This digital photograph depicts Northcote residents Sharon Crofts and Simon Jackson posing in front of their home during the State of Victoria's first COVID-19 lockdowns and associated 'stay at home' restrictions. They are pictured dressed in Australian Rules Football (AFL) colours in celebration of the Collingwood-Essendon Anzac Day match that they would have usually attended each year on 25 April.
The Anzac Day match between Collingwood and Essendon, played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), had been a tradition in Australian Rules Football since 1995, but due to COVID-19 and social distancing requirements, the 2020 match was not played. Instead, a lone bugler played the Last Post to an empty stadium, and football fans were urged to commemorate Anzac Day by holding dawn services in their streets.
In August 2020, Sharon wrote a short essay reflecting on her experience of COVID-19 lockdowns:
'My husband and I go to the Anzac Day game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) every year. It is a longstanding tradition. Simon is a bombers supporter and I am a Magpies supporter, so we were feeling disappointed that we weren't going to be able to go to the game. We have many Magpies supporters in our street, so we thought wearing our jumpers on the day would create some fun and atmosphere around the street, which it did. We also stood at our front gate at dawn with a candle for the Anzac Day dawn service, which was really moving.
We absolutely love our neighbourhood. When the pandemic first hit and we were locked down, a couple of us thought it would be a great idea to start a WhatsApp group on our street to support one another with shopping or running errands etc. There were a couple of people in our street that tested positive early in the piece - a couple on return from India and a young boy from childcare - and were locked down so doing their shopping and dropping off supplies was shared amongst the wonderful people in our street. During this lockdown we have had a baby born on our street as well! I have to say, the support, care and friendships that have been created during this time have been wonderful. The WhatsApp group has grown and stories are being shared, recipes are being shared, and tips about were to source hand sanitiser and masks have all been shared as well. So out of all of this, I have found that our street community has grown and prospered out of this very challenging time.'
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.
Digital TIFF file
Donation from Julie Ewing
Collected as part of the Museum In My Neighbourhood project with support from the Office of Suburban Development.
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