“The Family Project”

Photographing the landscape of contemporary family life in Australia.



The aim of The Contemporary Australian Family Photographic Project was to photograph the typical Australian family, to make photographs that record the social-cultural landscape of contemporary family life (or relationships) in Australia today.

Participating photographers, photographed Australian families over a 12 month period. The results reflect the diverse range, nature and cultural aspects of family life and relationships found today in Australian families and society.

Family life and relationships include the nuclear family, single-parent, same-sex, blended families, no children families, adoptive families and/or no parent families. The exhibition includes  photographic portraits from a diverse range of cultures and indigenous families, and reflects on family life in the past.

The photographers, photographed self-identity within the family and the community. They also photographed the structure of the family, and the nature of relationships with their family, friends and colleagues.

Most importantly the photographs show that families and their circumstances vary significantly from each other.


Each participating photographer was asked to spend 12 months in their state creating a new body of work depicting ‘contemporary family life in Australia’ as they see it. The project commenced in July 2010.
The photographs include both city and country “family life”.
Model release were obtained for all photographs made.

  • Prominent Australian photography professionals will curate the final selection of images for the exhibition and book publication. Each photographer and each state will be represented in these productions.
Each “family” photographed has the opportunity to write a brief narrative to accompany the images taken of them. Their narrative will be raw and unedited, to retain their copyright to their own personal family stories.
• An essay will be written to accompany the book publication.


The Contemporary Australian Family Photographic Project was launched in Perth as part of the Foto Freo photography festival in 2012, before travelling to Sydney to be shown during the HeadOn photography festival in May with MomentoPro in Chippendale.
  • In May 2013, The Family Project travelled to Brisbane to go on display at the Brisbane Powerhouse Museum, and in August, the multimedia production of the same name was displayed at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale at the Post Office Gallery.
  • The exhibition is currently on display at the Teatro Mayor, Bogota, Columbia, courtesy of the Australian Latin Foundation, October 1 to November 1, 2013.


All information in this document is Copyright © 2010 - 2014 Dawne Fahey. The Family Project ® incorporates the Contemporary Australian Family Photographic Project and the World Family Project, and may not be reproduced or used without express written permission.

All photographs remain the Copyright of the Photographers.



FIER Institute
P.O. Box 7078

NSW 2100

p: +61 (02)99393803      

e: fier.institute@gmail.com