Veteran anti-war photographer Ellis honoured in Melbourne

  • Posted on: 3 April 2016
  • By: Staff Writers

A sell-out crowd gathered at the Melbourne Unitarian Church on Sunday to honour the life achievements of photographer John Ellis, who covered the anti-war movement and other progressive political causes over a fifty year period.

Mr Ellis covered left-wing political movements around Australia and abroad, including the Vietnam Moratorium movement, the anti-uranium mining protests, Indigenous self-determination campaigns, and trade union activities. An exhibition showed key images shot during Mr Ellis' career, which in total spans over 20 000 images.

The speakers included John Speight (Executive Chair, CICD; fmr VIC secretary, manufacturing union [AMWU]), Romina Beitseen (Secretary, CICD), Peter Love, and Sue Fairbanks (Archivist, University of Melbourne). The Lila Heimann and the Victorian Trade Union Choir gave a performance of classic labour movement songs.

The John Ellis Archive is held at the University of Melbourne Archive, which contains around 20 000 images shot between 1971 and 2007.

After his retirement in 1990, Mr Ellis also worked to archive the posters and other media of the Campaign for International Cooperation and Disarmament (CICD). Today the University of Melbourne Archive holds copies of over 400 CICD posters, in addition to slides and audio recordings. Duplicates are available from the State Library of Victoria and Victoria University of Footscray.