Master photographer and father of the Ballarat Biennale, Jeff Moorfoot has been awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his service and contributions to the visual arts.
Moorfoot attended an Investiture Ceremony at the Victorian Government House Ballroom on October 20, where he received his shiny medal(s) and a certificate.
Messages congratulating Moorfoot have poured in from the photo industry and beyond.
Moorfoot describes himself as a ‘burned out advertising photographer’, but a long list of contributions to Australian photography make him a worthy recipient of OAM.
To receive the medal, an individual must be nominated by a member of the public and then appointed by the Governor-General, acting on recommendations from the Council for the Order of Australia
Moorfoot founded the Ballarat International Foto Biennale in 2004, and retired from the role of creative director at the end of the last festival in 2015.
The event takes over the regional Victorian city for a month every two years, splashing great international and local photography over the town’s walls and hosting photography workshops and presentations.
‘As a festival director I’ve always been interested in bringing photography to a new audience, bringing international photography to Australia but also through that process introducing Australian photographers to the rest of the world,’ he told The Courier.
Moorfoot also founded the Free Radicals, a not-for-profit, loosely structured group which promotes photography in its purest form. For many years he also guided the Victorian student photographer of the year awards, and was a driver of the ‘Homeless Gallery / Galeria Bezdomna’ movement.
The 70-year old photographer is a maverick, an attitude that has carried on through his work and participation in the industry. He told The Ballarat Courier he ‘stumbled into the profession’ after falling in love with photography and the darkroom when he was 30.
He is an AIPP Master Photographer and Honorary Life member, and was the Victorian vice president from 2006 – 2009.
For 12 years Moorfoot lectured on photography at RMIT University in Melbourne.
His work has been shown in 30 solo exhibitions, 40 group exhibitions, and he’s curated 14 more.
On top of that, he’s reviewed portfolios at BIFB, Foto Freo in Fremantle, Head On in Sydney, PhotoNOLA in New Orleans, Paris Photo, FotoFest in Houston, and Pingyao International Photo Festival in China.
While now retired (he lives in the village of Lyonville – north of Ballarat ) Moorfoot is currently putting together an Australian exhibition for the upcoming Pingyao International Photography Festival in China.