Early Days


“On June 3 1954, a group of Ford employees met in the Ford Recreation Club Rooms to discuss the formation of a camera club. There was (sic) 10 people present. A motion that a club be formed was put forward by Mr E. Moore and seconded by Mr C. Barclay. A committee was formed and consisted of the following:

President – Mr D. Payne
V. President – Mr E. Moore
Secretary – Mr B. Molyneaux
Treasurer – Miss V. Branagh
Librarian – Mr K. Johnstone
Auditor – Mr C. Noonan

Those present at this first meeting were Mr. D. Payne, Mr. E. Moore, Mr. E. Holloway, Mr R. Molyneaux, Mr. C. Barclay, Mr K. Johnstone, Mr J. Zims, Mr. W. Storjoham, Miss V Branagh, Mr K. Jarman.

The evening finished with a general discussion on photography.”

So is recorded the formation of the Ford Camera Club and what we now know as the Corio Bay Camera Club. Current members owe a debt of gratitude to those people who took the initiative to come together and get the ball rolling.

A second meeting was held one week later on June 10. This meeting drew up and passed a Constitution and decided that the club would meet each Thursday at the Ford Recreation Club at 8 pm. The syllabus was left in the hands of the committee.

Right from the start, the Club adopted a multicultural approach. A minute from 1954 in regard to notices reads

“It was decided to put notices in connection with meetings on all notice boards. Notices being in 4 languages, namely English, Dutch, German and Italian – the object being to get more members and to encourage our New Australian friends to join the club.”

A Shaky Start

In its first year, the club had three presidents. Mr. Dennis Payne resigned in September as he was relocating overseas. He was succeeded by Mr Moore who in turn resigned in November due to leaving Geelong. Mr Moore was succeeded by Mr. Eric Holloway. These movements at the top also resulted in a number of changes to the committee over that period.  Indeed a shaky start, but we congratulate them and thank them for their persistence.

Money, Money,  Money …

Finances in 1954, as they are now, were always a hot topic. The membership fee struck in that first year was £1-1-0 – quite a significant amount when related to the average wages of the time.

In November of that year, the club received a letter from the Ford recreation Club requesting payment to cover expenses of lighting and use of the premises etc. They were offered the alternative that Ford Camera Club members become members of the Ford Recreation Club. The Club members agreed to the latter proposal.

To help the club along, The Ford Motor Company donated an enlarger. In March 1956, a special meeting was called to discuss “the financial help of The Ford Company” which had offered £30-0-0. It was decided to ask for books for a Technical Library. Some of those books are still in our possession and make very interesting reading. The early committee was not backward in coming forward when requesting assistance from the Company. A minute from March 1957 reads “The secretary was asked to write to the Company thanking them for the Trophies and help given in the past and at the same time asking for a projector”

Controversy reared its head in early 1956 when it came to the attention of the Committee that “some members had been using the Ford lamps for commercial use.” This was quickly dealt with by the Committee which stated that “Any member so doing in the future will forfeit all privileges in regards to the hiring of club equipment”.

In 1958 it was noted that “the club should raise money by its own efforts, for its own use. Company donations are earmarked for books and/or equipment and should be left so.”


In January 1956 the secretary was asked to write to the Victorian Association of Photographic Societies (which had been formed in 1952 at the instigation of the Melbourne Camera Club) in relation to the Ford Camera Club becoming a member of VAPS. A positive response to this request in February of that year started our long and successful association with this body.


At the 1958 annual general meeting, the then president (Mr. W. (Bill) Philips) in his address to the meeting stated that “in the near future the club would play a very real part in the cultural life of our city”.

And that is indeed what this club has continued to do since then. Thousands of photographs displayed, viewed and critiqued by judges and members have all added something to our view of the world and hence the culture of Geelong.

Monthly Club  Competitions


Club Competitions have been run since the formation of the club. Sadly we have only sketchy  records of results of these prior to prior to 1968. Members competed for (usually) monthly awards but more so for annual aggregate awards and various Image of the Year awards. The first recorded rules appear in February 1956 as follows:

1. All exhibits must be the bona fide work of the competitor
2. Prints from negatives taken at any time which have not gained an award in any previous competition of this club shall be eligible to compete.
3. Competitors shall not enter more than three prints in any one competition.
4. Prints can be of any size and may be mounted
5. Entries to be handed to the Asst. Sec.

These competition rules have evolved over the years and now run to seven pages. Life was much less complex in those early days!


