We are extremely lucky to have returning volunteers committed to making each Head On Photo Festival better than the last!

We have consistent installers that help us set up the Festival at Bondi Beach, Bondi Pavilion and Paddington Reservoir Gardens. Dedicated volunteers who help us run our artist talks, workshops, and panels. Students studying photography who want to know more about festivals and art contests. Event managers who love the arts and give their free time to us. And people new to Sydney keen to experience the city and make connections. Whoever you are, whatever you’re interested in – there’s a place for you at Head On Photo Festival!

Hear from some of our previous volunteers on why they’re helping again this year:

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Johannes Reinhart

Peter Yeh answered our call for volunteers in 2014 and has come back annually ever since. He is now retired and likes giving his time to causes like Head On and to work on his hobbies.

What is your favourite part about the Festival?

The main Head On exhibitions are always the most interesting, along with the artists’ talks. The competition shows (portrait, landscape, and student) are great too as are most of the associated shows.

Why is Head On Photo Festival important to you and the community?

Head On is the only Sydney based photography exhibition. It’s been going for many years and is an important, even fundamental, contributor to Sydney’s cultural scene. It’s wide-ranging, thought provoking and professionally implemented. Its competition aspect is also a generator of much good work. It is unique in this city, high standard, inclusive and accessible.

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Moshe Rosenzveig OAM

Gerrit Fokkema started volunteering at Head On Photo Festival when he was an exhibitor in 2017. After installing his own work, he stayed on to help install other parts of the exhibition.

Why is Head On Photo Festival important to you and the community?

Galleries and venues that once were dedicated to photography, especially the documentary form, have all gone from Sydney. Head On is a very broad church and we can see things at the festival from all over the world, put together in an accessible and physical form rather than online on a small screen.

What keeps you coming back every year to volunteer?

I support a community that values humanity and creativity and is willing to engage and contribute to the survival of photography as a singular art form.

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Moshe Rosenzveig OAM

Phil Bayly has been volunteering at Head On Photo Festival for about 10 years. This year, and many years prior, he has been selected as a Featured exhibitor and is exhibiting his series The view outside at the Bondi Promenade.  

What is your favourite part about the Festival? 

Everything, the exhibitions, the opportunity to meet other photographers, the stimulation from the whole festival. I can not separate any one part. I love its diversity. I also love the opportunity to participate in an important festival and if included, have my work exposed to a large audience. 

Why is Head On Photo Festival important to you and the community? 

It brings focus to the category of Photography as an art form. It is free and accessible to the public. It brings art to the people due to its location and exposure. 

What artist or exhibition has stood out to you in the years you’ve been volunteering? 

Jenny Papalexandris – I love her work, it’s moody, powerful, and thought-provoking. 

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Moshe Rosenzveig OAM

James Niven is a photographer and long-time volunteer at Head On Photo Festival. His work has been exhibited worldwide – including at the Head On Photo Festival. He’s been working with us so long that Head On and Niven can’t remember how many years he’s been involved with Head On. 

What is your favourite part about the Festival? 

Looking at the work is my favourite part of the festival. Through volunteering with the installation, I’m able to take time to look at all of the artwork 

Why is Head On Photo Festival important to you? 

It’s the Australian premier photo festival and I like to be a part of it. It inspires me, it keeps me up to date, and there are always great artists exhibited. It makes me feel a part of the photography and Sydney arts community and the Head On Photo team.  

Are you a practising artist yourself? If so, what is your medium? 

I’ve been doing photography for a while. I’ll shoot anything – street, people, landscapes, seascapes… I like to shoot film, specifically in large format.  

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Moshe Rosenzveig OAM

Want to be a part of the Head On Photo Festival volunteer team? Visit our volunteer page and sign up. We would love to have you! 

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Become part of the festival

Head On Photo Festival is an inclusive arts festival for all ages and requires your support.

© Tim Smith (detail)