Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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George, Heather (1907 - 1983)

Gordon, New South Wales, Australia
Professional photographer


Heather George was a commercial photographer who began her career in Sydney, and also worked in Melbourne and regional Victoria. George was known for her industrial, fashion and outback photography.


Heather George was born in 1907 in Gordon, NSW. Her father was Wesley T. George and her mother was Helen M. George. Heather studied painting at the East Sydney Art School, as well as with the artist Justus Jorgenson (the founder of Montsalvat).

It is unclear what inspired her to forge a career as a photojournalist but records show that by 1938, at the age of 31, she had commenced work at the Noel Rubie photography studio in Sydney. The studio was well regarded for its portrait and industrial photography. She also went on to work at a variety of Melbourne and Victorian country photography studios, eventually becoming a freelance photographer.

By the late 1950s George had developed a reputation as both a highly competent and daring photojournalist, documenting the building of the King Street Bridge in Melbourne, and travelling to the Australian outback, where she recorded the life of Aboriginal people on Aboriginal reserves and cattle stations.

George's photographs appeared in numerous magazines, including Walkabout, Australian Scene, Hoofs and Horns, Pix, Women's Day, as well as the National Trust magazine.

George appears to have ceased her work as a photojournalist in the 1960s. She died in 1983.


National Gallery of Victoria


c. 1938 - 1950s
Active as a commercial photographer.. Location: Sydney, NSW; Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Sources used to compile this entry: Hall, Barbara and Mather, Jenni, Australian Women Photographers 1840 - 1960, Greenhouse Publications, Richmond, Victoria, 1986, 164 pp; Teichman, Jenny, Justus Jorgensen: Conversations and a Memoir, Black Jack Press, Carlton North, Vic., 2005, 118. pp.

Archival resources

National Gallery of Australia, Research Library Archive

  • [Heather George : Art & Artist Files (Australia and New Zealand)], MMS ID: 990019241740402361; George, Heather (1907 - 1983); National Gallery of Australia, Research Library Archive. Details

National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collection

  • Heather George interviewed by Hazel de Berg in the Hazel de Berg collection [sound recording], 28 December 1965, ORAL TRC 1/157; George, Heather (1907 - 1983), de Berg, Hazel Estelle (1913 - 1984); National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collection. Details

Anne Maxwell (with Morfia Grondas and Lucy Van)

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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