HUMANS OF THE ILLAWARRA // Brad Chilby
I :: @chilby_photography
1 :: How long have you lived in the Illawarra?
I have lived in the Illawarra my whole life and I am a proud 8th generation Wollongong local.
2 :: What do you love about living here?
We have an abundance of awesome local beaches, amazing escarpment backdrops, fantastic waterfalls, great bush walking opportunities, a beautiful harbour and everything you need from a large city available to us minus all the chaos of Sydney.
We also have a passionate local community that helps to maintain all the great qualities of the Illawarra.
3 :: What have you been doing to keep yourself busy [or not!] at home?
My wife and I have a beautiful 13-month-old daughter, who keeps us on our toes. She has not attended day care since the lockdown period, so I’ve been fortunate to spend a lot more time with her.
I underestimated how difficult it is to be a parent, but it certainly is very rewarding. I enjoy taking our daughter for walks most days, and some bushwalks as well. It’s good to expose her to nature.
I’ve also used this time as an opportunity to catch-up on things business wise.
I’ve been looking back through my photos all the way back to 2009.
I search for anything to share, add to my website or store as stock images.
I love looking back at the images I’ve taken of the landscapes of the Illawarra – it reminds me that it really is an incredible place.
It’s also good to look back at my photos with a bit more experience and pick out images that didn’t grab my attention at the time.
4 :: What local shop, café, activity or facility do you miss the most?
I really miss catching up with family and friends at venues all over the Illawarra. Some of our favourites are Sublime Point Cafe, Wombarra Bowling Club, Ruby’s Restaurant at Mt Kembla, Tarrawanna Fish and Chip shop or Ceaser’s at Corrimal.
I’m also really looking forward to taking my daughter to Symbio Wildlife Park, as she absolutely loves animals.
5 :: What’s your silver lining in all this?
I think it’s important to remember that often it’s the little things that count the most. The small things you would have otherwise taken for granted are even more significant now, like spending time with the ones we care about.
It’s been good to spend time with my daughter. I’ve seen a lot more of her growing up than I normally would have.
For the region as a whole, I think this period has highlighted the need to support local business and promote the Illawarra.
It has also made many realise the beauty of the Illawarra and what it has to offer. Although, some areas are getting a bit too busy and congested!
6 :: What changes would you like to see after all this?
I’d like to see a greater push to buy and support Australian made products and services.
Even more importantly, I’d like to see consumers buying and supporting local Illawarra businesses to support the average person, rather than multi-national companies.
I pride myself on ensuring that I only use locally made products, materials and services that are of a high quality and are reliable. Also, the money you spend with local businesses will circulate back into your own community, which creates more opportunities for other local residents.
It would also be good to see more manufacturing return to Australia, like in the past. This period has reminded us all of the importance that we as a country become more self-sufficient.
Awesome – thanks Brad! If you’re keen to connect with Brad and check out more of his spectacular images, head to www.chilby.com.au or follow along on Insta @chilby_photography . Such stunning captures – all the images in this article are Brad’s – super talented, that’s for sure.