Working The Boards


STATUS - Book Printed and Published in June 2018.

The roots of Australia’s national character are sunk deep in the soil of its farms. Many of our legends and traditions are derived from farmers, whose progressive agricultural businesses produce food and fibre for the domestic and world markets. 

Working the Boards is a photographic record of life on the farm in the 21st century. It offers a rare behind-the-fence glimpse of the stockyard, woodshed and homestead of a sheep station in central Victoria.



This book has been produced at RMIT University VE Photography and Photo Imaging program with the collaborative assistance of the Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing program.

Each photography student was assigned to produce a narrative photo-essay in the style of the 1950s Life Magazine. Their assignment requires them to work within the discipline of a traditional photojournalist; following their subject, they make images as the unbiased observer and create a story from what they document. This discipline is also required throughout the image processing and all accompanying text.

Across a three-month period, the students produce a self-published book. This includes seeking out their subject and following the story, developing the narrative storyline as it unfolds, and making relevant image selections to best convey that story. In addition, they design their books, along with drafting a written introduction and related captions. Finally, they prepare print-ready files for testing, through to their final book.

This cross-disciplinary collaboration is complemented through the establishment of professional relationships between photographers and editors, with editors supporting the project in varied ways – assisting photographers with narrative development and writing as required, and undertaking copyediting and proofreading.

‘The collaborative experience for the photography students gave them insight into both the methodology and approach taken by writers and editors. This complemented and refined the learning that was taking place within the construction and development of their narrative projects. This provides the real-world experience of self-publishing.’

– Jessie DiBlasi, Robert Gale (Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging teachers)

‘Working not only collaboratively but across disciplines, programs, schools and sectors, provided complex challenges for the editing students involved. Creativity, flexibility and patience proved crucial. In responding to, and supporting, each photographer’s vision, the editors deepened their knowledge and understanding of the publishing process and diverse editorial roles.’

– Liz Steele and Stephanie Holt (Advanced Editing teachers)

‘These exciting and stylish publications are the result of highly successful collaboration between students from the School of Media and Communication and the School of Art. The project mirrors contemporary industry practice, demonstrating the strength of RMIT’s vocational education in the creative arts.’

– Clare Renner (Senior Advisor, Learning and Teaching, College of Design and Social Context)