Rare, visual insights into the deeply personal journeys of young people in care are now on public display.
The sixth As Eye See It Photographic Exhibition was launched today (August 30) by Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk at the WA Shipwrecks Museum.
The exhibition gives the public a glimpse of life through the eyes of young Western Australians living in out-of-home care.
The annual event, which is co-ordinated by the Department of Communities, provides a creative medium for the young photographers to share their care journeys through images and words.
Registered young people were provided with a camera and given the opportunity to participate in a photography workshop run by fourth-year Murdoch University photography student Cathryn Jupp and photographer Greg Lewis.
Participants were asked to submit four photographs of things that are significant to them, along with a photo of their right eye, and write short descriptions of each image outlining its significance.
For the first time in the history of the Western Australian program, the exhibition includes submissions from three young men currently at the Banksia Hill Detention Centre, providing a unique perspective from an unusual viewpoint.
The resulting images are a thought-provoking insight into their worlds, allowing those who live and work with them, and the broader public, to see what it means to live in care.
The launch of the free exhibition coincides with National Child Protection Week, which encourages Australians to support families and play a part in protecting children and young people.
As Eye See It is proudly supported by the WA Shipwrecks Museum and Murdoch University, and is open to the public until October 20.
With more than 5,300 children and young people currently in the CEO’s care, the Department of Communities is regularly looking for people who can open their hearts and homes to vulnerable children and young people.
Anyone interested in fostering should visit https://childprotectioncareers.wa.gov.au/foster-carer-recruitment
As stated by Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk:
“This exhibition provides an opportunity for young people with a care experience to share their world views with a broader audience.
“This year we have 16 young people who have bravely shared their lives with us through their art.
“As you can imagine, some of these children have experienced hardship and trauma, and as a result some of the images are quite poignant.
“Three of the young men who have participated this year are currently in detention.
“Traditionally, it has been difficult for these young men to engage with those around them, but this exhibition gives them a tool to allow them to share their stories in relation to their care journey.
“This is a rare opportunity to hear their voices and to provide them with a sense of pride that their work is being exhibited.
“Show your support to these young people by visiting the free As Eye See It Photographic Exhibition at the WA Shipwrecks Museum where it will be housed up until October 20, 2019.
“I encourage everyone to think about the messages brought to us by National Child Protection Week, that by building strong communities, we can create safer environments for the most vulnerable.”