THE pride that farming families take in their work is being captured in a photographic book called Generations — Australian Farming Families being compiled by Warrnambool photographer Peta Jolley.
Ms Jolley said she was inspired to create the book by the passion that farming families felt for their work and their families’ connection to their farms.
It aimed to recognise the hard work and hardship that many families endured during the generations their families had been on their farms.
Ms Jolley said the increase of farm sizes was swallowing up many family farms and the book was an effort to capture a moment in time.
“These people are not acknowledged enough,” she said.
“We want to give a really positive spin on lives that can sometimes be very difficult.
“With this year being the Australian Year of the Farmer, it’s an opportunity to get into these farmers’ lives and recognise history.”
Ms Jolley and her sister Kate Jolley launched the project at this year’s Hamilton Sheepvention, seeking expressions of interest from farming farmers who wanted to be involved. The response was overwhelming.
So far Ms Jolley has photographed about 30 farming families, most of them in the Hamilton, Casterton, Dunkeld and Glenthompson area. She wants to photograph more families in the Warrnambool district and she and Kate will be at this weekend’s Warrnambool show to generate interest.
Families photographed so far have extended up to three generations. The sisters hope to photograph about 100 farming families throughout Victoria by the end of April and produce the coffee table book later next year.
It will include each family’s story, compiled from a questionnaire looking at the changing conditions and future outlook of their farms. Peta Jolley has been a Warrnambool-based photographer for the past eight years. It is hoped to extend the project to other states in the future.