In May 1957, it was decided that judges would be asked to judge entries on a point system to assist in assessing A and B grades, although exactly how this was to be done is not recorded. It is known that from 1968 (possibly before) to 1977 members were given one point for every image entered. Judges awarded first, second and third placing in each section. These place getters received 3, 2 and 1 point respectively each in addition to the entry points. The total of place getter and entry points determined the aggregate award winners.

In 1978 the scoring system changed so that each entry was given a score out of 10 (with, apparently, half points allowed). No additional points were awarded for entering. The member with the most points accumulated in the year won the aggregate award.

In 1985 the scoring system changed again so that all images were now scored out of 15 (with no half points). This system is still in use today.

Competition Sections

Until the beginning 1981, there was only one Print section (for black and white prints). Colour workers were restricted to slides, although a decision was made in February 1980 to allow colour prints to be judged against black and white prints in the Colac/Camperdown triangular competition on a trial basis. A Colour Print section was subsequently introduced to the club in January 1981. While rules regarding eligibility of images for Colour Print of the Year were established, we have no records to indicate whether a Colour Print of the Year award was ever made, however our records contain results for monthly colour print competitions from 1981 to 1985 and show that annual aggregate awards were made in this section.

In 1987 a “Commercially Processed” Print section was established. This allowed members who did not have access to a darkroom to enter prints. Commercially processed prints were almost invariably colour, those members who entered black and white prints generally produced these in their own darkrooms (or blacked out bathrooms and laundries etc.).  It was also decided that colour and black and white prints would be judged together for a “Print of the Year”. In 1989 the Black and White Print section was replaced by the “Home Processed” print section.

1995, as the number of print workers was declining, it was decided to combine the “Home Processed” and “Commercially Processed” print section into one “Print” section, however to further encourage home processed prints, the Home Processed print trophy would remain.

In 1997 the Print section was split into “Small Print” and “Large Print” sections. Both “home” and “commercially” processed prints, either colour or black and white, were eligible in each section.

For the 2008/9 competition year, the Slide section became the “Projected Image” section to reflect the increasing number of digital camera users. Members could enter either digital projected images and/or slides in this section. For the 2012/13 competition year, slides were formally removed from the Projected Image section. This reflected the fact that members had not submitted slides for some time and coincided with the Victorian Association of Photographic Societies (VAPS) eliminating the Slide section from the annual VAPS Interclub competition.

At the start of the 2013/14 competition year in June 2013,  in line with changes made by VAPS and also due to falling number of entries in this section, the Small Print section was discontinued. Members could still produce and enter  “small prints”, however these would now be judged alongside “large” prints up to the maximum allowable dimensions.

Annual Awards

At the Annual General Meeting in May 1990, it was decided that the competition year would run from June until May and that points already accumulated in 1990 would be carried over until April 1991. Consequently no awards were made for aggregates in 1990. These became the 1991 awards. Interestingly, various Images of the Year were awarded in both 1990 and 1991.

In 1992, it was decided to award a trophy to the person who scored the highest aggregate in interclub competitions. This was discontinued in 1997, as it was considered that “we already have enough trophies”.

In 1998 a set subject aggregate award was introduced. Prior to this set subjects were always presented as slides and points were included in the slide aggregate. This change allowed members who were essentially print workers to enter set subjects.

Also in 1998, former president Brian Malone (1994/95) donated a trophy to the club. It was decided to use this for an annual Landscape/Coastline competition. This competition has been run every year since in May since 1999 in conjunction with the Annual General Meeting. Brian also judged this competition for a number of years.

With the reintroduction of gradings at the beginning of the 2012/13 competition year, awards for Image of the Year and Aggregate awards in the Print and Projected Image sections were given in both A Grade and B Grade. A “Monochrome” award was also introduced from that year. This was awarded to the winner of  a monthly competition designated for “monochrome only” images to be held each year. Also in that year the club committee gave the Competition Secretary the task of awarding a prize for the “Most Improved” entrant for the year.

Interclub Competitions

On 12th August 1958 the club combined with the Geelong and Ballarat Camera Clubs for an interclub competition. This was the first of many interclub competitions to be held. Over the years , the club has also competed against GMH, International Harvester, SEC, Camperdown, Colac,  Ballarat YMCA, Chadstone, Oakleigh and Bendigo. Of these, annual interclub competitions against Geelong, Colac, Bellarine and Ballarat YMCA continue to be held.


