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A picture is worth a thousand words at Redbank Plains

The residents of Redbank Plains have let their cameras do the talking.
A group a residents came together to take part in My Culture Through My Lens which was an Ipswich City Council initiative to give locals a chance to explore their culture and community through the use of cameras.

The group then met regularly to talk about their images, why they took them, why they like them and explain the significance of the photograph to them.

A member, Rod Nicholls (above) participated in the initiative and said at first he went along to see what pictures other people were taking in the community.

“I was interested because it was about photography in the local area. I have been doing photography as a hobby for about six years,” he said.

“It wasn’t until I went on a men’s retreat in the bush where there was no phone reception and after five or six days, that I really started noticing what was around me.

“I used to think of bush walking as just a way to get to get from A-to-B as quickly as possible. Now it takes me a long time to go for a bush walk as I’m always stopping to look at things and take pictures.

What is PhotoVoice?

PhotoVoice is a photographic research method that was used in My Culture Through My Lens. It is recognised worldwide and has been used for social action as it provides cameras to the people who have the least access to those who make decisions affecting their lives.

Exploring culture, community and place through the lens of a camera is what My Culture Through My Lens is all about. The project has given people the opportunity to share the way they see the world and the things they see in the world. It gives people the opportunity to ‘let a picture speak a thousand words’ about their communities and the realities of their lives ‘as they see it’.

Ipswich City Council successfully applied for a We are Queensland grant through the Department of Premier and Cabinet in order to deliver the My Culture Through My Lens Project.

Rod Nicholls image ‘Morning at White Rock’.


“That is why I picked that photo for PhotoVoice. There is a lot of things in the photo you don’t notice if you just walk past that spot. I stood there for a long time watching the sun coming up, the changing angles of the sunlight though the trees, so sort of things people wouldn’t notice, mostly they just walk past.”

Mr Nicholls hopes his image will make people think and encourage them to slow down and notice what is right in front of them.

“I know a lot of people are going on walks to White Rock, it has great views, but it is also teaming with wildlife,” he said.

“Sometimes I am standing there focused on a tree and people will walk past and say ‘what are you looking at’ and I’ll tell them, ‘the bird in the tree’. Some stop and look too but it’s surprising the amount of people who don’t look and just keep walking.”

There are a total of twenty-nine experiences and views which are depicted through photography and storytelling that will be showcased at the exhibition.

My Culture Through My Lens may be finished but the group enjoyed the process so much, they have agreed to keep meeting anyway.

Everyone is invited to the My Culture through My Lens photographic exhibition, which will be launching on Wednesday, 17 October at 6pm.

It will be held from 6.oopm to 8.00pm at Redbank Plains Community Centre, 180 School Road, Redbank Plains. If you are interested in attending contact Tanya Appleton on

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