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Unprecedented success

06 Oct 2016

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For a sixth year in a row, Southbank’s Photography Studies College (PSC) has taken out the photography industry’s highest tertiary honour.

The Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) once again named PSC as the Australian Photography Tertiary Institution of the Year at its August awards ceremony.

As well as receiving the highest possible endorsement for an unprecedented sixth straight year, final year PSC student Tayla Nuss-Soeharto also claimed the prize for Australian Student of the Year.

To top it off, the driving force behind it all in managing director Julie Moss, was awarded the AIPP’s Honorary Fellow as an acknowledgement of 30 years of service to the photography industry in Australia.

While proud to receive the honour, Julie said all of the awards were a great endorsement of the work done by the entire team at PSC.

“Everyone puts in so much effort so it’s great to feel that our students then do work that achieves that award because it’s actually judged by student work,” she said.

“It’s very much really blind judging. They’ve got no idea where the students come from so that makes it even more exciting in a way that there’s no sense of them knowing that it’s us.”

Julie’s contribution to the institution has been profound, and her unwavering passion is a large reason why it continues to go from strength to strength.

Having originally begun her journey at PSC as a student, Julie started her career with the institution 30 years ago in the 1980s and she said that back then, PSC was a very different place.

“It was just the top floor and a little bit of the bottom floor. The lower level used to have a printing company working there so we had a few dark rooms at the back and just the top floor,” she said.

“I came here originally as a student and then I came to do a big evaluation review for the college on its connection with industry. I had the opportunity to buy into it and looking back and I don’t know how I did that but somehow I did!”

Since then, the college has grown both in size and stature under Julie’s leadership and she said her passion for fostering an environment for learning and creativity was as strong as ever.

In order to sustain such an environment, she said she had always endeavoured to instill three key values in both staff and students: photography, community and education.

“Those three things come together here in what I’ve been able to create and I think the belief that it does have value and people actually can gain something out of being here is what keeps me going,” she said.

“It’s about developing people’s own visual language and their own creativity. Life-long friendships are formed here through this environment.”

Julie said that by bringing people of all different ages and walks of life together under a common interest of photography, the notion of community and shared learning was truly realised.

And she said she considered it a privilege to be able to foster an environment that provided every student with the opportunities to tap into their own creativity.

“What we do here is create a space where people can actually feel safe to actually develop their skills and develop their creativity,” she said. “But when I say safe, I don’t mean that we don’t want to push them out of their comfort zone.”

“It’s a space where they can explore their creativity and really try to develop themselves as photographers in whatever form that is and I find it to be a privilege to create a space where people can do that.”

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