As a child, I loved going to the Royal Melbourne Show with my family. It was a day out filled with games, animals, fun shows, amusement rides and junk food. Going back to the Melbourne Show throughout the years, as a high school student, a university student, and now as a documentary photographer, I have always reminisced fondly of my childhood memories there.
Hosted by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, the Royal Melbourne Show has been running annually since 1838. It is an agricultural show that celebrates the rural industry and showcases the judging of livestock and produce. It also features amusement rides, games and live entertainment shows and performances. A distinctive part of the show is what Australians call ‘Showbags’, which are essentially bags containing a collection of merchandise that centres around a particular theme such as a toy or confectionary brand, comic characters, movies or television shows.
My favourite memories of the going to the show is having a go at or watch my dad play the various games to try and win that gigantic, fluffy toy and eagerly walking through the showbag pavilion to find that perfect showbag. I will always remember the time when my sister got a ticket that said ‘21’ at black jack 21 game, and we carried an enormous pooh bear home with us. The Melbourne show has brought me so much happiness and joy, and yet as a kid, I have also known the frustration that could happen when you don’t get that toy or showbag you want.
For this year’s Melbourne show, I decided to go back and document the show from other children’s perspective – an uncensored series that portrays all the emotions a child may go through while at the show, the joy, the tears, the laughter, the disappointment, and of course, that exhaustion after walking about for a whole day. The show is a wonderful part of my childhood that I will always hold dear in my heart, and after so many years, it has never lost its magic.