workshops, exhibitions, talks and networking sessions all in store for the many visitors expected to attend.

We are especially excited about this, since our 2nd year Bachelor Program students are headed to the event. They’re being led by Daniel Boetker Smith, the course director of PSC who also heads the Asia Pacific Photobook Archive (APPA) and co-founded the Melbourne Photobook Festival, (the first photobook festival held in Asia Pacific) which was launched in Melbourne this year. He is accompanied by lecturer Isabella Capezio, who is an extremely active artist and photographer in the industry. Isabella has been responsible for activating Photobook competitions in countries like Cambodia and has done many workshops with APPA, as well as the Angkor Photo festival.

Exclusively held for PSC students, the Obscura Photo Festival has 3 amazing workshops in the pipeline, with Hajime Kimura, Sarker Protick, Wawi Navarroza and Leonard Pongo taking the spotlight.

Students will be there for the week from 9th August to celebrate the art and industry of photography, networking with established as well as emerging photographers and curators, from around the globe. We are excited about their trip and look forward to hearing about their experiences.