- 1939-2002 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Name of creator
Irene ‘Rena’ Deborah McCawley (nee Collas) was born on 22 June 1916 in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) in Russia, to a Russian mother (Nadezhda) and a British father (Laurence Collas). The family fled to Riga in Latvia in 1918 and migrated to Australia in September 1927. Her father Laurence Collas established a photography business in Stanthorpe, Queensland, and from a young age Irene assisted him. In ca. 1939 she married Leo McCawley. The couple had two sons. McCawley took up photography again in the 1940s. After WWII she worked for The Courier Mail for a while, and then set up her photography business, Cameo Photos, at 46 Martha St in Camp Hill, Brisbane. In the 1960s she worked as a photographer in the foyer of Her Majesty’s Theatre. In the 1970s she documented women’s liberation demonstrations in Brisbane. In the early 1990s, she travelled the world after her husband’s death and moved to Canberra. She remained active into old age and in September 2016 a retrospective exhibition of her work was held at Canberra Artworks, in Phillip, Canberra. Irene McCawley died aged 101 on 21 February 2018.
Collection previously titled as: Photographs, 1939-2002
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Photographic negatives and prints. Photographs, captioned. Supplied captions in square brackets. Photographs are of family, friends, Irene (as a child and an adult), various marches in the 1960s and 1970s in Brisbane such as May Day marches, banning uranium mining, peace marches, feminist marches.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Conditions governing reproduction
Copyright applies. Contact the Fryer Library.
Pre-1955 photographs: copyright expired.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Uploaded finding aid
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Place access points
Name access points
- McCawley, Irene, 1916-2018 (Subject)
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Revised, Linda Justo, 14-Jun-2021.Migrated from LMS: April 2019, P.A.