Meeting Elsie King inside her Smithton residence was literally taking a step back in time. Arriving to meet her for a photo on her 100th birthday, I was somewhat surprised at how frail she looked sitting in her lounge chair; that changed as soon as she greeted me. A smile big enough to light up the room and a touch of cheekiness in her personality that I could tell had lived with her for a long time.

It was a busy day for Elsie with family, friends and media from around the area coming to see and congratulate her on this momentous milestone. After the usual family photos, Elsie actually put forward the idea of a photo with her birthday cake, which I wasn’t expecting but happily obliged. Whilst setting up I kept an eye on Elsie, mainly to make sure she didn’t lose her balance as she looked a touch light on her feet but also to try and catch a glimpse of her with her guard down. I noticed Elsie’s mind had wandered off for just a moment, which was when I fired the shutter. At first glance it may appear fairly straightforward but take into account the smaller details in the room.

The timeless interior of a house well lived in, the family photos on the wall, the ticking clock, the birthday cake with a message that contrasts with Elsie’s expression and of course the ever protective brother in the background keeping an eye on his big sister. Elsie is a beautiful person who has given a lot to her community over the years and on this day it was clear the community has not forgotten that.