At a club meeting in February 1980, discussion took place regarding Colac Camera Club’s intention to change the format of the triangular competition.  Members must have been incensed, because they voted to withdraw from the competition. A meeting of the three clubs was held in April and differences were resolved to each club’s satisfaction. It was also decided at that meeting that venue for the competition would be rotated on an annual basis instead of being in Colac each year. While Camperdown Camera Club eventually disbanded in October 1997, the competition with Colac lives on.  In 2011, Bellarine Camera Club which was formed in 2010 joined Colac and Corio Bay to form a new triangular competition.


In the early days, many camera clubs (including our own) were started in workplaces. The SEC Camera club was another of these. Corio Bay competed against Geelong and the SEC Camera Club in a triangular competition from the 1950′s until the 1980′s when the SEC club folded. As the SEC Club worked in slides only these competitions were restricted to slides. After the demise of the SEC club, Corio Bay and Geelong continued the competition and expanded it to include prints.

Going “International”

The advent of the internet and digital imaging has allowed the rapid transmission of digital images across the world. The club took advantage of this technology in 2009, when Life Member  Graham Carlon moved to Western Australia and joined the Gem Camera Club in Perth. Negotiations with the Gem Camera Club and the Kaiapoi Camera Club in Christchurch New Zealand (from where one of Corio Bay’s members had originated) saw the start of a three way International Competition among the three clubs late in 2009.

In December 2009, Corio Bay Camera Club received an enquiry from the Chairman of the Kettering and District Photographic Society, Northamptonshire, England via the CBCC website stating “… I was browsing your website and enjoyed your commitment to increase the knowledge of the art of photography to as many as possible. We also have inter club competitions, even one with the Focus Club in USA. Would you be interested in a long distant Competition with us, we so enjoy seeing work from other clubs throughout the world.” After a number email exchanges among Corio Bay, Kettering and the Focus Photo Club in Dayton, Ohio, USA it was agreed that a three way competition would be held later in 2010.

Moving Homes

During 1958, moves were made by the Ford Recreation Club to obtain a liquor licence. All indications were that this would put restrictions on the membership and activities of the Camera Club, so a search for an alternate venue was started. A motion was put that ” … the Recreation Club to be asked to pay for rental of a hall, and if this arrangement cannot be met, the Club to disassociate from the Recreation Club and hire North Geelong Hall for its meetings.” The Ford Recreation Club agreed to pay for the hire of a hall and accordingly in September 1958, the North Geelong Hall was booked for the remainder of Camera Club meetings for that year.

In November 1958 members of the committee inspected the premises leased by the British Migrants Association to assess its suitability for club use. After the inspection a motion to move to these premises was passed, so in 1959, after a very brief period at the North Geelong Hall, the club moved once again.

The issue of a home for the club however continued to linger and in October 1960 committee member J.A. (Bert) Warnock reported that “negotiations with his Church Committee over the proposed tenancy of the new hall were satisfactory and he anticipated that it would be ready for occupation in about four weeks”. The Church referred to was the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Fenwick Street. It is interesting to note that the Geelong Camera Club also occupied these premises between 1961 and 1969.

It wasn’t too long before the club moved again. This time to premises in Balliang Street South Geelong. Details of why this move was made are sketchy and there is no mention of this move in the available minute books of the time.

On February 13 1975, it was decided to once again look for new premises, as the proposed increase in rent was “far more than the club could afford.” The North Geelong Hall was (again) found to be available from the Shire of Corio for $1 per night so it was decided to accept this offer. The first meeting at that venue was held on 20th March. A meeting in October resolved to ask the Shire if some form of blackout material could be provided as light from one of the windows was affecting the showing of slides. The Shire responded that the auditorium at the John Drysdale Library  in Norlane  (now known as the Corio Library) was already fitted out for projection with appropriate blackout and that the club could use this venue for the same price as the North Geelong Hall. The committee voted unanimously to accept this offer and the club moved again in January 1976.

About a year later there was some discussion about the possibility of renting a Nissen Hut at the D.W. Hope Centre (the former migrant hostel, which operated from the mid 1940′s until it closed in 1974) in Norlane. This would require work and expenditure to modify and fit out the venue and the club would also be responsible for the ongoing maintenance at its own cost. The advantage was that the club would have a home that could be used 7 days a week. Eventually it was decided that the club would remain at the Library. The proposal was also briefly revisited in 1982, with the same outcome.

