AU PMB PHOTO 101
- 18 - 31 August 2009 (Creation)
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Janet Knox was born in 1945 in Gundagai, NSW, and moved to Tumut in 1953. She rode a bike to school and to piano lessons. When Gilmore Creek flooded, the farm (“Yurunga” on the Gocup Road) was cut off from town, and her father drove her in the Land Rover. In 1956 Jan went to boarding school in Sydney, returning home for holidays on the steam train, the South West Mail, a 12 hour journey. When she got a driver’s licence in 1962, Jan worked in the holidays as an assistant in Knox Pharmacy in Tumut.
After completing her Leaving Certificate in 1963, she failed first year at Pharmacy College in Melbourne but the following year was accepted by the Australian National University (ANU) to enrol in a Bachelor of Arts (BA). She graduated with a BA, worked at ANU in the English Malay Dictionary Project and the Faculty of Asian Studies, and completed part-time a Bachelor of Arts, Asian Studies (BA (AS)). Her first trip overseas was to Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia in 1970.
In February 1972 Jan and Bill Gammage married and went to live in Port Moresby, in the suburb of Boroko. Jan got a job in the Australian Public Service which at Independence in 1975 became the PNG Public Service. She worked first in Town in the Policy Secretariat of the Department of Social Development and Home Affairs in ANG House, then at the Public Service Board with Papua New Guinean board member Bill Lawrence. She then moved to Waigani to the public service training college, the Administrative College, known as Adcol. There, amongst other duties, she worked on the Senior Executive Program and Adcol’s journal Administration for Development.
At the end of 1976, after 5 years in Papua New Guinea, Jan went to live in Adelaide, South Australia. Having enjoyed the experience of living and travelling a lot in PNG, she got a job as a clerk with Ansett Airlines, working mainly in the Holiday Travel Section. This created many opportunities to see a lot of Australia, including the “outback” before it became popular. After a year in Canberra in 1981 working for the Aboriginal Treaty Committee and the Centre for Continuing Education at ANU, Jan returned to Adelaide and worked part time for two community based organisations – the Citizens Advice Bureau and the non-government development agency Community Aid Abroad (CAA), now Oxfam.
Moving to Canberra in 1987 provided the opportunity to work in the Australian Government’s overseas aid program managed by the Australian Development Assistance Bureau (ADAB), subsequently AIDAB then AusAID. Jan worked in the program for the next 20 years, till the end of 2006, including ten years in the PNG program. Working for AusAID meant getting involved in challenging, interesting projects of which the most challenging was participating in 1997/98 in the regional mission known as Operation Bel Isi to help bring peace to Bougainville.
Jan’s participation in the mission to Bougainville was recognised by the award of an Australian Service Medal.
Retired now from paid employment, Jan is still busy. Amongst other activities, she travels, works as a volunteer, and researches and writes a form of biography/chronicle of women in her family.
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PMBPhoto 101 is a collection of 176 selected photographs of Fiji subjects taken over two weeks in August 2009. Friends living in Suva – Judith Robinson and Chris Gregory, Brij and Padma Lal and Ian and Valerie Campbell – organised several people to meet and places to visit on Viti Levu and Bau. The photos were selected from a collection of 414 photos. They complement the photos in PMBPhoto70 taken at the same time by Bill Gammage.
The subjects include places of Fiji historical and political interest such as Nukulau Island, and in Suva town, Parliament House, Government House, the Government buildings complex foundation stone, the list of Governors of Fiji 1874 to 1938 and 1938 to 1970, the Supreme Court of Fiji, buildings constructed in colonial times including the old picture theatre, the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Suva town market, the Grand Pacific Hotel, and Albert Park, and more recently the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption. A banner “We Need Rainbows Not Rambos” reflects the feelings of some people at the time. More contemporary subjects of general interest in Suva include a McDonalds fast food outlet, an artefact shop, the view across Nabukalou Creek, Pure Fiji cosmetics, and the University of the South Pacific.
Suva’s hinterland provided the following subjects: the Colo-I-Suva Forest Park and Quarry, and Nausori. Of historical and particular personal interest are the photos of the Methodist Church at Dilkusha and its attached kindergarten. Jan’s stepmother spent several months at the Dilkusha Methodist Mission after she left school in 1922. Other subjects include Takalana Resort with its lovo pit (earth oven), pineapple and other flowers and Moon Reef. For photos of dolphins see PMBPhoto70.
The Hindi wedding in Suva of Savita and Mahen is a major subject. It took place over an evening and three days, and was full of interest, colour and activity. The selection includes 50 photos.
Other major subjects are Bau, Bukuyu and Mt Tomanivi (Mt Victoria). There are 25 photos in the selection of Bau, where we were the guests of Ratu Jope Seniloli and his wife, Adi Seru Seniloli. The photos show some traditional customs as well as some of the sites of this historic island. Spending a night with Freddy and Tupou Gusulevu and family in rural Bukuyu in the Nausori Highlands was also enjoyable, and provided many subjects including kava and turmeric farming, as well as rural improvements such as local hydro electricity and football fields. The 27 photos in this selection include subjects seen on the way to and from Bukuyu including views from the Latamai Scenic View at the Tongan Hill Fort and the parabolic sand dunes at Sigatoka. Eleven photos are of subjects near Mt Tomanivi as well as the mountain itself, including Navai village and the Monasavu dam construction site.
Women are often the subject of these photographs. They are photographed working in shops, markets, as security guards, in their homes, and as participants in and guests at the wedding.
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Jan Gammage, Canberra, Australia.
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Access this title at PMB Member Libraries or by purchasing it directly from the Bureau: http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/pambu/accessing.php
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