We Rent

Know someone renting in Canberra whose story should be told?

 Have a story to tell yourself? Nominate for 2020 below:

Diverse. Unique. Together

Tenants and other renters come from all walks of life and all sections of the community. People rent for a wide range of reasons - for many it is an active choice, and not just a short term option. It can be for years, or for life.


In 2015 we launched the We Rent portrait project, aiming to give a face and a voice to the renters of Canberra. In collaboration with emerging local photographers, we are producing a series of portraits of renters in their homes. Each portrait is accompanied by a personal story, illustrating the diversity of our Canberra renting community.

Nominations are open for the 2019 We Rent portrait project! Nominate yourself or another special Canberra renter (remember 'renting' covers private and public tenants, occupants and people living on campus, boarders, lodgers, and anyone living in a caravan park).

Hover over the slideshow above to read interviews and click between portraits.

Nominate someone for We Rent 2020 now

Meet the Photographers

Swodesh Shakya

Swodesh Shakya is a Canberra university student originally from Nepal, studying a Bachelor IT at the University of Canberra. Swodesh has turned his passion for photography and videography into a successful side-hustle. His goal as a photographer is to capture true moments and to let the true nature of his subjects shine through his art. You can find Swodesh on Instagram at @theillustrator_123 swodesh_shakya@yahoo.com

Isabelle Lee

Isabelle Lee is a freelance photographer from Sydney who currently studies at the Australian National University. As a child she obsessed over ‘capturing memories’ which prompted her to take on photography as a hobby. She experimented with her parents’ old film cameras until receiving her first DSLR camera at 14, which has since become inseparable. Nowadays, besides event photography and portraiture, she also contributes to Campus Style and The Humans of Canberra project as part of Woroni. 

Alex Catalan-Flores

Alex Catalan-Flores is a Canberra local originally from Chile, currently studying a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Economics at the Australian National University. As a photographer, Alex looks to be a silent intermediary and avoid self-aggrandizement, instead focusing on creating meaning between the subject and the audience, exclusively. You can find Alex on Twitter and Instagram at @patmycatalan alex.catalan.flores@gmail.com

Tenants' Union ACT  |  info@tenantsact.org.au  |  6247 1026  |   Canberra, Australian Capital Territory


Tenants' Union ACT is funded by the ACT Justice & Community Safety Directorate. ITD events are made possible thanks to funding from Housing ACT, a division of the ACT Community Services Directorate.  ITDCBR Coordinating Committee - Tenants' Union ACT, ACT Shelter, Housing ACT, Streetlaw, Better Renting (a project of Canberra Community Law)

© 2019 by Tenants' Union ACT Inc.


Patrick: The idea of this whole household is to allow Isaac to become fully independent, to transition from living at home with his mum, to living just an ordinary life like the rest of us do. Ben: We’re an incorporated organisation that work together to provide Isaac with a good life. We did a big plan on what we thought a good life was, and that changes and grows. And we try to include Isaac as much as we can in it, because it’s his life.