Frankston Photographic Club Inc

History from 1955 to Present

The history of the Club has been compiled from historical material available to the club and from such publications as Film to Digital by Paul Robinson, Information from Lindsay Wiles in 2005 and Alan Wilsons (VAPS Historian) Digital Revolution 2003-2009 was also helpful in preparing this version of our history.

Little is known of the original formation of the Frankston Camera Club (FCC). However, the club was formed in 1955 and affiliated with VAPS that year. From 1955 to the early 1960s FCC was struggling for members so in 1965 it was decided by the executive committee to wind up the club and the funds to be equally divided between neighbouring Mt Eliza and Mornington Camera Clubs.

During 1967/68 FCC was revived under the Presidency of Ron Clark and membership grew to 30 people. By 1969 FCC developed strong mutual interests with Chelsea Camera Club and soon invitations to each other’s club nights attracted more members for presentations on Developing film, Colour, Enlarging, Flash Photography and Print Finishing. Club meetings were held at St Paul's Church Rooms in Frankston. The members' fees were $5.00 plus $1 per meeting. The local Frankston Teachers College provided models for photoshoot nights and soon the club was meeting twice per month.

Into the 1970’s the Club grew and held its First Photo Exhibition at Bayside Shopping Centre in 1974. It was about this time that the first Life Membership was awarded to Bill Johnson for his work as President and for developing a very successful Beginners Course.

During the 1970’s Inter Club Competitions were held between Frankston and Dandenong and a Tri Club between Frankston, Mornington and Red Hill Clubs. The club also engaged in Interclub Dinners and social events with Red Hill and Mornington Clubs.

Over the years the Club had difficulty deciding on a name. Originally called Frankston Camera Club this was changed to Frankston Amateur Photographic Society in 1976. In 1980 the name was changed back to Frankston Camera Club after a Special Resolution Meeting as it was deemed that the word Amateur was inappropriate.

In April 1980 the Club meetings were moved to the Staff Room of Derinya Primary School in South Frankston.

Club activities remained stable during the 1980’s but Mornington Camera Club wound up and shared its funds with Frankston and Red Hill. Member numbers were always hard to increase during this period. In 1986 the Club was involved in an exhibition at the Tea Tree Festival after taking part in the Kananook Creek Photo Competition. The Dandenong Valley Authority awarded a trophy to the club.

The club relocated again in 1989 to Davey Street Primary School to reduce costs. The membership had fallen to 16.

The club continued to struggle for members through to the 1990s and had to relocate to the Frankston Library Community Room in 1997 where meetings were held once per month. By 1999 the club had introduced a web page through Frankston Council Infoline. Growth occurred as digital Photography was introduced and a renewed interest in the club along with the active promotion of activities and a strong committee developed Special Interest Groups. A regular newsletter was developed and edited for 5 years by Peter Carless.

In April 2005 the club became an incorporated body and changed its name to Frankston Photographic Club Inc. The Tri Club Competition between Frankston, Berwick and Mornington and an Interclub between Frankston and Phillip Island flourished. Membership grew to 40 due to the website and good syllabus planning.

In 2006 the club needed a larger venue to hold meetings and moved into the Brotherhood Complex on High Street Frankston and weekly meetings were planned from 2007.

The club celebrated its 50th Birthday at the Frankston TAFE Restaurant and a decision to invite Pakenham to join the Tri-Club Competition following Mornington’s withdrawal.

Special Interest Groups flourished within the club and the number of entries to the club's monthly competition grew to 174 per month.

In 2007 under the leadership of Peter Kewley, the club coordinated judging for the VAPS Blairgowrie Annual Convention and Exhibition which proved very successful. Interest in the club was high and membership grew.

In 2014 the club organised its first major Members Exhibition at the Frankston Arts Centre -Cube 37. The exhibition was opened by the Federal Minister for Small Business Mr Bruce Billson. Over 700 people passed through the gallery to view our images.

By 2015 the Frankston Photographic Club Inc. one of the largest clubs in Victoria based on membership numbers of over 170. Now meeting every week, the club was moving from strength to strength.

The list of achievements by the club and its members at National, International and Tri clubs is beyond the scope of this document but has built an enviable reputation as a Club of Excellence.

In October 2015 the club celebrated its 60th birthday at the Frankston Arts Centre where over 100 members and Club Sponsors enjoyed a wonderful night of comradery. A member’s exhibition was also part of our celebrations, held at Cube 37 Frankston Art Centre.

In 2017 FPC hosted the VAPS Annual Convention and Exhibition at Monash University which attracted the largest group of any previous VAPS Conferences.

We have details of Club Presidents from 1968 however the list of presidents from 2005 are:

2004-05 Philip Mackey
2005-06 Lindsay Wiles
2006-07 Gary Parnell
2006-11 Peter Kewley
2011-12 Peter Carty
2012-15 Jeff Symons
2015-16 Terry Dyson
2017-19 Peter Kewley
2020 Mick Taylor
2021-22 Peter Morris
2023 Vacant

Frankston Photographic Club Inc. continues to be a major player within the photographic community in Victoria and will develop further with changing technology and the challenge of offering a stimulating environment for anyone who has an interest in photography.

The Club quickly adapted to Covid restrictions in 2020 and continued in a weekly online format until meetings could be resumed at the Frankston Masonic Lodge in Frankston South.
In 2023 Monthly day outings, twice-yearly destination getaways, monthly club competitions, weekly meetings with guest presenters or hands-on workshops continue to be well supported by the membership and are attracting a steady flow of new members.

Membership in 2023 hovers around 110.

Historical Material Reference:
Looking Through Our Lens 1955-2015 published 2015 by Frankston Photographic Club Inc.