Tag Archives: Commodity

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An Australian Journey in Black and White. Images Shane Aurousseau

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Traditional Houses high pitched Roofs for cooling

Having travelled extensively in the Country of my birth. I felt as a photographer I would like to show a side of Australia that tourists rarely see. The working and gritty side of a commodity driven country.
I have used black and white for strength. I see much of Australia as time warped in the 19th century. Much of the attitude beyond the populated coastal regions is early 20th century  to early post 1945 the 50s and 60s.when I left Australia the first time the population had not yet hit 10 million. Today it borders on 25 million and should continue to grow exponentially.  However still most new comers cling to the coastal regions like clinging to the gunnel of a boat. Little effort has been made by successive governments to develop the interior of this vast continent Island for community growth. The only development has been to plunder one of the world’s great commodity reservoirs. Many will say irrigation is a problem however Australia has one of the great sweet water catchments of the world in the Great Artisian Basin covering in excess of 1/3 of the country. Image result
Still many commodity industries are producing as they have for the last 150 years through the blood sweat and tears of hard yakka (yakka australian for work). As an example Australia produces 1/3 of the world’s wool this wool is of the finest micron quality. Shearing still takes place in the shearing shed on the sheep stations as it has for 150 years. Many commodities are mined in small holdings by sweating miners sometimes working in dangerous conditions.
I hope these images will give an idea of the hard yakka and gritty side of survival in the outback that still exists today. A world not totally based on ‘Information Technology’.

Tradition housing  dating to the 1800sIMGL7265

The Town
Tradition 1800s town centre similar to USA of same period
The Church
The Church Silverton nr Broken Hill
Shopping Centre
Clunes Victoria
The Dunny
The Dunny
The Pub
The Pub
Lion of Waterloo Pub Wellington NSW
Lion of Waterloo Pub Wellington NSW again high pitched roof
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Town Centre Silverton NSW
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Silverton NSW
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Church and Chair Silverton
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The car a Ford 60s
History
History
The Pub bar
The Bar
Trans Australia Indian Pacific
The Indian Pacific Railway Trans Australia Indian to pacific Oceans
Conversation at the Pub
The prospector
The Locals
The indigenous
The Mine
The mine
The Opal Miner
The Miner
The Miner
A Miner
The Miners BW
Smoko in the Mine
Smoko in the Black Opal Mine
Miner at Smoko
The Miner Cowboy Jimmy
Cowboy Jimmy a Miner
Portrait of a Shearer Yakka as a Business
Face of a Shearer
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A Shearer
IMG_1929 BW
The Shearer
Portrait of an Australian Politician
Portrait of an Australian
Kelpie BW
Kelpie the working dog
Drover and Cocky
Drover and Cocky
The Cocky
Cocky Posing
Droving BW
Droving

 

Checking out the machinery Boy's Toys
The Engine Boys Toys
Smoko
Just Smoko
Clancy
On the Stand
Clancy's Mate on the Stand
Shearing the Jumbuck
Shearer and Jumbuck-1
Shearer Jumbuck and Smoke
The Shearer
Shearer and Jumbuck

 

Working with the Jumbuck
In the Shed

 

Working in the Shed
Hard Yakka
Shearers in the shed
hard Yakka on the Stand
Shearer and Jumbuck
Shearer Yakka with the Jumbuck
The Drover
The Drover
The Cocky
Cocky Posing
Hard Yakka
Yakka on the Stand
Hard Yakka Shearing
Broomy in the Shed
Hard Yakka at the Table
Broomy and yakka at the Table
Cocky resting
Cocky resting
Cocky and Sheep Dogs Flea Taxis Kelpies
Cocky and flea Taxis Kelpies
Checking the wool at the Table
At the Table
At the Table
Checking the Wool at the Table
Clancy and Mate on the Stand
Yakka

 

At the Table hard Yakka
On the table

 

A Local
A Local
Boul Boce
Playing Bocce
IMGL9843
The Gum

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Images by Shane Aurousseau

 

An Invitation to an Exhibition of Images by Australian Artist Photographer Shane Aurousseau

An Invitation

Exhibition in Athens Greece by Australian Artist Photographer Shane Aurousseau

Opening 15th September Ianos Café The exhibition on 1 5/9/2016 at 20:30 with musical quartet Jazz.

 Supported by Australian Embassy of Athens

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Sponsors

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Below: Link to article on Exhibition of work by Artist Photographer Shane Aurousseau Athens.

