Anzac Day 2021 Melbourne

Photos of Anzac Day coverage in Melbourne at the Shrine of Remembrance by Asanka Brendon Ratnayake on assignment for Getty Images

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 25: A member of the Australian defense force is seen playing the last post on his bugle on the steps of the Shrine of Remembrance on April 25, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Anzac day is a national holiday in Australia, traditionally marked by a dawn service held during the time of the original Gallipoli landing and commemorated with ceremonies and parades throughout the day. Crowds are limited at services across Australia, while Perth events were cancelled due to lockdown restrictions following a community COVID-19 outbreak. Anzac Day commemorates the day the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp (ANZAC) landed on the shores of Gallipoli on April 25, 1915, during World War 1. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 25: A member of the Australian Defense force is seen playing the bag pipes on the top left hand corner of the Shrine of Remembrance on April 25, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Anzac day is a national holiday in Australia, traditionally marked by a dawn service held during the time of the original Gallipoli landing and commemorated with ceremonies and parades throughout the day. Crowds are limited at services across Australia, while Perth events were cancelled due to lockdown restrictions following a community COVID-19 outbreak. Anzac Day commemorates the day the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp (ANZAC) landed on the shores of Gallipoli on April 25, 1915, during World War 1. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 25: Major General (Ret.) Emeritus Professor Jeffrey Rosenfeld making the Veteran address at the Shrine of Remembrance on April 25, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Anzac day is a national holiday in Australia, traditionally marked by a dawn service held during the time of the original Gallipoli landing and commemorated with ceremonies and parades throughout the day. Crowds are limited at services across Australia, while Perth events were cancelled due to lockdown restrictions following a community COVID-19 outbreak. Anzac Day commemorates the day the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp (ANZAC) landed on the shores of Gallipoli on April 25, 1915, during World War 1. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 25: People are seen behind wire fencing outside the Shrine of Remembrance on April 25, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Anzac day is a national holiday in Australia, traditionally marked by a dawn service held during the time of the original Gallipoli landing and commemorated with ceremonies and parades throughout the day. Crowds are limited at services across Australia, while Perth events were cancelled due to lockdown restrictions following a community COVID-19 outbreak. Anzac Day commemorates the day the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp (ANZAC) landed on the shores of Gallipoli on April 25, 1915, during World War 1. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 25: Members of the RAAF are seen marching during the Anzac Day march at the Shrine of Remembrance on April 25, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Anzac day is a national holiday in Australia, traditionally marked by a dawn service held during the time of the original Gallipoli landing and commemorated with ceremonies and parades throughout the day. Crowds are limited at services across Australia, while Perth events were cancelled due to lockdown restrictions following a community COVID-19 outbreak. Anzac Day commemorates the day the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp (ANZAC) landed on the shores of Gallipoli on April 25, 1915, during World War 1. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 25: Marchers are seen marching pass the Shrine of Remembrance during the Anzac Day march on April 25, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Anzac day is a national holiday in Australia, traditionally marked by a dawn service held during the time of the original Gallipoli landing and commemorated with ceremonies and parades throughout the day. Crowds are limited at services across Australia, while Perth events were cancelled due to lockdown restrictions following a community COVID-19 outbreak. Anzac Day commemorates the day the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp (ANZAC) landed on the shores of Gallipoli on April 25, 1915, during World War 1. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Daniel Andrews Visits Construction Site Of New State Library Metro Station

In a sign of the times in ‘post-lockdown Melbourne’ Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has taken the press pack out of the the dreaded ‘purple room; the room now synonymous with one of the darkest chapters in Melbourne’s history. Since Lockdown restrictions were eased Premier Daniel Andrews has conducted his press briefings away from the purple backdrop and by design done so in places which project a more positive optic.

