• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE6012

Isaacson, Joan Barbara

(1923 – 2017)
  • Born 13 April, 1923
  • Died 7 April, 2017
  • Occupation Photo Journalist, Professional photographer


Joan Barbara Isaacson is a professional photographer who worked with the Army Public Relations section of Australian Women’s Army Service, and was later known for her portraiture of children.


Joan Barbara Isaacson was born into a dynamic and family. Her mother, Lynka Isaacson (also known as Caroline Isaacson), was the first female journalist to be employed by a metropolitan newspaper in Australia, and was a strong role model for her daughter. After the war Isaacson’s mother and brother set up the Southern Cross publishing business.

Isaacson attended the Melbourne Technical College, where she studied photography. When she was 18 years old she joined the Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS). Working in the Army Public Relations section, she travelled the east coast taking documentary and recruitment propaganda photographs and meeting press journalists and photographers.

In 1943 Isaacson married Richard L. Beck, a graphic designer and photographer. During the period from 1946-1948 they set up their own photographic business in Melbourne, specialising in child portraiture. Isaacson took over the business c.1950 when her husband went back to working as a graphic designer, and continued to manage the studio until the birth of her third baby. After her departure from the photography business Isaacson was involved in a variety of other ventures and gave up her photography.


Australian War Memorial Research Centre



  • 1940 - 1950

Published resources

Related entries

  • Related Organisations
    • Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS) (1941 - 1947)