Neighbours on the Boundary

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A Photographic Exhibition to Celebrate  Neighbour Day 2017 in West End

Dates: 26th March – Late  April

Venue: Hope Street Cafe 170 Boundary Street West End

This exhibition celebrates Neighbour Day 2017 on 26th March. It features people for whom Boundary Street is a neighbourhood of life, work, relaxation, shopping , celebration, and friendships.


Boundary Street is a neighbourhood that embraces diversity. Shopfronts tell stories of the old and new cultures that have made a home here. Private homes and public space sit side by side. Street signs tell the history of a colonial presence on ancient land of the Jagera and Turrbal peoples
This exhibition is running conjunction with an online exhibition and a Facebook Collection 

cropped-img_4898.jpgTony Robertson is a Brisbane photographer whose works in the tradition of social documentary and storytelling. His folio of images includes, political rallies, cultural celebrations and memorials for bereaved communities.

The exhibition will include a series of “Meet the Photographer Events so come back and check on dates and times!!
#neighbourday

Not Just A Face In The Crowd

On an average of maybe once a month I join the 2.5 million train passengers per year that swipe their cards at the Fortitude Valley train station. In peak hour I blend into the bodies and faces that  focus on the platform or the exit without awareness of the guards watching the procession of humanity. Off -peak is more relaxed and even seems to promote acknowledgements and greetings as we  take our time to swipe and move.

Today I had an off peak experience and casually swiped my card when a voice called “Hey mate”. When I realised it was a staff member I  immediately thought  either  my card didn’t read or random body checks were about to be introduced by Queensland Rail.

However, the greeting was followed with “I saw you on TV the other week”.  I now have  reasonable list of TV credits to my name so I could ask “Whch program”?  It turns out it was a recent ABC documentary on Mu’ooz Restaurant in West End.

The fascinating insight for me was that the staff member stated he recognized me from my trips in and out of Fortitude Valley. Just when I thought I woud be a face in the crowd it turns out that my face stands out enough to be remembered on screen and at barriers!!

Our conversation then shifted to the subject of the documentary and the QR staff member’s interest in  learning more about African cuisine and the location of the restaurant.

I did my promo job with a quick review and reccommendation as well as directions to  rival Google maps.

This encounter also reminded me that I live in a public sphere most of the time. Today I was wearing my “Free the Refugees” Tee shirt and my Anti-Poverty 2016 cap. I have been described as a walking billboard before and I take my public role of advocacy  as a challenge and invitation to engage in public conversations about justice.

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THE BOY FROM GEELONG BECOMES A LEGEND IN BRISBANE

Local Legend 2015In November 2015 I was one of several people awarded for their services and presence in the West End Community of Brisbane. The awards acknowledge “Local Legends” across the spectrum of those who contribute to the life and culture of West End.

I was honoured with the inaugural Community Engagement Award. I am so grateful and humbled by those who nominated me for this award. I owe so much to the late Aunty Maureen Watson, who was my first mentor into the local community. You cannot be a local legend on your own, and I acknowledge the relationships and opportunities that have come my way to inspire and encourage my community engagement.

Legends happen when stories are shared and lives are bonded in community. Thanks to The West End Magazine and the great film crew from Griffith University Film School for their creative engagement that saw the video project come to air.

This post is a collection of interviews and responses I gave following the acknowledgement.

612 ABC  Report and interview

West End Magazine

Banner pic from West End Magazine

Tony Robertson describes West End as a “celebration of diversity” in a wonderful short film produced by a talented group of Griffith film students. The West End Magazine film producer Ann Megalla acted as consultant on the project.

Tony works with Micah Projects as part of social inclusion team, largely assisting local people who have mental health problems or disabilities. He works to bring people together without differentiation through social and community activities. Tony is an everyday hero, embodying the true spirit of West End.

Local Legends Awards

The 2015 Local Legends Awards were held on Saturday 17 October at Miss Bliss Café, West End.

The Community Engagement Award: a recommendation of the judges Tim Quinn, Margie Gamble and Peter Marinelli went to Tony Robertson for his tireless work with local residents and aboriginal people.

Paladar Fumior Salon's photo. Congratulations to one of our stalwart regulars who received an unexpected recognition of his contribution to the wider community in the LOCAL LEGENDS scheme.

Being the unique soul that Tony Robertson is, the organisers had to come up with a new category to recognise Tony’s efforts as a social worker with the homeless at his work with MICAH PROJECTS, and his community engagement as the Community Jester, and social documenter in his photographic exploits, not to mention the banana suit!

Congratulations again and many thanks Tony, who has so been a part of Paladar’s landscape for the past decade and most certainly the wider local community.
Keep up the good work. We cheer and applaud you.

Hiroaki Eba

Artist , Hiroaki Eba with Local Legend Trophy

The award came with a certificate and a  piece of West End Sculpture. Local florist and artist Hiroaki Eba designed the ceramic vase trophy to hold tiny flowers.
Artist’s Statement:

I made the 2015 Local Legend Trophy for West End. This year I made them by ceramic, wire and string. The wire and string represents the Brisbane River and is shaped as the bend where West End is situated. The base of the trophy is a ceramic vase and can be used for tiny flowers. I received a lot of compliments for these. Thank you.
Congratulations also to the recipients of the Local Legends Awards! I hope you can enjoy your award for a long time.

Hiroaki Eba -Art's photo.

Blog Action Day 2013: Food is a Human Right and Healthy Food is the Right Choice

World Food Day 2013

Did you know that October 16 is World Food Day?

Did you also know that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises the right to food as part of the right to an adequate standard of living?

Did you know that one in eight people go to bed hungry every night. This isn’t about a lack of food. It’s about the imbalances in access to resources like fertile land and water. So, I hear you ask: “Who controls these resources? Is it farmers who produce our food? Is it we who eat it?” Find  some of the answers here

Do you know where the food you buy at your supermarket comes from? Do you know what chemicals and additives are in the food you eat? Have you ever asked yourself these questions before?

The answers might surprise you, even alarm you. However, we can do something to balance up the food justice equation. Have a look at the ideas from Oxfam Australia and the USA site for World Food Day.

Need some more inspiration to get you committed to food justice?

“I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for the minds and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr., American Civil Rights Leader

“Never doubt a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

– Margaret Mead, American anthropologist

“When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”

– Archbishop Dom Helder Camara of Brazil

“Hunger is not a problem. It is an obscenity. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

– Anne Frank, Holocaust Victim 

“I never look at the masses as my responsibility. I look at the individual. I can love only one person at a time. I can feed only one person at a time. Just one, one, one.”

– Mother Teresa

Supporting Blog Action Day 2013