As part of that, we joined the premier as he visited the New State Library Metro Station as part of the wider Metro Tunnel project. Images taken on assignment for Getty Images

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 06: Workers building the Metro tunnel underground from the site of the currently being built, State Library station, as part of the Metro Tunnel metropolitan rail infrastructure project on November 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 06: A general view underground from the site of the currently being built, State Library station, as part of the Metro Tunnel metropolitan rail infrastructure project on November 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Lockdown restrictions in Melbourne were lifted on 28 October, with people now able to leave their homes for any reason. Cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars can reopen subject to patron limits while beauty services, tattoo parlours and any other service where you can wear a mask will be able to resume. Up to 10 people from any number of households will be able to gather outdoors, however, Victorians are still required to wear a face mask in public. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 06: A general view underground from the site of the currently being built, State Library station, as part of the Metro Tunnel metropolitan rail infrastructure project on November 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Lockdown restrictions in Melbourne were lifted on 28 October, with people now able to leave their homes for any reason. Cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars can reopen subject to patron limits while beauty services, tattoo parlours and any other service where you can wear a mask will be able to resume. Up to 10 people from any number of households will be able to gather outdoors, however, Victorians are still required to wear a face mask in public. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 06: Workers building the Metro tunnel underground from the site of the currently being built, State Library station, as part of the Metro Tunnel metropolitan rail infrastructure project on November 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Lockdown restrictions in Melbourne were lifted on 28 October, with people now able to leave their homes for any reason. Cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars can reopen subject to patron limits while beauty services, tattoo parlours and any other service where you can wear a mask will be able to resume. Up to 10 people from any number of households will be able to gather outdoors, however, Victorians are still required to wear a face mask in public. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 06: Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews (centre) with workers behind him inspects the site of the currently being built, State Library station, as part of the Metro Tunnel metropolitan rail infrastructure project on November 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Lockdown restrictions in Melbourne were lifted on 28 October, with people now able to leave their homes for any reason. Cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars can reopen subject to patron limits while beauty services, tattoo parlours and any other service where you can wear a mask will be able to resume. Up to 10 people from any number of households will be able to gather outdoors, however, Victorians are still required to wear a face mask in public. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 06: Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews speaks to the media from the site of the currently being built State Library station as part of the Metro Tunnel metropolitan rail infrastructure project on November 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Lockdown restrictions in Melbourne were lifted on 28 October, with people now able to leave their homes for any reason. Cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars can reopen subject to patron limits while beauty services, tattoo parlours and any other service where you can wear a mask will be able to resume. Up to 10 people from any number of households will be able to gather outdoors, however, Victorians are still required to wear a face mask in public. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 06: Minister for Transport Infrastructure and Minister for Suburban Rail Loop Jacinta Allan (left) and Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews (centre) with workers pose for a photo underground from the site of the currently being built, State Library station, as part of the Metro Tunnel metropolitan rail infrastructure project on November 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 06: Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews speaks to the media from the site of the currently being built State Library station as part of the Metro Tunnel metropolitan rail infrastructure project on November 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Asanka Brendon Ratnayake is a Melbourne based Photojournalist who works on regular assignment with The New York Times, Agence France-Presse, Getty Images, AP | http://instagram.com/abrfoto/

Melbourne’s Jewish Community adapts to bring in the new year during Covid-19

This year, Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) will be unlike any other for the 50,000+ members of Melbourne’s Jewish community. In lieu of the closure of Synagogues and restrictions on wider family gatherings, the celebrations will continue albeit under a totally unprecedented set of rules. 
Normally over 1,500 Jews join Rabbi Yaakov Glasman at the St Kilda Synagogue, this year it will be closed. The Kallenbach family usually spend the 2-day celebration breaking bread with their wider family, this year they do so among themselves while gathered around the dinner table listening to Rabbi Gabi Kaltmann deliver the Rosh Hashanah Drosha (sermon) live via Zoom. 

On Assignment for the Guardian Australia I worked on this story for this piece titled ‘Everyone wants to hear the shofar’: ringing in Jewish new year in locked-down Melbourne

