About the Collection

On the Fringes

The On the Fringes: South West Sydney 1994-2014 collection explores social history and cultural life on the outskirts of south-western Sydney. Recorded through photography, audio interviews, and video footage, the collection documents the communities of Green Valley (six suburbs of fibro housing) and the market gardens of Austral, Leppington, Bringelly and the surrounding region

There are the shots of market gardeners and koi farmers, local walking groups and bocce players, big noisy families celebrating weddings and birthdays, and solitary folk leading quiet, ordinary lives. Take a look!

Therese Sweeney

I have been engaging with communities on the fringes of south-west Sydney from1994 primarily in photography, video, film and sound capturing social memories of a number of minority populations. My interest stemmed from growing up in a large area to the north west of Liverpool, dubbed Green Valley from the early 1960’s, a public housing estate which comprised six suburbs. I grew up in one of those suburbs Busby from 1963, from age two. Subsequently, I have devoted the past 20 years to developing and layering a creative practise in the cross disciplinary areas of oral history, public history, photography and new media. I have also initiated many projects in inner Sydney.

From 2008-2012, I established a not for profit entity and charity, Memory Bank Cultural Media Inc. and ran a project with ageing migrant market gardener’s in Leppington & Austral. This will be exhibited in full by UTS Library in the coming months. Prior to the above I worked in NSW Gov’t. for over a decade and resigned in 1991 as a Senior Policy Officer, Legal Aid Commission, developing policy & procedure in Human Resources and Occupational Health & Safety. From 2015, I will live as a commercial artist & photographer in my studio at Gallery 219 Hanigans Lane Bolong 2540, expanding my visual practise and devotion to portraiture, community and the environs as well as poultry farming.

Therese Sweeney Ink will be publishing family, company and regional history books from 2016.

Major Exhibitions & Project History

2015 to present

-Prepared & submitted extensive sound archive (oral histories) & meta-data descriptions for UTS archive, ‘On the Fringes, South West Sydney 1994-2014 in 2016.’
-Consultant oral history trainer to regional library staff in Newcastle/Riverina & Dubbo on behalf of Oral History NSW & State Library.
-Researcher & writer for publication, ‘Farming was our University’, The Perich Family, an extensive family history to be launched in 2017.
-Consultant Oral Historian, Belgenny Farm Oral History project, 2011-2016.
-Commissioned to produce two historical publications in 2017.
-The Sweeney Studio & Youtube TV Channel located in Bolong to be officially launched to the public mid 2017.
-Editing 20 years of video content for the UTS archive, ‘On the Fringes, South West Sydney 1994-2014.’ To add in late 2017.
-Selected works from On the Fringes South West Sydney 1994-2014. 25 May-1 July 16, UTS Library, Level 4. A collection of black & white prints and the video projection series, Intimate Moments (2008) on iPad.
-DUHK-LING - A series of digital colour portraits on wood, plaster & paper. Shoalhaven Regional Gallery, 12 November 16 - 21 January 17.

-Oral histories from Camden Park Estate - The Community Story: a publication (written & edited).
-Creative Moments: Shoalhaven Arts Centre. Group show. Video projections and photography.
-Pioneers of the Fringe: launched multi-media online archive. Preparation, curatorial & online production content on forty migrant market gardeners for www.memorybank.org.au.

-Autumn Show, Group exhibition, Harrington Street gallery (Co-Op), Chippendale. Painting.
-Oral history mentor-Lightening Ridge Consultant. Developed & presented training to community.

-Pioneers of the Fringe South West Sydney -20 min. documentary on migrant market gardener’s. Screened to the local community at Austral Bowling club.
-Photography mentor: UTS Social leaders group, Shopfront.

-Belgenny Farm Oral history project, Consultant oral historian. Extensive sound recordings, photography & digital archiving (through 2014)
-Made on the Kitchen Table, Casula Powerhouse-Photography. Photography mentor, course delivery & curatorial vision. Trained16 indigenous women from south west Sydney & set up a not-for-profit for them.
-‘Eat’ History week-OHAA (NSW) website exhibition-sound bites.