The link below also carries a potted history of “Banjo” Paterson the creator of “Clancy of the Overflow” “The Man from Snowy River” and “Waltzing Matilda”

http://www.allaboutshipping.co.uk/2016/08/03/photographer-shane-aurousseaus-new-exhibition-at-ianos-cafe-in-athens/

 Hard-Yakka

‘IANOS CAFÉ’ Shane Aurousseau Photography exhibition

IANOS Canadian investment company «Syracuse Main, Inc.) and Innova fine art paper proudly present at IANOS CAFÉ a photography exhibition by Australian Photographer Artist Shane Aurousseau. A photographic journey through the sheep breeding region of Condobolin Central New South Wales and the vast rural areas of Australia where his lens recorded the hard work (“hard Yakka” in Aussie speak) of Australian sheep shearers collecting the finest micron wool in the world from Merino sheep.

The exhibition on 1 5/9/2016 at 20:30 with musical quartet Jazz.

Duration: September 15 – October 1 5, 2016.

With the support of the Australian Embassy in Athens

Sponsored by: Syracuse Main, Inc.

INNOVA Fine Art paper

About the exhibition

Condobolin (Central NSW) on the Lachlan River, the Overflow on the Lachlan is the setting for the poem ” Clancy of the Overflow ” by “Banjo Paterson”, one of the most important works in Australian literature. Banjo Paterson also the author of “The Man from Snowy River” and “Waltzing Matilda”, The Man from Snowy River was the basis for two movies one a Hollywood blockbuster.

The-sheep-and-the-Cockees-(153-of-172)

Click below link to article on the exhibition and Shane Aurousseau: –

http://www.allaboutshipping.co.uk/2016/08/03/photographer-shane-aurousseaus-new-exhibition-at-ianos-cafe-in-athens/

Shane Aurousseau an Australian photographer who has worked as a creative director and photographer in some of the largest advertising agencies in the world, in Sydney, Amsterdam and London and for clients such as Time Magazine, Time Life Books, Michelin, Chrysler, the AA (Automobile Association) and some of the leading bank and investment funds in the world.

He has designed CD covers and produced photographs for major record label companies promoting well known international artists including one Eurovision winner. His works have been published in magazines in London and around the world. His images of London have been used on posters and postcards marketed throughout the capital city including the main tourist shops of London’s dynamic West End. He has exhibited his works in London, Sydney, Amsterdam and Madrid (Madrid sponsored by the ‘American Women’s Association’).

He currently lives in London. He studied art, photography and psychology in Australia and Britain. Shane travels regularly photographing the world we live in and its incredible diversity of life. His works reflect the entire spectrum of life in deprived neighborhoods of large cities, social commentary, landscapes and life in remote, rural areas of Australia, portraits of friends and strangers

His photographs can be described as journalistic. In recent years much of his time is spent in the Australian Outback capturing the hard work (‘hard Yakka’ in shearing OZ speak) of the ‘sheep shearers’ and’ miners’ in the gold and Opel fields of New South Wales.

Shane Aurousseau – Shane A

Hard-Yakka

H-_EXHIBITION-3-12-2015_Sheep-23-1-2016_Smoko
Smoko

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Cockys Drovers Shearers and Hard Yakka

The Cocky or the boss on a sheep station, the shearers and hard work or hard Yakker in the shearing shed. The kelpies the working dogs of the Australian sheep stations, backing dogs that only need a quick command in order to  know exactly where the drover wants the mob to go. Drovers and Cockies will tell you that a dog is worth two men. Australia still rides home on the sheep’s back producing over one third of the world’s wool and the finest micron level from  Merino Sheep. I have had the fortune to spend some time in Condobolin, roughly the  centre of New South Wales (NSW). An Uncle was the Cocky at a sheep station called Rosalind close to Condobolin.

Condobolin believed to have evolved from the aboriginal word Cundabullen (Shallow Crossing). explored in 1817 and established by 1844. Close to Condobolin is the ‘Overflow Station’ the setting of the poem ‘Clancy of the Overflow’. by the creator of ‘Waltzing Matilda’ and the Man from Snowy River – Banjo Paterson. ‘Clancy of the Overflow’ part of an Australian’s schooling.

Drovers
The Drover and the Cocky – Image Shane A

Banjo Paterson

Andrew Barton “Banjo’ Paterson (1864-1941). Poet, ballad writer, journalist and horseman.

‘Banjo’ Paterson, known as Barty to his family, was born Andrew Barton Paterson at Narrambla, near Orange on 17 February 1864. His parents, Andrew Bogle and Rose Isabella Paterson were graziers or Cockys on Illalong station in the Yass district. Some say Yass is the finest wool grazing in the world, certainly in Australia for the Merino sheep. 

