This digital photograph depicts Northcote residents Judi and Rob Castagnini sitting on their front porch with their daughter Laura Castagnini during the State of Victoria's first COVID-19 lockdowns and associated 'stay at home' restrictions. Laura is depicted standing at the front door wearing a gown that she received whilst staying for two weeks in hotel quarantine at Crown Promenade hotel.

In August 2020, Judi Castaningi reflected that 'as a retired couple, life hasn't changed much for us during lockdown; we have just found ourselves home more often than usual. We've slowed down, and we have been able to spend more time with our eldest daughter Laura.'

Laura Castaningi, aged 33, had been living in London for six years at the time this photograph was taken. When COVID-19 began to spread across the world, Laura made the decision to return home to be with her family. She subsequently spent two weeks in hotel quarantine at Crown Promenade hotel in Melbourne. Laura reflects:

'In March I made a snap decision to leave London and it all happened very fast. All the airlines were in disarray and it was a panic-fuelled week of flights being cancelled and rebooked, and then I was unlucky to be the second batch of arrivals ordered into hotel quarantine. It was a relief to know that I needn't worry about infecting my family, but the experience of being locked inside a hotel with no fresh air was pretty horrible. It was a huge relief to arrive safely at my parent's house, and I spent a good couple of weeks resting and recovering. It was my first time living back home since I was a teenager, so it took a little time to adjust, but it gave us a very special chance to reconnect and enjoy each other's company.'

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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