There are times in a photographer's career where you meet a subject who will leave a permanent impression on you. This little girl's serious nature and incredible eyes drew me to her from the moment we met. The resulting image portrays her nervousness in front of the camera along with her bravery for sitting still long enough for me to capture her.
As a photographer I am somewhat protected emotionally from the surroundings by my camera. While alone photographing the bones of Ned Kelly, I had a moment to reflect on whose presence I was actually in. In that short time I had a very strong sense of connection with a young man who had lived a tough life. It's hard to articulate my feelings thoroughly, though somehow, I guess I was dealing with my own understanding of death and the spirit.
On this occasion I put my camera down for a few moments and just stood with an Australian legend.
In 2005 I returned to Papua New Guinea to cover the 30th anniversary of independence amid a breakdown in law and order, rampant corruption, an AIDS epidemic and an economy on the verge of collapse. One morning while travelling through the down-at-heel capital Port Moresby I saw this young boy amongst the Asaro mudmen tribe who had gathered to rehearse their contribution to the upcoming Independence Day celebrations. The child's gaze caught my eye as it radiates an innocence that seems to transcend the mayhem and violence of the society around him. It is as if the entire tribe emerged from the earth with their mud encrusted bodies and their biodegradable "arse grass" undies.
For five-year-old Rhianna Harris of WIlcannia, NSW, growing up Aboriginal in Australia means being confronted with challenges not faced by her non-Aboriginal counterparts. The sacred innocence of youth will be challenged by an imposing socioeconomic gap and circumstances that despite being out of her control, will shape her opportunities and her future.
"Sisters Rose and Valda have been friends since they lived together at the Convent of the Good Shepard by the banks of the Yarra River. For a century (from 1863-1975), the Sisters of the Good Shepherd provided accommodation, schooling and work for female orphans, Wards of the State and girls considered to be in moral danger.
The site has now been converted into the Abbotsford Convent Foundation, a vibrant arts, educational and cultural precinct. Sisters Rose and Valda continue to live next door and attend the Good Shepard Chapel. They remain very close friends."
In 2007 Kenya experienced its darkest hour. Tribal tension erupted after apparent rigged elections with violence and chaos consuming the country. Over 1,600 people were killed and over 660,000 forced from their homes and made to live in IDP camps (Internally displaced people) or else suffer the same brutal fate.
Stanford and his family lived in the fertile land of Narok and in the middle of the night they were given five minutes to leave their home and barely packed their bags before their house and everything they owned was burnt to the ground. When they arrived at the camp Stanford had already been diagnosed with a rare skin condition that made him highly sensitive to the sun but was healthy with some minor skin irritation. Stanford was forced to live in a small clear tent in a barren field without many trees for shade, and his condition quickly deteriorated. Five years later there is a new president but for many life in the camp remains the same struggle. Stanford now has no sight and struggles to breathe out of his nose. Surgery is way beyond and his mother's reach. www.empoweringblindyouth.org
An image from the series The Aak Puul Ngantam Stockman.
APN Cape York (Aak Puul Ngantam) is an indigenous cattle enterprise based on remote Cape York Peninsula in Australia's far north — an attempt to provide sustainable employment and a sense of pride in the indigenous population. They are mustering wild stock — left after a failed venture decades ago — by horseback, quad bike and helicopter.
I photographed the entire APN team at their remote camp as they returned exhausted from a day of mustering and fence building. The subject of this image, Dominic Ngakyunkwokka, is one of the young indigenous stockman learning the trade from the experienced traditional elders. Dominic is pleased to be offered the opportunity for gainful employment and to escape the township of Aurukun where opportunities are non-existent and drugs, booze and violence is endemic."
The Buccaneer is a work in my series depicting contemporary Australian woman and their relationship with the natural environment. I am interested in the way we interact with nature in contrast to the contemporary urban world we live in.
This picture is from my AFTER MIDNIGHT series examining the emotional landscape of women in their 50s. As with adolescence, women are on the cusp of a new age, often fearing invisibility as youth and beauty fade, and society seemingly devalues them. Along with coping with physical changes, the 50s become a time of reflection as women take stock of their achievements, life experiences and accumulated wisdom. But far from a midlife crisis, this turning point often becomes a time of liberation, rediscovery and possibility.