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We Were Resilient:
(Even though at times, we thought we weren't)

The Book

We Were Resilient, is a series of 365 timeline images with historic text, during one year of Covid-19. Every page in chronological order has an image of the 100+ year old Elm tree located in Carlton, taken between the hour of 7.00 – 8.00 am every day. Each page also has a brief written contribution from a large demographic of people, the changing lockdown rules and the daily Covid-19 cases.

Each photograph signifies the passing of the seasons and every comment, is an observation, that we, the residents of Melbourne were resilient, resourceful, practical and emotional in ways we have never before experienced.

The project began the morning after a State of Disaster and a Curfew were declared by the Premier of Victoria, Mr Daniel Andrews on 3 August 2020, and concludes 2 August 2021. 

The Elm tree became my mainstay a constant as it stood stable, tall, strong with roots deep into the earth, a reminder that it has lived for many years, flowing with the seasons and that we would be ok, lives were being saved.

Taking a photo each day gave a purpose, a pleasure and a consistency to each day, not able to be found elsewhere during this unprecedented time and collecting comments was a way of connecting with others when we were all experiencing the time differently.

An established artist with a successful photography book titled ‘Eclectic Carlton,’ my photography & painting have been exhibited and purchased extensively.

To purchase a copy please email:

Price: $A45 plus postage. 


The pandemic brought extraordinary challenges to Victorians and our response was equally extraordinary. Through such difficult times, we found incredible ways to look after each other and ourselves. I, too spend some time in Carlton 
Gardens under elm trees during brief work breaks - that connection provided welcome respite and peace amongst the maelstrom.
Brett Sutton
Office of the Chief Health Officer Health Protections Branch / Public Health Department 
Department of Health

The Exhibition at the City Library Gallery,Flinders Lane, Melbourne


We Were Resilient: The Exhibition 

The Pages: an example

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