Rabbi Yaakov Glasman picks up copies of the Torah from the pews at the St Kilda Hebrew Congregation in Melbourne Australia on the 18th of September 2020. Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The Guardian.
Rabbi Yaakov Glasman Synagogue at the St Kilda Hebrew Congregation in Melbourne Australia on the 18th of September 2020. Due to Covid-19 stage 4 restrictions, mass gatherings are not allowed, meaning this years Rosh Hashanah or Jewish New Years celebrations are not allowed to be conducted at the Synagogue. Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The Guardian.
The empty Synagogue at the St Kilda Hebrew Congregation in Melbourne Australia on the 18th of September 2020. Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The Guardian.
An Employee at Glicks Bakery picks up a piece of Challah bread to serve to a customer in Melbourne Australia on the 18th of September 2020. Challah bread is baked in a circular fasion during Rosh Hashanah as it symbolize continuity. Glicks Bakery has become an institution amoung the local Jewish Community. Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The Guardian.
Rabbi Gabi Kaltmann blows the Rams horn also known as the Shofar at a park in East Hawthorn on the 18th of September 2020. Rabbi Gabi Kaltmann will be blowing the Shofar on Sunday at 50 street corners within a 5km radius of his house, a custom normally conducted at the Synagogue. The Blowing of the Shofar signifies the announcment of significant dates on the Jewish Calendar. Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The Guardian.
Rabbi Gabi Kaltmann blows the Rams horn also known as the Shofar at a park in East Hawthorn on the 18th of September 2020. Rabbi Gabi Kaltmann will be blowing the Shofar on Sunday at 50 street corners within a 5km radius of his house, a custom normally conducted at the Synagogue. The Blowing of the Shofar signifies the announcment of significant dates on the Jewish Calendar. Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The Guardian.

Rabbi Gabi Kaltmann blows the Rams horn also known as the Shofar on a street corner on the 18th of September 2020. Rabbi Gabi Kaltmann will be blowing the Shofar on Sunday at 50 street corners within a 5km radius of his house, a custom normally conducted at the Synagogue. The Blowing of the Shofar signifies the announcment of significant dates on the Jewish Calendar. Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The Guardian.
The Kallenbach family gathered around the dinner table listen to Rabbi Gabi Kaltmann deliver the Rosh Hashanah Drosha (sermon) live via Zoom on the 18th of September 2020. Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The Guardian.
The Kallenbach family eat Apple slices dipped in Honey, a custom during Rosh Hashanah on the 18th of September 2020. Ancient Jews believed apples had healing properties, and the honey signifies the hope that the new year will be sweet. Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The Guardian.
A Silhouette of Rabbi Gabi Kaltmann as he blows the Rams horn also known as the Shofar at a park in East Hawthorn on the 18th of September 2020. Rabbi Gabi Kaltmann will be blowing the Shofar on Sunday at 50 street corners within a 5km radius of his house, a custom normally conducted at the Synagogue. The Blowing of the Shofar signifies the announcment of significant dates on the Jewish Calendar. Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The Guardian.

Charities Work To Provide Food For People In Need During Melbourne’s latest Lockdown

Among some of the worst-hit by this pandemic in Melbourne are International students and those on temporary, humanitarian or bridging visa’s.

During some much-needed respite from the usual joyless Covid-19 coverage, I spent some time with two volunteer charity organisations providing and distributing free meals for those who fall through the cracks of government assistance.

gettyimages-1262036596-2048x2048
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 28: Angelina Sukiri (Far right) project co-ordinator of the Kasih Project is seen marking down the details of group as they come to collect their food which was prepared by ‘Alex Makes Meals’ on July 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. A large number of the people that the Kasih Project support are on Humanitarian Visa’s illegible for government assistance, often working underpaying jobs with the farming, warehouse or cleaning sector. With work hours reduced and some without work due to Covid-19 many have had to resort to initiative such as The Kasih Project, which is a community organisation that has been distributing emergency food relief for international students and other temporary visa holders who are not able to access any government assistance. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

The first is @alexmakesmeals, an organisation started by 20-year-old university student @alexkdekker during Melbourne’s first lockdown when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in March. 

gettyimages-1262032967-2048x2048

Originally aimed at providing meals for healthcare workers, the charity has now expanded to provide meals for anyone in need following the return of lockdown restrictions due to a spike in community coronavirus transmissions. A team of volunteer chef’s and kitchen staff (most out of work) cook and pack hundreds of nutritious culturally appropriate meals a day. 

