Obituary: Dr John Storey (1950-2019)

John Storey was a self-taught photographer who ran his own commercial photography business from 1979 until his move into academia in 1985. As a free-lance photographer, he documented the Gay Liberation Movement in Sydney as well as contributing photography to several publications including Peter Spearitt’s Sydney since the Twenties (1978); Waterfront Sydney 1860-1920, (1984, 1991) co-authored with Graeme Applin; and Anne Richter’s 1994 publication, Arts and Crafts of Indonesia, (1994). Photographs by John Storey are also included in Peter Spearitt’s history: The Sydney Harbour Bridge: a life (2007, 2011).

John took-up a part-time lecturer’s position in Photography at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga in 1985 where he also established a film society and camera club. In 1986 he accepted a position as Lecturer in Photography at RMIT, where he worked until 2004, by which time he was Associate Professor and Post Graduate Coordinator in the School of Creative Arts. John’s commitment to practice based PhDs and the intersection between the creative and the scholarly was critical to the establishment of that programme. His Doctorate of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong in 2992 entitled Journals of a Stranger: documents of a life, brings together image and text in a discontinuous narrative using photography, creative and exegetical writing.

As an artist, John’s work was exhibited both nationally and internationally, and he curated a number of exhibitions that reflected his interests in social justice, urban landscape, gender and intimacy for hospitals and old people’s homes. He was a member of the Stills Art Co-operative Melbourne and sat on the Board of Directors at Melbourne’s Centre of Contemporary Photography.

Dogged by ill health for many years, Dr John Storey is remembered as a committed, tenacious and caring teacher, artist and researcher. Charming, witty and a rigorous and progressive thinker, he is greatly missed by his family, friends and colleagues.