Opening Doors was a book inspired by an idea borne in photographer Rob Burnett’s mind to recognise the contributions of a wide cross-section of Launceston’s community as part of the city’s 200 years’ celebration.
Within these pages, individuals, couples, families and community group members are featured who have helped shape Launceston as people enjoy it in 2006. Launceston writer Mary Machen has joined with Rob Burnett to develop a book whereby photography combines with material gathered from interviews to give a diverse “personal voice” as to what makes Launceston tick on a day-to-day basis.
Where author/journalist Michael Jacobson, for example, is candid about his passion for Launceston and leather-clad Simon Hrycyszyn explains the good deeds of the local motorcycle group Satan’s Riders, other interviews among the 36-strong collection swing the spotlight away from personal stories to more specific quiet achievements within the community. Aurora account manager John Lovell talks of his pride in being a “puppy raiser” for the Royal Guide Dogs of Tasmania, while Dr John Morris tells of the exciting medical developments at the Clifford Craig Medical Research Trust, made possible by the financial generosity of the community of Launceston.
Privilege was taken with the inclusion of `Mad’ Harry Murray. This Digger’s story appears as a tribute to the courage and dedicated service given by he and other men and women in the defence forces since World War I.
All the stories reflect how Launceston has “opened doors” to allow each of them to fulfil personal aspirations. Each story is symbolic of how they and so many others contribute to strengthen the fabric of the community that makes Launceston such a wonderful city.