This digital photograph depicts family members Vicki Velissaris (mother) and Angela Velissaris (daughter) standing in front of Angela's family home during the State of Victoria's first COVID-19 lockdowns and associated 'stay at home' restrictions.

Vicki Velissaris, aged 85 at the time this photograph was taken, migrated to Australia from Greece in 1969, met and married her late husband Nicholas Velissaris and moved into a home that Nicholas had purchased in 1966 in Northcote. Her daughter Angela was born in 1970, grew up in this family home in Northcote and now lives just a few doors down on the same street. With over 50 years living in the same neighbourhood, the Velissaris family had established very strong ties with the local Greek community, and Vicki was regularly involved in community activities such as attending church, Greek club and Senior Citizens activities. Angela was also very active with the local Greek community, and with volunteering at the local church.

When COVID-19 lockdowns were introduced in March 2020, both Vicki and Angela found that 'everything came to a halt for us and we were unable to partake in our usual social activities.' Considered 'high risk' due to her age, Vicki became house-bound and socially isolated, but was able to connect with family and friends via the phone. Angela continued to work as a laboratory technician at the biotechnology company Seqirus, a subsidiary of CSL Limited, where her workplace introduced strict social distancing measures and altered workplace hours in line with State Government restrictions. In mid-2020 CSL were involved in the production of a vaccine for the treatment of COVID-19, however Angela was not involved in this work.

Angela commented in August 2020 that having her portrait taken by local photographer Julie Ewing was a special moment that her mother and her treasured: 'it brought a lot of joy to us at a challenging time, and made us feel excited and special. I had always wanted to have a portrait with my mother.'

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.

Physical Description

Digital TIFF file

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