Through a Renter's Lens: "We make our own homes"


Rod Smith is the winner of the People category in the Tenants' Union’s recent photography competition 'Through a Renters' Len'. This week he dropped into our offices to pick up his framed winning photograph and we had a chat with him about taking part in the competition.

How are you feeling after the photo competition?

Rod: I was very happy and surprised to have won. It was a really nice thing to be able to show my family as they came up to Sydney from Bendigo for a New Year’s Eve. I had rented a house in Leichhardt for nine months. I was going to be there for twelve months but the rent became too much.

For those nine months it was big enough for my family to come up and stay. We had this lovely late Christmas and New Year's gathering at the house. It was a place that felt very comfortable and the photos just flowed from that. The feeling that it was a great place for the family to get together.

You’ve been a long-term renter yourself. How did it feel to be a part of something that captures this experience?

Rod: I was so happy to be in the room with so many creative people. It just shows the stereotype of people who rent properties is completely wrong. We come from all different backgrounds, all walks of life, and find our happiness in places we don’t actually own. We make our own homes. 

I wanted to thank the union very much for the opportunity and recognition. It’s the first photographic thing I’ve won in my life and it has spurred me on to do more in the future.

Winner of People category, Rod Smith standing by window with city in background. He holds his winning photo which is of his father and nephew in his backyard.














To see more entries from the Through a Renter's Lens competition and read their stories click here.



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