Snap happy for land­scape di­ver­sity

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Pamela Thomas, Beech­worth

PAMELA Thomas was born on the Monaro NSW, a re­gion near the Snowy Moun­tains. She grew up in Can­berra and was ed­u­cated there, mar­ried, fol­lowed by a move to Mel­bourne and shifted to Beech­worth eight years ago with her hus­band.

What’s your job?

The idea of re­tire­ment is anath­ema to me. I am no longer salaried and cur­rently eval­u­at­ing my cre­ative abil­ity.

What brought you to this role?

The de­ci­sion to pur­sue my in­ter­est in pho­tog­ra­phy. I have al­ways been in­ter­ested in the vis­ual and per­form­ing arts and as a child be­came fas­ci­nated by a Brownie Box cam­era and black and white pho­tog­ra­phy. I of­ten took the cam­era on hol­i­day with my cousins to Tathra on the NSW South Coast. Many years later (in the 1990s) I com­pleted two terms of pho­tog­ra­phy stud­ies and dark­room work. I printed some of the child­hood neg­a­tives and was stunned to find that the im­ages are quite pass­able.

What do you love about your job?

I now have a stu­dio and lots of time to con­sider op­tions and be­ing able to take an ac­tive role in cre­ative ac­tiv­i­ties. Since mov­ing to the North East, I am in­spired to ex­plore and to pho­to­graph the di­verse land­forms from the moun­tains to the River­ine plains of the Mur­ray.

What do you do in the com­mu­nity?

Com­mit­tee Mem­ber of for­mer Indigo Shire Arts, Cul­ture then Her­itage Ad­vi­sory com­mit­tees for seven years; mem­ber Ruther­glen His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety; par­tic­i­pant in the Ovens and Mur­ray Re­gional As­sem­blies, sup­porter of In­de­pen­dent Cathy McGowan; a Beech­worth Arts Coun­cil mem­ber; and on a lighter note din­ing and win­ing at cel­lar door restau­rants and var­i­ous an­nual fes­ti­vals.

What’s the most im­por­tant cur­rent com­mu­nity is­sue for you?

That Indigo Shire Coun­cil in­tro­duces ur­gent strate­gies to en­sure the shire’s her­itage as­sets are pro­tected by list­ing on the Vic­to­rian Her­itage Reg- is­ter. Com­mu­nity mem­bers should see the Indigo Shire Her­itage Strat­egy adopted by Coun­cil on 28 Fe­bru­ary 2017.

What would you do to solve, change or im­prove that sit­u­a­tion?

Ac­tively lobby to en­sure that coun­cil­lors and coun­cil per­son­nel are aware of avail­able re­sources and un­der­take ac­tion to in­volve and in­form the Indigo com­mu­nity in­clud­ing the youth of the shire, of the value and im­por­tance of such as­sets for the fu­ture eco­nomic devel­op­ment of the shire.

What’s the most im­por­tant cur­rent world is­sue for you?

The lack of ac­tion by world gov­ern­ments for en­sur­ing health, well­be­ing and ed­u­ca­tion of the chil­dren of the world, es­pe­cially refugees.

If the per­son you’d most like to meet came to Indigo, or was al­ready here, who would that be and what would you show them?

I would in­vite British doc­u­men­tary pre­sen­ter and nat­u­ral­ist Sir David At­ten­bor­ough and his team to view the shire’s 16 Na­tional Trust Clas­si­fied Land­scapes. These are listed on the Her­itage Vic­to­ria database but have no statu­tory pro­tec­tion for the long term.

Why would you show him that?

To gain in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion to out­comes of in­ap­pro­pri­ate and in­sen­si­tive devel­op­ment of her­itage places.

What book are you read­ing?

“En­deav­our: The Ship and At­ti­tude that Changed the World” by Pe­ter Moore. It’s about Cap­tain James Cook’s first South Sea voy­ages from 1768 – 1771, pub­lished by Vin­tage Books Aus­tralia 2018.

VISIAL ARTS PAS­SION: Beech­worth’s Pamela Thomas finds in­spi­ra­tion in the North East land­scape for her love of pho­tog­ra­phy.

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