The people of the inner west are inspiring, diverse and creative: yet often their stories go unrecognized.

Marrickville Legal Centre is hosting a photo exhibition which celebrates local people’s victories in fighting for justice.

It will be launched during Law Week (14-20 May).

The exhibition “Champions of Social Justice (inner west)” is part of the prestigious Sydney-wide portrait photography event the “Head On Festival”.

Amongst the subjects is Derek Rees (pictured), who was a business leader until he suffered a serious injury in a bushwalking fall.

Derek lived in his car in Marrickville for four years, accruing fines, until getting the legal and non-legal support he needed.

While he’s now got temporary accommodation in Dulwich Hill, the legacy of sleeping rough remains: he’s had further accidents, leaving him unable to make his own meals, or shave himself.

The photo of Derek is by inner west photographer Jodie Barker. Three other local photographers involved are Steven Siewert, Grant Turner and Valentina Penkova.

Other subjects include:

·      A young woman who was underpaid thousands of dollars by an unscrupulous employer

·      A woman who won victim’s compensation after leaving a violent relationship

·      A young man who was facing a jail term for acting in self-defence who is now a social worker and a new father.

Marrickville Legal Centre is an independent, nonprofit community legal centre, which offers free legal advice and assistance to people experiencing economic and social disadvantage in the inner west, south-west and southern suburbs of Sydney – and beyond. The Centre also operates two statewide services, including a youth legal service.

What: Champions of Social Justice (inner west): a photo exhibition

When: Monday 14 May to Friday 1 June from 9.30 to 5pm, Monday to Friday (except 1-2pm)

Where: 12-14 Seaview St, Dulwich Hill

Funded by NSW Government through the Stronger Communities Fund. Thanks to the Inner West Council for its support.

Other supporters of the exhibition include Radio 2SER and Rewind Photo Lab.

Photo credit: Jodie Barker

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