gettyimages-1262031588-2048x2048

 

gettyimages-1262032956-2048x2048
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 28: An international student is seen collecting food from Alex Dekker of ‘Alex makes meals’ at a location in the Melbourne CBD on July 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Alex Makes Meals is a volunteer food organisation started by 20-year-old Alex Dekker during Melbourne’s lockdown when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in March. Originally aimed at providing meals for healthcare workers, the charity has now expanded to provide meals for anyone in need following the return of lockdown restrictions due to a spike in community coronavirus transmissions. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1262030050-2048x2048
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 28: International Student Meisa Betty from Indonesia is seen collecting food from Alex Dekker the founder of ‘Alex Makes meals’ on July 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Hospitality management student Meisa Betty has been without a job for 4 months added to this her studies have been effected as all her classes are online and she is unable to do her necessary internship. Alex Makes Meals is a volunteer food organisation started by 20-year-old Alex Dekker during Melbourne’s lockdown when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in March. Originally aimed at providing meals for healthcare workers, the charity has now expanded to provide meals for anyone in need following the return of lockdown restrictions due to a spike in community coronavirus transmissions. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images) (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

The second group was the Kasih Project is a community organisation that has been distributing emergency food relief.

gettyimages-1262031872-2048x2048
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 28: Angelina Sukiri project co-ordinator (left) and Hetty Hermanus a volunteer with ‘The Kasih Project’ are seen packing a car with food cooked by ‘Alex Makes Meals’ on July 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Angelina and Hetty then deliver the food to a collection point where residents in that area are allotted a time to come and collect their food. The Kasih Project is a community organisation that has been distributing emergency food relief for international students and other temporary visa holders who are not able to access any government assistance. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1262029531-2048x2048
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 28: Angelina Sukiri project co-Ordinator of the Kasih Project (centre) is seen making a ‘thank-you gesture’ as a worker comes to collect food on July 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. A large number of the people that the Kasih Project support are on Humanitarian Visa’s illegible for government assistance, often working underpaying jobs with the farming, warehouse or cleaning sector. With work hours reduced and some without work due to Covid-19 many have had to resort to initiative such as The Kasih Project, which is a community organisation that has been distributing emergency food relief for international students and other temporary visa holders who are not able to access any government assistance. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1262037474-2048x2048
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 28: Angelina Sukiri project co-Ordinator of the Kasih Project (centre) is seen handing food to an International student at a house in Springvale on July 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. The Kasih Project is a community organisation that has been distributing emergency food relief for international students and other temporary visa holders who are not able to access any government assistance. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1262037465-2048x2048
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 28: Angelina Sukiri, project Co-ordinator of ‘The Kasih Project’ is seen counting a number of food containers as she prepares to hand out meals which were prepared by the charity ‘Alex Makes Meals’ to members of the Indonesian community who are in Australia on Humanitarian Visa’s on July 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. A large number of the people that the Kasih Project support are on Humanitarian Visa’s illegible for government assistance, often working very low-paying jobs in the farming, warehouse or cleaning sector. With work hours reduced and some without work due to Covid-19 many have had to resort to initiative such as The Kasih Project, which is a community organisation that has been distributing emergency food relief for international students and other temporary visa holders who are not able to access any government assistance. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Angelina Sukiri project co-Ordinator of the Kasih Project has been assisting in the distribution of food to those on Humanitarian Visa’s illegible for government assistance, often working very low-paying jobs in the farming, warehouse or cleaning sector.

gettyimages-1262028920-2048x2048
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 28: Angelina Sukiri, project Co-ordinator of ‘The Kasih Project’ (centre) is seen handing food package which were prepared by ‘Alex Makes food’ to members of the Indonesian migrant community at a property in Springvale on July 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. A large number of the people that the Kasih Project support are on Humanitarian Visa’s illegible for government assistance, often working very low-paying jobs in the farming, warehouse or cleaning sector. With work hours reduced and some without work due to Covid-19 many have had to resort to initiative such as The Kasih Project, which is a community organisation that has been distributing emergency food relief for international students and other temporary visa holders who are not able to access any government assistance. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

With work hours drastically reduced and some without work due to Covid-19, many have had to resort to initiatives such as The Kasih Project, which is a community organisation that has been distributing emergency food relief for international students and other temporary visa holders who are not able to access any government assistance.

