This digital photograph depicts family members Lianne McMillan, Phil Pringuer, Pippa Pringuer and Tom Pringuer with their dogs Lyra and Meeka. The family are pictured standing behind the front fence of their home in Fairfield, Melbourne, during the State of Victoria's first COVID-19 lockdowns and associated 'stay at home' restrictions.

This family were all impacted in various ways by the COVID-19 lockdowns. Lianne McMillan, an academic coordinator and ESL teacher, initially continued to travel to her workplace, but soon began to work remotely to support teachers and students via online Zoom classes. Her husband Phil Pringuer, a Senior Business Intelligence Developer, began to work from home immediately. Their daughter Pippa, aged eighteen, embarked on her University degree in Pharmaceutical Science online, but as the COVID-19 pandemic developed and intensified, decided to defer her study for 12 months and instead focus on her artistic pursuits from home. Thomas, aged fifteen, began to study his Year 10 classes from home online, but kept himself physically active by riding his bike along the Darebin Creek.

Although COVID-19 lockdowns provided many challenges for the family, Lianne McMillan commented that it gave them time to slow down and enjoy 'a slower pace of life, more family time and a sense of gratitude for all that we do have.' While in-person social activities came to a halt, the family remained connected to their local community by visiting local parks and communicating with friends and family via email, phone, Zoom and Facetime. 'We learnt that we have it pretty good really', reflected Lianne, 'and that it's important to practice gratitude.'

This photograph was taken by Melbourne-based photographer Julie Ewing as part of her 'Across the Fence' photographic series. This series documents life in Melbourne's Darebin region during the first COVID-19 lockdowns that began in Victoria on 14 March 2020. Julie photographed 120 households and 60 businesses during March to May 2020, and this digital photograph is one of 24 images that were acquired into Museum Victoria's Collecting the Curve Collection. These photographs provide a lasting reminder of how neighbourhoods and households in Melbourne were impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic, as well as the unique ways through which individuals and communities adapted their lives and found new routines, traditions and ways of supporting one another.

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Digital TIFF file

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