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Jim Fenwick

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

Jim Fenwick was born in Brisbane in 1934 and after many moves in his young life, he moved with his family to the Peninsula in 1942. He attended Humpybong State School and continued to live in Redcliffe for his entire life, passing away in November 2021. Jim went to work at the Courier Mail in Queen St, Brisbane in June 1950 and stayed 44 years before retiring in October 1994.

Jim may be best known for his photos of the very young Bee Gees in their white T shirts, a spectacular run out performed by South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes at the Gabba and the iconic ‘wink’ of Matilda the kangaroo at the Brisbane Commonwealth Games.

Jim worked in various departments at the Courier Mail before being offered a cadetship as a press photographer in 1954, taking his first front page photo in 1955.

Jim’s big break in the paper was in 1959, when Princess Alexandra was the royal visitor. There was a reception for her at Cloudland Ballroom and Jim took a picture of her nursing a koala. It was published as a full page 1 and was also used in the London papers.

Over his years at the Courier, Jim covered and met many royal visitors, superstars in sport and the arts and politicians as well as many ordinary folk caught in extraordinary circumstances. Jim had many trips away around Queensland and overseas, including Seoul for the 1988 Olympics, Auckland for the Commonwealth Games in 1990 and Somalia with the Australian Peacekeeping Force in 1992. Jim was also heavily involved in the planning and coverage of Brisbane’s 1982 Commonwealth Games.

Jim won many national and international awards for sports and news photos over the years, including the Walkley Award for best news picture in 1965. In Sept 1964, he was sent to cover the sinking of the Kaptajn Neilson off Tangalooma. From Moreton Is, Jim hitched a ride in a helicopter which hovered above the upturned ship and he took the opportunity to jump onto the hull for a better shot. Jim was also well known as one of the photographers running the sidelines of Lang Park and suburban grounds throughout the rugby league season, often getting the shots the others missed.

Jim mentored many young photographers over the years as well as judging many photographic competitions around Queensland before and after he retired. He also worked with the Redcliffe Historical Society to retake many old photos from around the Peninsula, showing the changes which had occurred over the years. Jim held an exhibition of photos in the Redcliffe Museum in 2007.

Jim was very community minded and a very loyal resident of the Redcliffe peninsula for 79 years. He was heavily involved in Grace Lutheran Church and its educational institutions on the Peninsula, serving many decades on committees and always as the ‘unofficial photographer’, documenting much of their early history. Jim was a proud member of the Redcliffe Hockey Club and Apex Club, serving as President of Apex during the 1970s.


Jim Fenwick is listed on the wall of the Redcliffe Wall of Fame:

A collection of portrait and information honouring the achievements of individuals who have influenced and shaped Redcliffe. The collection is in the Jetty Arcade at 139-141 Redcliffe Parade.

For a complete list of people who appear on the wall click on the following blog post:

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