gettyimages-1262028913-2048x2048
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 28: A group of temporary working Visa holders from Indonesia are seen as they leave a property in Springvale after collecting food packages from members of ‘the Kasih Project’ on July 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. A large number of the people that the Kasih Project support are on Humanitarian Visa’s illegible for government assistance, often working very low-paying jobs in the farming, warehouse or cleaning sector. With work hours reduced and some without work due to Covid-19 many have had to resort to initiative such as The Kasih Project, which is a community organisation that has been distributing emergency food relief for international students and other temporary visa holders who are not able to access any government assistance. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

If you wish to donate to either organisation you can do so via their links

@alexmakesmeals bit.ly/ammDonate

Kasih Project https://www.facebook.com/kasih.project/

Asanka Brendon Ratnayake #onassignment for @gettyimages

#melbourne #coronavirus #photojournalism

#photojournalism #documentaryphotography #reportage #gettyimages #photojournalist #reportagespotlight #covid19au #coronavid19 #covid_19 #covid #corona #melbournelife #melbourneiloveyou #melbournelife #canon #canonaustralia 

Melbourne Hotspots go into Lockdown

On 28th of June Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews during a press conference on June confirmed COVID-19 infection numbers continued to rise, with 49 new coronavirus cases recorded overnight.

Health authorities are continuing on a testing blitz in Melbourne suburbs that have been identified as community transmission hotspots for coronavirus.

A few days later Daniel Andrews announced Lockdowns across Melbourne which came into effect at for residents of suburbs identified as COVID-19 hotspots following a spike in new coronavirus cases through community transmission. From midnight Wednesday 1 July, residents of 10 postcodes will only be able to leave home for exercise or work, to buy essential items including food or to access childcare and healthcare. Businesses and facilities in these lockdown areas will also be restricted and cafes and restaurants can only open for take-away and delivery. The restrictions will remain in place until at least 29 July.

gettyimages-1252991454-2048x2048

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 28: Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews during a press conference on June 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1253010998-2048x2048

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 28: A woman conducts an oral Covid-19 test at a pop-up facility during a COVID-19 testing blitz in the suburb of Broadmeadows on June 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1253010992-2048x2048

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 28: An elderly man has a Covid-19 test under the guidance of a member of the testing team during a COVID-19 testing blitz in the suburb of Broadmeadows on June 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1253010865-2048x2048

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 28: A man conducts a Covid-19 test by inserting a swab in his nose, under the guidance of a member of the testing team at a pop-up testing site, during a COVID-19 testing blitz in the suburb of Broadmeadows on June 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1253010223-2048x2048

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 28: An elderly woman is tested at a pop-up clinic during a COVID-19 testing blitz in the suburb of Broadmeadows on June 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1253741715-2048x2048

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 02: A police officer directs traffic into a lane where drivers are checked on their reason for travel and residential address on July 02, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1253741716-2048x2048

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 02: A police officer directs traffic into a lane where drivers are checked on their reason for travel and residential address on July 02, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Lockdowns across Melbourne have come into effect for residents of suburbs identified as COVID-19 hotspots following a spike in new coronavirus cases through community transmission. From midnight Wednesday 1 July, residents of 10 postcodes will only be able to leave home for exercise or work, to buy essential items including food or to access childcare and healthcare. Businesses and facilities in these lockdown areas will also be restricted and cafes and restaurants can only open for take-away and delivery. The restrictions will remain in place until at least 29 July. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1253757449-2048x2048

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 02: An empty row of shops is seen at the Olsen Place shopping village in the suburb of Broadmeadows on July 02, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1253757451-2048x2048

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 02: A general view of a drive through testing facility at Broadmeadows central shopping center on July 02, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1253764937-2048x2048

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 02: A man gets a Covid-19 test at a testing site on July 02, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1253764953-2048x2048

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 02: A woman gets a Covid-19 test at a testing site on July 02, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1253765105-2048x2048

People line up to get a Covid-19 test at a testing site in the locked-down suburb of Dallas on July 02, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.

