“Sometimes when it’s quiet you hear the sea call, just go to the ocean…he’ll fill you up and send you back home with love”

- Milika, Boy from the Sea

Milika is a singer/songwriter/guitarist, a masseuse, a mother to Eleni and a dear friend to many. Milika was an obvious choice for me as a creative soul and immediately it felt right and important to include Eleni. This whole project has been guided by instinct, gut feeling and emotion.

From the onset, the whole experience had to be collaborative, it was the only way. Milika and I tossed around ideas together until she suggested the water, with them floating together. It simply had to be the ocean, as it is so important to them personally and culturally. We socialise in and around water. It’s where Milika and Eleni go when they need comfort or release. In Fijian and Australian cultures the ocean is celebrated and revered, the ocean provides sustenance and connection; it’s an intrinsic part of life, identity and belonging.

Milika’s songs are odes to love, life, and the sea - they cannot be separated:

“balance softly on the sea beneath a starry sky, the love that wins whispers secrets in the dark to fill your cup” - Milika, Ships on Strings

Milika, Eleni and I would like to gratefully acknowledge the Awabakal and Worimi peoples whose waters regularly nurture us all in myriad ways.

Further, I am immensely grateful that these two beauties frolicked in the World Pool with me.

Em x


We Are is a multi-location multimedia photographic experience highlighting creative women of Newcastle, commencing on Wednesday March 8th 2023 (International Women’s Day) and culminating in a celebration event at The Lock-Up on Friday March 24th.

We Are is a portrait project featuring 20 WH!P Collective members turning their lenses towards fellow female and non-binary creatives to highlight the many benefits that a thriving and diverse artistic community bring to our region.

WH!P (Women* of the Hunter !n Photography) was founded in 2020 to embrace and create opportunities for professional photographers from the Hunter region by leveraging the combined skills, experience and credentials of its members. Fostering a culture of support, celebration, exchange, education, advocacy, action, enjoyment, play and growth, it hopes to actively raise the profile of contemporary photographic excellence, education and experimentation in the Hunter Region. WH!P works collaboratively with those both within and beyond the local area who share our belief that the world should be shown through a lens as diverse as the real world.

*all references to women/woman is inclusive of gender diverse people

WH!P’s logos and graphics designed by Laura Kent

"Sometimes when it’s quiet you hear the sea call, just go to the ocean…he’ll fill you up and send you back home with love”