Who is Parkes? The much anticipated photography exhibition is now open and brings together images of Parkes in the past and present. Historic images from the collections of Lex and June Weaver, and Ian and Judy Chambers, feature along with Lee Ramsay's incredible archive of baby announcements from the Parkes Champion Post. There are contemporary portraits of shire residents of all ages, interests and walks of life. Deb Jones, chairperson of Parkes Community Arts, said the vision for this exhibition had been birthed a number of years ago as her family shared stories of of local characters. The concept came together when Lisa Ramsay spoke about her mum's collection of photographs of babies she helped deliver at Parkes hospital, and the Weavers shared about their collection of historic photographs. Who is Parkes? launched with the invitation to the community to answer that question with portraits of people who live, or lived, in our shire. It has all come together in time for the 150th anniversary of the naming of Parkes. "When I look around this room I see a glorious celebration of community," Jenny Short from Parkes Community Arts said at the opening. "These are photos of ordinary every day people: no politicians, famous movie stars, singers or artists. "These are the people who are the essence of our community: their contributions help make Parkes the generous, creative and divers community we have now. "When I think of Who is Parkes? I think of these people and how blessed we are to have them among us." Extending a heartfelt Welcome to Wiradjuri Country, elder Rob Clegg reflected on that. "They're not just our elders, they're your elders: your grandparents, your parents; elders of today - that's you, your mothers and fathers; elders of the future is you and your young ones," he said. "It's not just about one group of people, it's about a family - Parkes. "What you see around the room today is photos of some of those families that are still here, that have passed, and that are coming up forward." Visitors to the exhibition are invited to be part of it too: by taking a polaroid photo and adding it to the "right here, right now" corner of the display. Mayor Neil Westcott acknowledged the many volunteer hours involved in the exhibition, as well as funding from Parkes Shire Council, Northparkes Mine and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal. This exhibition tells hundreds of stories from the beginnings of Parkes until who we have become today: the stories are represented in many ways The final step will be to enlarge 10 of the images and install large-scale banners across the shire, those details to come.