gettyimages-1253765106-2048x2048

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 02: Bottleshop owner of Dallas Cellars, Darshan Singh in the locked down suburb of Dallas on July 02, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Darshan Singh has noticed a drop in business today, he normally gets a lot of walk-in customers but since lockdown has only got local customers. The restrictions will remain in place until at least 29 July. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1252991475-2048x2048

Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews walks to the podium to conduct a press conference on June 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Victoria’s confirmed COVID-19 infection numbers continue to rise, with 49 new coronavirus cases recorded overnight. Health authorities are continuing on a testing blitz in Melbourne suburbs that have been identified as community transmission hotspots for coronavirus. Restrictions in Victoria have been tightened in response to the spike in new cases across the state with premier Daniel Andrews extending the current state of emergency for at least four weeks to allow police the power to enforce social distancing rules. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Suburbs under stay-at-home orders

  • 3012: Brooklyn, Kingsville, Maidstone, Tottenham, West Footscray
  • 3021: Albanvale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans
  • 3032: Ascot Vale, Highpoint City, Maribyrnong, Travancore
  • 3038: Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Watergardens
  • 3042: Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie
  • 3046: Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park
  • 3047: Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana
  • 3055: Brunswick South, Brunswick West, Moonee Vale, Moreland West
  • 3060: Fawkner
  • 3064: Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickleham, Roxburgh Park and Kalkallo

Words and Photos by Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Asanka Brendon Ratnayake is a photojournalist and travel photographer based in Melbourne Australia covering Australia, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Follow him on instagram 

Melbourne Rally In Solidarity With Black Lives Matter Movement

An estimated 10,000+ #BlackLivesMatters protestors took the street today in #Melbourne in an effort to bring further attention to the Indigenous deaths in custody, Racial profiling and the murder of George Floyd.

Australia has had 432 Indigenous deaths in police custody since 1991.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 06: A protestor holding a placards reading ‘Black Indigenous Lives matter’ on June 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 06: A general view of protestors with the clenched fists raised in front o Black Lives Matter street posters on June 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 06: A woman is seen wearing a face mask reading ‘More scared of A racist World than a Pandemic’ on June 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 06: Protestors holding Black Lives Matter placards as they listen to speeches on June 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 06: A protester holding face-masks and gloves as a sanitization station on June 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Events across Australia have been organised in solidarity with protests in the United States following the killing of an unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota and to rally against aboriginal deaths in custody in Australia.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 06: Protestors stand with clenched fists in solidarity on the steps of St Paul Cathedral on June 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 06: Protestors take a knee as they protest in Solidarity with clenched fists on June 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Events across Australia have been organised in solidarity with protests in the United States following the killing of an unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota and to rally against aboriginal deaths in custody in Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 06: An Aboriginal man with a clenched fist stands before the crowd on June 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 06: A general view looking towards Flinders Street station as protestors listening to speeches as Night falls on June 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Words and Photos by Asanka Brendon Ratnayake 

Asanka Brendon Ratnayake is a photojournalist and travel photographer based in Melbourne Australia covering Australia, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Follow him on instagram 

Melbourne International Students Impacted By Coronavirus Line up for Food vouchers.

 

While working on another story, I came across hundreds of people lined up toward Melbourne town hall.
Curious, I checked it out, spoke to people lined up, only find out they were International students lining up for food vouchers.

 

I made the call to drop the other story I was working on and focus on this.

After publishing and a tweet in which I recorded a video of the line of students, the images and video went viral and consequently, publications such as SBS picked up the story.

The City of Melbourne is distributing retail vouchers to support international students impacted by COVID-19 and boost trade at Queen Victoria Market as part of its ‘Our Shout’ program. The $200,000 retail voucher program aims to support international students affected by job losses and housing insecurity with access to vouchers worth up to $200 each to spend at Queen Victoria Market. Lines extended around the block. The international student economy is worth $9.1 billion a year to the state of Victoria.

