Sarsfield Snaps was an idea born over a kitchen table in the weeks following the fires.

Sarsfield Snaps has had local children and young people at the heart of decision-making over the past three years. It has continually evolved, based on the ideas and enthusiasm of the many local young photographers who have participated and led the project’s direction along the way. Photographers and their families have made decisions about their favourite photos, mounting, and displaying their work, speaking to journalists and media and choosing which elements of the project were most important for them.

Information about photographers involved in the project is detailed below:

  • In total, 66 children and young people, all affected by fires in some way have participated in Sarsfield Snaps
  • Photographers have connections to Sarsfield, Bruthen, Wiseleigh, Tambo Upper, Clifton Creek, Paynesville and Bairnsdale
  • Photographers come from 12 different schools, in addition to home school students
  • Around 80% of photographers are primary and kinder aged
  • Participants’ ages range from 3 to 18 years old
  • Photographers have a vast array of abilities, including those with special needs, and those who have experienced multiple traumas.

Sarsfield Snaps began in February 2020 and culminates at the end of 2022. The project has evolved alongside the needs of the community and the photographers. Photographers have had the opportunity to lead and participate in the following activities:

  • An exhibition as part of East Gippsland Winter Festival on display for July 2021 school holidays.
  • An exhibition at Melbourne Zoo as part of the Zoo Summer program in December and January 2022 which included a full day trip to Melbourne for photographers and families for the exhibition opening. Approximately 500,000 people viewed the exhibition over 6 weeks.
  • Production of a two-year calendar with images from photographers featured each month which was sent to all Sarsfield families and the photographers. It was also available for others to purchase for a small amount.
  • Developing and sending care packs to primary school students in Evia, Greece, who were affected by fires in 2021. This included copies of calendars, letters with Greek translations, Heroes of Black Summer book with a Greek translation and small gifts from Snaps photographers. All Greek translations were provided voluntarily by LaTrobe University.
  • Featuring in an episode of the Three Towns podcast:
  • Staying connected during Covid-19 lockdowns through a closed, monitored, online platform for 18 months of the project.
  • Presenting at a Statewide DELWP conference in 2021.
  • Creating a permanent, open-air gallery on the Sarsfield Recreation Reserve fence with an eventual total of 109 images.
  • Production of a regular online newsletter, including photos, for photographers, their families and Snaps supporters.
  • Participating in media interviews including a podcast and multiple pre-recorded and live radio and television interviews
  • Developing a book.

Sarsfield Snaps attracted over $60k of grant funding over three years, with additional funding being offered. The project was supported collectively by ten organizations or funders.

The final stages of the project will celebrate photographers through:

  • A local party and book launch event for photographers and the Sarsfield community
  • Long-lasting ceramic tiles permanently mounted at the new Sarsfield Hall