We Are Georges River – community stories told through photos and reminiscences

Georges River Council

A treasure trove of documentary images paying homage to our legends and everyday lives in Sydney’s south is the focus of a new open-air and online exhibition.

More than 200 photographs – many will be made public for the first time – are included in the We Are Georges River exhibition.

Launched for the first time, the collection will be available online and as part of an open-air display of larger-than-life images depicting our life and transformation since the turn of the 20th Century.

We Are Georges River shares real stories and deep-rooted connections of the local faces that have shaped Georges River’s history for decades and will be exhibited from Friday 8 October to mid-December 2021.

Smart phone QR codes at the exhibition will allow viewers to discover yesteryears through a permanent virtual collection, featuring photographs and stories from suburbs across the Georges River local government area.

Some are iconic local memories, like the Nethery family of Carlton whose seven sons went on from significant rugby sporting achievements to serve their country during World War II.

The family is now commemorated with a historical marker – they survived the Spanish Flu, two World Wars, produced outstanding sportsmen, and are still thriving with five generations and 44 great-grandchildren.

Blown up images of this exhibition will tour in five key locations: Oatley Memorial Gardens, Hurstville Plaza, Olds Park in Penshurst, Hogben Park in Kogarah and Carss Bush Park.

Georges River Mayor Kevin Greene said this free COVID-19 safe exhibition will become a major drawcard over spring to encourage residents to rekindle with their local history both online and whilst undertaking outdoor exercise, a walk with the family or a trip to the shops.

“This is a celebration of who we are.

“These photographs will shine a light on the people who shaped our heritage or played a part in everyday life over the years.

“We are working hard to preserve our heritage and distinctive identity, to reflect on how our city has evolved and hear real stories that bring this past to life.”

Many images also capture the emotions around the footsteps of our locals.

Mike Nethery, third generation of the Nethery family, said,

“We would like to share our stories to reflect on the resilience, the initiative and the stoic nature of our forebears in the Georges River area.

“The images are a captivating glimpse of our shared past and very evocative.

“I am immensely pleased about this wonderful opportunity for my family to be recognised by this exhibition, which features wonderful traits of courage, conviction, determination and humility that are there in the bloodline of the pioneers of the Georges River area.”

We Are Georges River

Travelling exhibition date:8 October – 17 December 2021
Program available: Oatley Memorial Gardens

Hurstville Plaza

Olds Park in Penshurst

Hogben Park in Kogarah

Carss Bush Park

Do you have photos or stories that you would like to share?

We encourage you to share your own photographs and stories about your connection to the Georges River area, so we can capture the diverse experiences and voices of our community. Contributions which help us tell the story of our area will be included in the enduring We Are Georges River digital collection for everyone to discover.

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