gettyimages-1239246147-2048x2048
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 01: International Students are seen lined up outside the Melbourne Town Hall on June 01, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1239245599-2048x2048
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 01: International Students are seen lined up outside the Melbourne Town Hall on June 01, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1239243366-2048x2048
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 01: International Students are seen lined up outside the Melbourne Town Hall on June 01, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1239245614-2048x2048
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 01: International Students are seen lined up outside the Melbourne Town Hall on June 01, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1239243373-2048x2048
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 01: International Students are seen lined up standing in the rain outside the Melbourne Town Hall on June 01, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1239242849-2048x2048
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 01: International Students are seen lined up outside the Melbourne Town Hall on June 01, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

gettyimages-1239244590-2048x2048
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 01: International Students are seen lined up outside the Melbourne Town Hall on June 01, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Words and Photos by Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Asanka Brendon Ratnayake is a photojournalist and travel photographer based in Melbourne Australia covering Australia, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Follow him on instagram 

Photo Essay : The Castle Hotel calls last drinks

The big multinational swallowing up the local watering hole is a common story all over the modern world, on February 29 in 2016, it was Sri Lanka’s turn. 141 years after its opening, the iconic Castle Hotel and Bar in Colombo, served last drinks.

The colonial building is believed to be over 200 years old and started its life as a printing press. When interviewed by Groundviews.org Hotel manager H.D. Mervyn Wickremesinghe believed the building became the castle hotel in 1875 which catered to international guests. In recent decades, the Castle has become the community bar to the local working-class in the area of Slave Island.

Castle Hotel Slave Island
A customer walks into the castle hotel.  On the 28th of February 2016 the Castle Hotel called last drinks. While the building itself may survive with the likelihood of being turned in into offices the last arrack’s have been served and last songs sung. One of the Colombo’s most iconic drinking spots has been closed.
Street Cricket Colombo
Men playing street cricket outside the Castle Hotel on Slave Island. The Castle hotel which operates primarily as a pub, very basic hotel rooms are also available upstairs. Next door to the Castle Hotel is a large apartment development being conducted by the Tata Group. After the acquisition of land by the Indian multinational conglomerate,  the hotels future has been uncertain.
Castle Hotel Slave Island
A person sits at a table in the foyer as a drunk man lays down passed out inside the Castle hotel entrance.

Of all the bars and pubs in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo there are few that match the character, history and working class realities of the emerging Sri Lanka than this iconic venue.
The colonial grand façade, imposing a Y-Shaped staircase at its foyer entrance, gives insight to the Castle Hotel’s ‘hey day’ which would have catered to foreign guests and troops during the World Wars.

Since then, the upkeep of the hotel has been in a decline and its character and charm representative of its predominantly working-class clientele. Loyal customers from snake charmers, tuk tuk drivers, low level office clerks and ironically, even the labourers working on the site that would eventually see the end of the bar, would be found having a drink at the Castle on most nights.

Monkey tamer and snake charmer
A snake being held by its charmer looks at a Monkey which is sitting on its owners lap as their owners have a drink and socialise inside the Castle Hotel.
Castle Hotel bar counter
Men lining up for drinks at the bar counter drinking at the Castle Hotel.
Castle Hotel Slave Island
Men sitting at a table drinking inside the Castle hotel which operates primarily as a pub or local drinking den, hotel rooms are also available.

The future of the hotel has been uncertain after Indian multinational conglomerate ‘The Tata Group’ purchased the highly valuable land to develop modern offices and apartment complexes. There were talks the hotel would remain in its current form, however, it was always going to be a matter of time before the last drinks would be served.

Beers were cheap, arrack plentiful and short bites, spicy. The resident stray cat would hunt around for scraps on the floor. Like any good pub, stories were shared, grievances voiced and opinions were made known in the presence of complete strangers. Drunks, alcoholics and general louts would be ushered out with some decorum and respect, when they had one too many.

Castle Hotel Slave Island
A man smokes a cigarette as he drinks beer at a table with friends inside the Castle hotel.
The Castle Hotel
Two men share a having a drink inside the Castle Hotel
Castle Hotel Slave Island
A man orders an arrack (local drink) at the counter inside the Castle hotel which operates primarily as a pub but hotel rooms are also available upstairs. Slave Island is home to numerous small houses occupied by some of colombo’s working class, as gentrification & development encroaches land in the now highly valuable slave island is slowly pushing out locals from the area. Slave Island is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka located directly south of the Fort area of Colombo
Castle Hotel Slave Island
A man skols or drinks down a large large bottle of beer as a drunk man wearing a sarong walks past inside the Castle hotel

It recent years, this humble venue gained a reputation online as a ‘dodgy pub’ – though in my experience, you are more likely to find dodgier clientele and shady customers (for lack of better words) in the bars and clubs of Colombo’s 5-star hotels.

