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Sydney exhibition features striking Brewarrina photo

The exhibition features this photo of Albert (Banjo) Holmes at Milroy Station. Photo SLNSW

The State Library of NSW has opened its virtual doors to the library’s biggest and most significant photography exhibition to date with the online launch of “Shot”.

The new online version of “Shot” — which opened at the State Library in October 2023 — delves into the library’s extraordinary collection of two million images and delivers a visual feast of 400 captivating moments by 200 photographers over three centuries.

The exhibition includes a striking photograph of Albert (Banjo) Holmes who lived and worked on Milroy sheep station near Brewarrina in the 1940s.

According to Pix magazine in July 1941 “You would travel a long way in our vast outback before meeting a man more truly Australian than “Banjo” Holmes,’.

“He’s a boundary rider; an Aborigine; and a Digger of the 1914–18 war.”

At the Milroy sheep station all those years ago, he earned the equivalent of $328.58 per week in today’s money.

In this photo he can be seen preparing a meal in his hut.

According to State Librarian Dr Caroline Butler-Bowdon: “The State    Library is now home to Sydney’s largest photography gallery, and if you can’t visit us on Macquarie Street, or if you want to find out more post-visit, you can now view this extraordinary collection of images in your own time.”

“Almost every photographic format and every year between 1845 and 2022 is represented, starting with Australia’s oldest photograph, an 1845 daguerreotype by George Barron Goodman,” says Dr Butler-Bowdon.

Senior Curator Geoff Barker spent two years trawling through the Library’s collection — one of the largest and most diverse in Australia — and came across images that immediately piqued his interest, like the photograph of Holmes.

Learn more about the Library’s photography program and collections here:


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