-Our Migrant farmers, Group show. Casula Powerhouse, 2 x 3min video installations, artist. Liverpool Bicentenary.
-Tomato Stories, Solo exhibition in theatre, Casula Powerhouse, Forum interviewing a panel of six migrant farming women & 7min film, ‘Tomato Stories’ screened. Video artist and panel host.
-Memory Bank launch, Casula Powerhouse. Official launch of organisation by Noeline Brown, Ambassador for Ageing. Attended by local, State and federal MP’s and the community.

-Pioneers of the Fringe-Extensive oral history & photography campaign with pioneering residents in Leppington, Austral and the pioneers of the six public housing estates tagged, ‘Green Valley’ (through 2013)
-Intimate Moments, Solo exhibition. Video projections Liverpool CBD, 4 x 4min video installations, Video artist.

-Conversations at the Diner-Solo exhibition. Sound (oral histories), text & photography project on the New York Restaurant. Exhibited across 3 sites in Kings Cross, including City of Sydney libraries.
-Riotous Suburbs: Cross Art projects, Group show, Kings Cross. Photography in the community of Macquarie Fields.
-Love & Music-8min documentary, ageing dramatic soprano from ‘the Diner’. Screened at Chauvel and 2 film festivals.
-‘New Angles @ Macfields’, Glenfield Library. Residents group show, photography. Photography mentor and curator to residents on the estate for six month period with partner WorkVentures.
-Greetings from Macquarie Fields postcard series, Residents photography. Curator of slideshow, Campbelltown City Arts Centre.
-Photographic mentor: to residents from Airds Estate. Residents’ exhibition at local community service.

-Tunnel Vision, Greed & Stupidity: Cross Art projects; Group show. Video installation x 2.
-Light, Stills, Emotion: Educational Card series-Photographic mentor to young women-Liverpool Women’s Health Centre.

-Bringelly City on the Edge: Solo exhibition. Narellan Library, Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, Liverpool Library. Solo show. Photography and Video on contemporary market gardens (through 2006)

-Women shoot West, Liverpool Hospital. Residents’ photography. Photography mentor and curator to residents from Liverpool Women’s Resource Centre, Ashcroft.
-Reframing the Valley, 10 year retrospective, solo exhibition Leichhardt library, photography. Curator Liz Muller.

-After the Bell & New Girl, A series of documentary videos, mentored 12 young women at Miller. Course developer, facilitator and Producer. Project ran for 3 months and achieved awards at Local & State festivals & nomination for National award (ATOM). Fellowship awarded from Shopfront UTS & NSW Dept. for Women.

-Fibro, Perspecta 97, Casula Powerhouse, group show. 22 Photography panels.
-South West Series, Photography Curator State Library of NSW, selected & purchased a block of photography to archive as prints. Photography and printing.

-Leichhardt series, Photography Curator, State Library of NSW, selected & purchased a block of photography to archive as prints. Photography and printing (through 1999)

-Legal Walls, Casula Powerhouse. Documentary photographer for project. Slideshow and booklet.
-Photography study, South West Sydney project. Photographer. (through 2014)


Research Fellowship (Community) Shopfront UTS, Sydney & NSW Dept. for Women (2001)
Scholarship- Photography, Charles Sturt University, Wagga (2005)
Scholarship-Editing Documentary Metro Screen, Paddington (2007)
Scholarship-Not-For-Profit Management Development, UTS (2010)


Bachelor of Arts (Communication), Social History & Film, University of Technology, Sydney (1999)
Assoc. Diploma in Health Sciences (Massage Therapy) TAFE (1992)


There are lots of ways to find your way around the site. These instructions will get you started.

Hit the explore button at the top of the page. This will take you to the browse page, where a selection of photographs are displayed. Select an image. On the right hand side of each image there is a list of keywords and subjects. Sometimes, there is also a bank of related images. Select a keyword or subject term or a related image to browse the collection.

To return to the brows page, hit the Browse button at the top of the page. To return to the front page, hit the Therese Sweeney Ink button.


Unless otherwise noted, content on the sweeney.lib.uts.edu.au website is owned by Therese Sweeney. To request a license for non-commercial or commercial use of her work, please contact Therese Sweeney by phone on 0415900320, or by email.