Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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Featherstone, Julia Lesley (1947 - )

22 May 1947
Grafton, New South Wales, Australia
Media artist, Photographer, Surfer and Teacher


Julia Featherstone is a multitalented woman, whose two election campaigns were part of a life filled with activity and creativity. She was an Australia Party candidate in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly elections for Bligh in 1973 and to the House of Representatives for Wentworth in 1974.


Julia Featherstone was born in Grafton and educated at Coffs Harbour High School, and at the University of Sydney (BA. Dip Ed), where she lived at the Women's College, the University of Adelaide (M Urban and Regional Planning) and at UTS (Grad Dip Communications).

Her first job was as a secondary school teacher, originally teaching Economics and Geography and later teaching TV production to talented children at Sydney Girls High School. Then, she worked as a video producer/director for the NSW Correspondence School Media Department making educational videos (1984-1991). From 1979 to 1981 she was a staff photographer at the Sydney Morning Herald, the only woman employed as a photographer at the time. She contributed all the photographs to Don Dunstan's Australia (Rigby,1977-78), a book written by the former Premier of South Australia. Julia Featherstone has contributed to many group photographic exhibitions and had one solo exhibition. She was a finalist in the Olive Cotton Award for Photographic Portraiture in 2005 and 2007, and second in the University of New South Wales Film awards in 2007 for her film Fanny Burney.

She was second in the first Australian Women's Surfboard Riding title held at Bondi in 1963.

She married Alasdair Macfarlane in 1987 and they have two children, a boy and a girl.

Julia Featherstone returned to full time study and completed a Master of Fine Arts degree (University of New South Wales, Art & Design) in 2014. Her research topic was 'Beneath Horizons: Australian Desert Landscape'. She has participated in many group exhibitions and two solo exhibitions.


Solo Exhibition - Urban Shadows, Adelaide Resource Centre, South Australia
8 May 2014 - 17 May 2014
Solo Exhibition - Beneath Horizons: Australian Desert Landscape, MFA exam exhibition, Kudos Gallery, Paddington, Sydney

Sources used to compile this entry: Julia Featherstone, October 2005.

Annette Alafaci

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