Photography at Kew Depot (in the 1970s)

As mentioned in the previous post I was stationed at the Kew Depot in the mid-to late 1970s, when I was working on the Melbourne trams and studying photography at Photography Studies College (PSC) in South Melbourne (now Southbank). I was studying part time at PSC just after its name changed to PSC from the Gallery School of Photographic Art. That would have been around around 1978. Haynes started his school in the early 1970’s.

Working on the trams were quite a contrast to being an economist in New Zealand. The former was a working class world in industrial Melbourne and the mid-to late 1970s was a period when the LNP Coalition under Malcolm Fraser was in power. I remember my political shock at Fraser taking a confrontational approach to the management of industrial matters, implementing an inflation-first approach (contributing to unemployment), repressive labour laws, and in 1982 a national wage freeze. 

No 840, Kew Depot

Whilst at Kew Depot I made the odd b+w portrait of some of the people who worked on the trams, or who were also based at the depot. These were in a naive social documentary style, and they would have been made towards the end of the 1970s, as course at Photographic Studies College required the students to photograph in colour transparency using an Olympus SLR camera purchased through the college.I would take the film to be processed to Bond Colour (now Bond Imaging) in Richmond.


3 thoughts on “Photography at Kew Depot (in the 1970s)

  1. jamesmmcardle April 6, 2020 / 6:30 pm

    You’ve got a very valuable archive in these photos taken at Kew Depot; great shots in the tradition of documentary reportage. I’m sure the State Library would be interested in them. I was teaching at PSC in the early 80s and have significantly expanded the Wikipedia entry on the school – I’d be interested in your views on the institution.


  2. Thoughtfactory April 12, 2020 / 9:48 am

    Hi James, Thanks for the comments and support. The tramway photos are a part of a book that I am working on. They are a part of the 1st part of the book. (

    I have expanded the original entry (with extra text and photos) working off your PSC Wikipedia entry. The expanded text includes some observations about my experience at PSC.

    I will send you an email.


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