Carly Webber - Film & Strobe Portraits of Ballet Dancer Allanah with Kodak Portra 160 pushed film

Allanah Marie. Dancer. “My dance career ended because I was at a crossroads. My teachers were encouraging me to progress into auditions and eventually sit my Solo Seal with the RAD, however my hip injury hindered my progression as a dancer, and it was only getting worse. I could either have surgery on it to then audition for a dance company and continue my training; or move on to something...


Carly Webber - Portraits of Keziah Stonnell with Tetralogy of Fallot

Keziah Stonnell. Tetralogy of Fallot. “When I was a newborn baby I was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot which is a heart condition that means that the aorta was too small and the ‘wall’ separating the left and right ventricle has a hole in it – mine was completely missing. This meant that my oxygenated blood would mix with the non-oxygenated blood causing me to collapse often. Luckily this was...


Marie-Claire Andrews. Entrepreneur.

“In secondary school I was told to be a lawyer and thought I would be too – mostly because I was argumentative and liked the limelight. Apart from being a lawyer I thought I’d like to be a musician too, a pro pianist. But while I was shit hot as a 15 year old pianist, once I went on a scholarship to a private school where there were a heap of other scholarship girls, it was clear I was mediocre on the keys. And I got performance anxiety too, so that career aspiration faded away pretty quickly.

The most telling ‘fail’ I had was actually in High School, in not being picked as head girl. Sounds trivial now, but it hit me so hard I can still feel the sobs and the shaking when I heard the news. I was sitting in the orchestra in the prize giving ceremony where they confirmed head and deputy head. I heard them pick who I thought would be head girl as deputy and waited proudly for my name to be called next. Cue random girl’s name. Actually I TOTALLY remember her name (nice girl, sure, but WTF). Not anyone of my crew had gossiped about it being her in the lead up. I finished the evening, and stumbled home in tears with my parents. I was so hurt and surprised that I wasn’t picked, I spent years wondering why. It rocked me for a long time, and even now I want to say, crazy eh, as if it’s a small thing that I should be over – 25 FUCKING YEARS LATER!!! But I was so disappointed in the head teacher for that decision – and that’s what’s stayed with me.

Now I don’t put senior people on a pedestal. They can make shit decisions just like everyone else. Their choosing head girl was a shit decision, because while at the time my fifteen-year-old-me was all like ‘I’m so rubbish! No-one loves me!’, my 40 year old self is like ‘I would have smashed that role and made it awesome. Idiots for settling when they could have soared’.

“Back then there were entrepreneurial tendencies, even though neither my parents or I knew what an entrepreneur was.

One of the things I’ve really had to learn is I had to develop a lot of tenacity. I learnt that from my husband. The spiritual name his mentor gave him (yup, long story) is ‘Tenacious Ferret’. He is just that, he keeps going when everyone else would be sipping a wine and watching tele, and he’d be running into rabbit holes when everyone else would be lazing in the sunshine. He’s taught me that sleep is for dead people and work life balance is bullshit.

Advise? Go hard while you have the energy – and I don’t mean on the dance floor – travel, learn, work, stay up travelling, learning and working, meet everyone, go everywhere, absorb it all. Quickly. You’ll get tired. Now I have the wisdom, I don’t have the energy.

One of the best things I’ve ever done was live on a boat for 8 years. No mortgage is very liberating! We sold it in the end to start one of my companies – but the experience from start to finish was cool. Even the tough bits like crossing the Cook Strait (scary sea) in high seas thinking I’d die for eight hours. I learnt to appreciate hot running water and being cosy, and that everything in the work arena that I thought was hard, clearly wasn’t. I wasn’t going to drown making an investment presentation or doing a performance management review so frankly, how hard was it?!

Right now I’m loving being part of my community and local people again via the 3MILE CO-WORKING space I’m setting up. But I’m torn between that and a huge entrepreneurial opportunity with the EVENT TECH TRIBE. Both of them appeal to my ego (which constantly needs stroking), and my need to see a change in the world as a result of my efforts.

I’m not having kids, so I have to leave another kind of legacy.”

Thank you M-C.


Eden McAuliffe. Dancer. “There is so much stereotype surrounding dancers. I know from experience how tough it can get, especially when you’re younger. You’re gonna cop it. You’ll have those spells where you get bullied for doing dance. But if you love it, you just have to ignore it and push though. A lot of dance schools are not set up to cater for boys, which doesn’t help. You know,...


Ashley Joppich. Dancer. “We used to live on a farm about an hour away from Toowoomba, and there weren’t many families around, so mum put me into dance just so I had some interaction with other kids. I was three years old then, but by the time I was seven, my sister and I did every single style. Poor Mum. She had to drive us forty-five minutes into Toowoomba four...


James Blackwell. Rugby Player. “My memory of what I was like as a child is very different from what I’ve been told. Mum said I wasn’t the greatest sleeper and always had to be doing something, which kept all of the family on their toes. My younger brother and I grew up in Wellington. We’ve always been very competitive, from when we first played in the back yard and sand...


Mark Lowndes. Musician. “I grew up with my Mum and our music was all Motown; Motown and a bit of Reggae. Cause Reggae’s got soul. Then I would get to go to see my Dad once a month and as soon as I get into his car the Beatles would be playing. I’m thinking what is this? I’d say “These guys have got no rhythm Dad!” And he’d be like...


Matilda Rodgers. Artist. “Art was always a part of our lives as kids because Mum was always creating around us. She never pushed us into creating though, but we always had any materials we needed lying around the house. And if we needed any advice, Mum was there to help. My Mum inspires me so much, and not just because she is an Artist, but because of who she is...


Emmasyn Hunt. Dancer. “The toughest thing about being a dancer is the sacrifices. You give up precious family time, school time and free time for your own training. My Dad works away in the mines, so we don’t see him as much as any other family would anyway. My mum works full time and owns her own business to afford dance for my sister and I, to ensure we can...


Tom Wooler. Inked. “When I was born, I wasn’t expected to survive. And because of what happened, I’ve always been told by my parents to go for what I want in life… to dream big. So for my first tattoo, I had the words “Keep Your Dreams Alive” written across my chest. I’ve always felt so different from everyone else, like I never really fit in. And even though I...


Kira. Inked. “I was always the ugly weird kid. All my life. It’s only been since traveling last year that I started to feel good about myself. I think I am starting to see it. Maybe. I think what’s even bigger though, is I like my imperfections. Before I straight up hated them… and I inadvertently hated myself because of them. It’s weird, I kinda like me now.” Tell me...


Conny Van Lint. Artist. “I’m one of six children. Quality time with my mum wasn’t always possible, but the special times I do remember were having a coffee together. Being European I was allowed to drink coffee at a very young age, so I quickly became Mum’s coffee buddy while drawing at the dining table. Mum loved my drawings and encouraged me to enter in every drawing competition possible. I...