Group of staff in white lab coats standing with boxes on a pallet


Tea lady. Chemist. Accountant. Emulsion coater. Camera assembler. Entrepreneur. Secretary. Developing and Printing operator. Salesperson. Chemical packer. Manager.

Kodak Australasia has employed many thousands of people to do a wide and varied range of work supporting the manufacture and sale of photographic products for over 130 years.

They include the company founders Thomas Baker and JJ Rouse in the late 1880s, and the staff employed in Kodak's retail shops, offices and factories in the intervening years to now.

Delve into Kodak’s Staff Stories to find out more about some of the staff who worked at Kodak over the years.

Watch our story showcase below featuring a small selection of former Kodak staff talking about their working lives at Kodak in Melbourne between the 1930s and 2004. These short 3-4 minute digital stories were taken from oral history interviews that were conducted for the museum's Kodak Heritage Collection. 

Betty Radstake


In 1956 Betty joined Kodak in Abbotsford as a secretary to the canteen manager Mr Eddie Sharkey and the waste survey manger Mr Ray Hull. Betty worked lunchtimes in the canteen and did the catering orders. She left Kodak in 1961 to start a family, but returned 2 years later as a densitometer operator in the Testing Department at Coburg, where she stayed until 1966. 

Brian Phillipson


Brian Phillipson began his career as a roll room boy in the paper cutting department at Kodak at Abbotsford in 1955. From there Brian moved into the coating room department. With the opening of the new Coburg factory, Brian worked in the storeroom before being offered a job as a safe lighting serviceman, and his final role was in planning in the engineering department.

Elizabeth Delahunty


Elizabeth Delahunty started her career at Kodak in the IT department before moving to Business Imaging. She then worked in the Health Group, where she was involved in the introduction of digital imaging to customers in the radiology industry. She later led the transfer of Kodak’s Health business to Carestream in 2007.  

Jim Healy


Jim Healy began his career in the engineering department in 1951, helping to set up black & white developing facilities at the new Burnley facility. He then worked at Abbotsford doing general maintenance and equipment fabrication before moving into improving the efficiency of the camera assembly lines.

John Harvey


John Harvey started his career as a trainee at Kodak’s Collins Street shop. Later John was promoted to the role of sales representative, in Melbourne’s CBD and in country Victoria. John moved onto other areas of sales within Kodak before leaving in 1970.

Marie De Camara


Marie De Camara started work at Kodak in 1946 in the Film Department at Abbotsford. She then moved to the Powder and Solution / Photochemical Department at Abbotsford, Burnley and later at Coburg before retiring after 35 years.

Michael & Lucy Mikedis

Michael, 1964–1977 &  Lucy, 1964–1973

Michael Mikedis began his career at the Kodak factory in Abbotsford in 1964, as a storeman. He was promoted to stock planner and later worked as an estimator organising supplies in the Coburg Distribution Centre.

Lucy Mikedis worked in customer service in the mail order department at Abbotsford, then later was employed as secretarial support at Coburg. There she met Michael whom she married. Lucy left Kodak after the birth of their second child.

Noel Swan


Noel Swan started work in the Developing and Printing (D & P) Department at Abbotsford when he was 16 years old, during World War II. He joined the Royal Australian Air Force, and then after the war returned to his old job for a few more years.

Pat Hogan


Pat Hogan joined the company as a branch accountant at Abbotsford in the Head Office and was later Company Secretary and Treasurer at Coburg. He spent several years with the army during World War II, before returning to his job at Kodak. 

Roy Porter


Roy Porter began his career at the Kodak factory in Abbotsford in 1964 as a draftsman in the physics research laboratory, working on improving machinery and processing. Roy later became a packaging design manager at Coburg.

Trish Lobb


Trish started at Kodak on the camera assembly line and doing electrical modifications in the Cameras, Reels and Sundries Department at Coburg. After a year she changed to office work, which she did for the next 27 years, becoming an executive secretary.

Val Bell


Val Bell began work at Kodak in the Film Department at Abbotsford before moving to work for Lionel Andrew and Elvin Teasdale, as a clerk in the Technical Directors office. Val was also an enthusiastic member of the Kodak women’s basketball team.

Yvonne Cameron


Yvonne Cameron started part-time at Kodak in the canteen at Coburg. She served at the milk bar and was the tea lady for Building 8. Yvonne later transferred to the photo shop, before becoming a typist in the Camera, Reels & Sundries Department.

Doug Howden


Doug Howden was a maintenance engineer in the instrument workshop who eventually became the manager of the Powerhouse operations at Kodak's Coburg factory. Doug worked on staff for Kodak from 1984-2005, but had been a contractor for several years prior to this, coming on to assist the maintenance team during the annual shutdown each year.

Back to top

Join the mailing list and get the latest from our Museums direct to your inbox.

Share your thoughts to WIN

We'd love to hear about your experience with our website. Our survey takes less than 10 minutes and entries go in a draw to win a $100 gift voucher at our online store!