Fryerstown photographer gets OAM

Receiving a Medal of the Order of Australia, acclaimed local photographer Julie Millowick has taken this Queen’s Birthday opportunity to urge for decisive support for renewables transition, describing our times as at a “turning point”.
The Fryerstown-based creative has received her accolade for service to the visual arts – particularly photography.
The long-serving lecturer in photography at La Trobe University, and host of countless high-profile photography exhibitions, was humble on receipt of her OAM.
“When the email came in I thought it was a hoax,” said Ms Millowick who chaired Castlemaine State Festival for four years to 2018 and has also served on the boards of Regional Arts Victoria, Bendigo Art Gallery and Ballarat International Foto Biennale including a two-year stint as president there.
“It was both exciting and a bit embarrassing because there’s lots and lots of people who deserve a gong. I was just humbled by it actually,” she said.
Invited to speak on any current topic of particular concern on her radar she was quick to name renewables.
“As Australia goes into COVID-19 recovery I think it would be great if an integral part of that recovery could be tremendous support for renewable energy right across Australia on every level – manufacturing, right down to solar on people’s roofs,” Ms Millowick said.
“If renewables could just be an integral part of our recovery across Australia, across the world, because the world is at a turning point and we’ve got this opportunity to make this decision and act on it.”
While COVID-19 has put a temporary halt to the celebrated local photographer’s ongoing project to photographically document country halls across the nation, she has been making good creative use of the time spent in lockdown.
“I’ve been quite busy just making photographs showing what it’s like for the ordinary everyday person coping with the lockdown,” the new OAM recipient told the Express.
“And there are many people world-wide who are also working on that theme so when we eventually come out of it there’s going to be a wonderful body of work for future generations.
“Like a lot of people I’ve responded visually to the lockdown. I mean, who could have foreseen it?”
Some of her photographic images have already become part of the Ballarat Foto Biennale Mass Isolation project and can also be viewed on Instagram at www.instagram.com/p/B_eBaVtjven

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