A Child’s Cherished Moments

Valerie Ross’ Photo Album from Hillsborough

Today we live in a society that is saturated with images. Everyone with a smart phone has a camera in their pocket, ready to capture the world around them and share online in an instant.

In the 1920s, photography was just starting to become more accessible to Australians. Cameras were getting lighter, cheaper, and easier to operate. As a result, many families started to document their lives in this format for the very first time. And all those new photographs were proudly displayed in photo frames around the home and tucked inside photographic albums.

In 1925, Valerie Ross was just five years old when her grandfather gave her family this photo album. As she grew, she filled the pages with her memories of life in Hillsborough, a newly subdivided neighbourhood where young families raised children in a semi-rural setting.

The album is a unique snapshot of life through the eyes of a child, with glimpses of her mother’s garden, along with the turkeys and ducks they kept on the farm, a horse named Doll, kids birthday parties, picnics by the river and school in nearby Charlestown.

Valerie was a teenager during the Great Depression, and an adult when her parents later divorced in the 1950’s. As the world changed around her, and she with it, her photo album is a time capsule to childhood and many cherished moments.