After more than twenty years at the Library, the club moved to the Norlane Baptist Church Hall on 31 July 1997. While happy to have the club as tenants, the church community was changing the way it was using their centre. This impacted on the club’s activities to some degree and it was decided to start a search for alternative premises. Around the same time, the Osborne Park Association was granted a lease of the East wing of Osborne House, which was used by The Shire of Corio for their Municipal Offices prior to the amalgamation of local councils into the City of Greater Geelong in 1993. The Osborne Park Association was looking for community groups to join them in occupying the area they had leased, so in May 2010 Corio Bay Camera Club joined the Osborne Park Association and moved into its current home. With this move, the club, for the first time in its history had premises that it did not have to share with others and could access at any time, allowing us to offer members a broader range of activities.

A New Name

Until 1975, the club had received regular financial support from the Ford Motor Company. At the Annual General Meeting of the club on 29 May 1975, changes to the constitution were passed that, among other things, removed the requirement that members must be employees of The Ford Motor Company. The club however continued to be known as the Ford Camera Club. Prior to this, members who participated in club activities were known as “Associate” members and they were not eligible to hold any office within the club and had no voting rights.

A special meeting of members was called on 10 March 1977 to vote on the proposal to change the name of the club. As there were insufficient members present it was decided to postpone discussion until the next Annual General Meeting. In the meantime committee member Graham Mould was asked to approach the Ford Motor Company seeking financial support. At the Annual General Meeting on May 12 1977, Mr. Mould reported on his correspondence with the company regarding further financial support in which he suggested an amount of $100; however he stated that it appeared that there would be no contribution at all.

It was felt that in light of this, the club felt no obligation to the keeping of the name “Ford Camera Club”. Consequently Mr Jack Cook moved that “the Camera Club name be changed to Corio Bay Camera Club”. The motion was passed unanimously by all present. A second motion was passed for the new name to take effect from September 1, 1977.


Discussions in committee meetings regarding the recently introduced Associations Incorporation Act 1981 for voluntary organisations and public liability began in late 1983.

At the committee meeting of 1st March 1984, it was decided to recommend to members that the club incorporate. Among others, an important reason for taking this course of action was that this would protect the members, as an incorporated association could only be liable up to the value of  its assets. A discussion was held and and voting papers were handed out at club meeting on 8 March 1984.

It was moved by John Weston on 10 May 1984 that: “In accordance with the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 and Associations Incorporations Regulations 1983, that Hank Nydam be appointed Public Officer of Corio Bay Camera Club”, however it appears that this was not resolved, since at the meeting of 28/6/84 it was noted that “debate still continues for and against incorporation”. Much discussion took place in subsequent meetings – particularly around the question of public liability.

Colin Klein was eventually elected Public Officer on 22 November 1984. On 19 April 1985, the Club’s Certificate of  Incorporation under the Act was issued and the club became officially known as  Corio Bay Camera Club Incorporated. The Club’s “Statement of Purposes” and “By Laws” were adopted on 31 May 1985.


The Vigex International Photographic Salon has been run every two years since 1980 and its management has been formally supported by the club since 1985, with nine past and present Corio Bay Camera Club members serving on the Vigex committee in that time and numerous members volunteering to help at the judging weekends. The club has also supported Vigex financially for a number of years by being a Club Friend of Vigex.


25 Years – 1979

Members celebrated the club’s 25th Anniversary with a dinner at the Port Cellars restaurant on 14 June 1979.

30 Years – 1984

The 30 year celebration was held at the Shell Club on 2 June 1984

40 Years – 1994

The 40th anniversary was celebrated with a dinner at the Scottish Chiefs Restaurant on Saturday June 4 1994.

50 Years  – 2004

Corio Bay Camera Club celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a dinner for past and present members on the 5 June 2004. In his address that night the President Jack Jansen stated:

“When reflecting on what we are celebrating tonight and reading through the early minute books, I wondered whether fifty years ago those first members could have imagined the changes in the technology that were going to take place and that we now have available to produce and share our images. At the exponential rate at which technology develops, my mind cannot begin to imagine what could be available in another fifty years. But today, as it was fifty years ago, and as it will be in another fifty years time, the important thing for photographers will still be the image – and the story it tells, the emotions it sparks, the situations it questions and the beauty (or ugliness) it portrays – no matter how it is produced.
We current members of the club are its custodians. We will move on and others will take our place and continue to provide Geelong with a place where like-minded people can discuss, debate and share their images and enjoy each others company for another fifty years. If future members display the same level of enthusiasm as the members of 2004, I am confident that this will happen.”

News Ticker

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Bellarine/Colac/Corio Bay Interclub Results

Colac Camera Club graciously hosted this year’s annual three way competition between Colac, Bellarine and Corio Bay Camera Clubs. Individual awards were spread among the three clubs. In the aggregate sections, Colac won the Electronic Digital Image section while Corio Bay took out the Print [more]