Camberwell is changing rapidly from an enclave of affluent conservative elderly Caucasian professionals to a much younger more vibrant Asian Gen X demographic with a high disposable income. In the main shopping precinct bounded by the Camberwell Junction, the older style family owned niche shops that sold uniquely sourced stock, hand-tailored garments and rare antiques and collectables are being rapidly displaced by global franchise chains displaying imported modern readily disposable homewares and fashions. Prams and toddlers are replacing shopping jeeps and new shiny buildings are replacing discarded heritage icons. Some of our beautiful heritage buildings still remain such as the Rivoli Theatre and the Basilica Church but even those are dwarfed and visually consumed by the adjacent shiny new glass behemoth apartment building boxes. Some of the Camberwell shopping precinct that I love has narrowly avoided the cannibalism by the global chains and overseas property investors and tenuously remains for the time being to remind us of times past. Special treasures that I hold dear are the family owned cafes and restaurants each of which have their own unique cuisine and atmosphere, and loyal staff and clientele and the fresh food market where flowers, fruit and vegetables, cheeses, meat and fish are sold fresh from local suppliers and not pre-packaged in a foreign country. The family traders have been trading at the market for decades and know their produce and its origins and are only too willing to share tips and recipes on the best way to keep it, prepare and cook it.
It is this Camberwell that I want to show in these images – the old treasured traditional Camberwell juxtaposed against the new vibrant internationally influenced Camberwell that is becoming the future.
Pictures & words by Pam Morris.