Photography Fellowship recipient announced


We are delighted to announce that the inaugural Photography Fellowship has been awarded to Hayley Millar-Baker.

The $15,000 Photography Fellowship provides a unique opportunity for an artist to conduct innovative research to interrogate the relationship between photography and truth in response to State Library Victoria’s photography collection.


Hayley Millar-Baker is a Gunditjmara woman from Victoria, Australia. Through contemporary approaches to photography, she draws strength from her Gunditjmara bloodlines, history, and the landscape – confronting and crafting past, present, and future stories of South-East Aboriginal existence, and honouring the connectedness of intergenerational experiences of Aboriginality.


Millar-Baker’s works draw from her grandfather’s archive, family albums, and her own treasured moments captured on and off Country. Meticulously layering, cutting, and repositioning imagery – she depicts a coexistence of times, of cultures, of transformation. Through the application of digital technologies, Millar-Baker aligns disparate times and places – melding the collected imagery from her extensive archive together as one, to tell alternative stories and histories. What would it have been like if Southeast culture had thrived in coexistence with colonisation?


Through both materiality and process, Millar-Baker’s assemblages critically explore cultural practices and knowledge’s and investigate notions of blood memory, the evolution of cultural practices and south-east Australian history, all in relation to her own Aboriginal heritage. Millar-Baker’s reflective narrative process enacts a powerful social commentary that acknowledges the strength and resilience of Aboriginal Australia, reimagines what could have been, and reveals the complexities of Aboriginality now.


Millar-Baker’s project for the Photography Fellowship, Australia: B-Side, will be an investigation of history – focusing on south-east Victoria from an Aboriginal perspective – weaving new narratives on old ‘truths’ by reconstructing written, verbal and visual histories from the Library archives. The results will be presented as part of PHOTO 2020.


We are thrilled to be acknowledging the work of an incredible Indigenous artist during NAIDOC week and hope that everyone is enjoying the celebrations!