The Castle didn’t pretend to be something it wasn’t and it was, by far, more representative of Sri Lanka than the Westernised hotels down the road. Its guests were treated with respect and without the judgement they may experience outside.

As modern Sri Lanka rides the economic wave of a post-war economy, the consequence of gentrification emerges.

At the Castle hotel, what you saw was what you got, it was real and it was gritty, but it was honest.

Castle Hotel Slave Island
An empty room with a disconnected old TV set sits on a table inside the Castle hotel which operates primarily as a pub, hotel rooms are also available.
Castle Hotel Slave Island
A man walks into the main entrance of the Colonial styled Castle Hotel

Words and photography by Asanka Brendon Ratnayake.

Asanka Brendon Ratnayake is a photojournalist and travel photographer based in Melbourne Australia covering Australia, Asia and the indian subcontinent. Follow him on instagram 

(C) Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Reclaim Australia : Melton Protests

A few selects from the Reclaim Australia protests in Melton.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
Supporters of the Reclaim Australia group shout and hold banners during a protest organised by the far right wing group. Melbourne, Australia November 22 2015.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
Anti-Fascist counter protestors clash with supporters of the Reclaim Australia group during a protest organised by the far right wing group Reclaim Australia.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
A member of the Reclaim Australia wearing a balaclava of the Australian flag over his face an during a protest organised by the far right wing group. The Anti-Islamic group protested in the city of Melton on the outskirts of Melbourne voicing their opinions in relation to immigration and the building of Mosques and schools in the country.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
A man is arrested by police in riot gear during a protest organised by the far right wing group Reclaim Australia. The Anti-Islamic group protested in the city of Melton on the outskirts of Melbourne voicing their opinions in relation to immigration and the building of Mosques and schools in the country.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
Anti-racism counter protestors push back a line of horses used to seperate opposing groups during a protest organised by the far right wing group Reclaim Australia. The Anti-Islamic group protested in the city of Melton on the outskirts of Melbourne voicing their opinions in relation to immigration and the building of Mosques and schools in the country.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
Anti-Racism protestors protestors shield for cover as they are pepper sprayed by police after they tried to push through police lines during a protest organised by the far right wing group Reclaim Australia.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
Two young boys one of whom is riding his bicycle stand in front of police in riot gear during a protest organised by the far right wing group Reclaim Australia.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
Anti-Fascist counter protestors clash with supporters of the Reclaim Australia group during a protest organised by the far right wing group Reclaim Australia.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
A supporter of the Reclaim Australia group is pushed back by police officer dressed in riot gear during a protest organised by the far right wing group Reclaim Australia.

Reclaim Australia Rally Melbourne
Supporters of the Reclaim Australia group march down the street waving flags and shouting anti-islamic slogans during a protest organised by the far right wing group.

Clippings – Time : Burma’s Million-Strong Rohingya Population Faces ‘Final Stages of Genocide,’ Says Report

Rohingya Refugee Boy Sittwe
A young malnourished Rohingya boy inside the Sittwe IDP camp . An estimated 110,000 ethnic Rohingya live in an overcrowded IDP camp in the outskirts of Sittwe. The Rohingya continually make attempts to flee the camps by fishing boat and seek asylum in neighbouring Islamic countries however often fall victim to human traffickers. At current they are a stateless people believed to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. According to the UN the Rohingya are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. – Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

One of my photographs from the IDP camps in Sittwe was recently picked up for an article in Time.
Whilst getting a photo used by time is something i’m quite happy about, i’m glad that this story is starting to get a bit of traction.
What i witnessed in those camps i can only describe as state sponsored genocide.
This article and Al Jazeera’s expose proves this.

I’d strongly encourage you to read this article in Time

Al Jazeera Investigative Unit expose the inner workings of the Myanmar government, providing “strong evidence” of genocide against the Rohingya minority.