This digital photograph depicts family members Carolyn Smithers, Patrick Smithers, Hamish Smithers, Walter Smithers and Louis Smithers standing in front of their family home during the State of Victoria's first COVID-19 lockdowns and associated 'stay at home' restrictions. Also depicted in this photograph are the family's dogs Percy and Myrtle.

The Smithers family had lived in their family home in Fairfield for 27 years when the COVID-19 lockdowns were introduced in March 2020. Carolyn, a physio, had just had bilateral total knee replacements and was undergoing intensive home rehabilitation in isolation. 'It was actually quite handy to have three of my sons home', recalled Carolyn in August 2020, 'I also felt very supported by friends who helped us after my surgery by dropping off meals.'

Patrick Smithers, a school teacher, was able to assist his wife Carolyn with her rehabilitation as he taught his students remotely from home. Despite the difficulties and challenges that the Smithers family encountered due to COVID-19 lockdowns, Carolyn reflected that she felt uplifted by her neighbours and local community: 'I loved feeling the community coming together and seeing the kindness and resilience of people, as well as the community rallying around businesses to support them.'

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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