Paterson’s early education took place at home under a governess and then at the bush school in Binalong, the nearest township. From about the age of ten years he attended the Sydney Grammar School. He lived with his grandmother in Gladesville and spent the school holidays at Illalong station with his family.

After completing school the 16-year-old Paterson was articled to a Sydney firm of solicitors, Spain and Salway. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1886 and formed the legal partnership, Street and Paterson. During these years Paterson began publishing verse in the Bulletin and Sydney Mail under the pseudonyms ‘B’ and ‘The Banjo’.

In 1895, at the age of 31 and still in partnership with Street, Andrew Barton Paterson achieved two milestones in Australian writing. He composed his now famous ballad ‘Waltzing Matilda’ and his first book, The Man from Snowy River, and other verses, was published by Angus & Robertson, marking the beginning of an epoch in Australian publishing. This hallmark publication sold out its first edition within a week and went through four editions in six months, making Paterson second only to Kipling in popularity among living poets writing in English. His poetry continues to sell well today and is available in many editions, some of which are illustrated.

*Biography courtesy of the Reserve Bank of Australia

Shearer-3-BW
More hard yakka – Image Shane A
H-_EXHIBITION-3-12-2015_Sheep-23-1-2016_Smoko
Smoko Image Shane A

Clancy of the Overflow – Banjo Paterson

I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago,
He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
Just ‘on spec’, addressed as follows, ‘Clancy, of The Overflow’.

And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
(And I think the same was written with a thumb-nail dipped in tar)
‘Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
‘Clancy’s gone to Queensland droving, and we don’t know where he are.’

In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
Gone a-droving ‘down the Cooper’ where the Western drovers go;
As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
For the drover’s life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.

And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars.

I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city
Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all.

And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
Of the tramways and the buses making hurry down the street,
And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.

And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,
With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.

And I somehow rather fancy that I’d like to change with Clancy,
Like to take a turn at droving where the seasons come and go,
While he faced the round eternal of the cash-book and the journal —
But I doubt he’d suit the office, Clancy, of ‘The Overflow’.

Banjo Paterson

Droving Shearing, hard yakka

Portrait-of-a-Shearer-P
Portrait of a Shearer – image Shane A
Another-Portrait-of-a-Shearer
Another Portrait of a Shearer – image Shane A
The-Jump-BW
The Jump a Kelpie hard yakka – Image Shane A
Drover
Droving with Backing Dog – Image Shane A
Shearer-1-BW
Hard yakka – image Shane A
Shearer-2-BW
More hard yakka – image Shane A

 

Condobolin
Sheep country Indian Pacific Railway Trans-continent at Condobolin – image Shane A

Images: Photographer Shane Aurousseau

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Growlerythought

Web: www.kiamafoto.com

Blog: www.shaneasite.com

Review Link: http://www.allaboutshipping.co.uk/2015/12/16/diversity-world/

Email: shanea@kiamafoto.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia a Museum of the 1800s

Much of Australia’s development is not dissimilar to that of the United States and its growth from the coastal regions to the west or inland.Not all of Australia’s population hugs the coast rather like hanging onto a tippin mattress. Although the greater proportion of the Australian population is on the coast the Commodity wealth of the country has driven growth inland seeking the rich mining of every mental and mineral from Gold, tin, copper, bauxite, opals, Uranium, silver, iron ore, coal ;

Sheep and cattle farming booms across most states with the country hosting some of the largest sheep stations and cattle ranches in the world. Wine vineyards stretch from Western Australia to Queensland. Grains and cotton at also grown in the commodity rich outback

Australia Belswick Merino Stud Condobolin NSW Image Shane A
Australia Belswick Merino Stud Condobolin NSW Image Shane A

Australia produces 30% of the worlds wool and the merino is the finest micron level available to the market. Australia is the 7th largest beef producer in the world, producing around 4% of the world’s beef.

Opal mining Lightning Ridge NSW Image Shane A
Opal mining Lightning Ridge NSW
Image Shane A

All this rush for wealth really commenced in the 1800s. In 1851 the Australian population was only 437,655 the gold rush of 1851 changed all of this with the population growing rapidly and a decade later it was 1,151,957, today of course it is nearly 24 million people. the mining,  sheep and to an extent the beef industry was away from the coast and caused the development of outback towns and cities such as Condobolin,Dubbo, Broken Hill, Ballarat, Alice Springs and Lightning Ridge all now major centers for the commodity driven industries.

Climbing into an opal mine Lightning Ridge NSW
Climbing into an opal mine Lightning Ridge NSW
Stage Coach Cobb and Co
Stage Coach Cobb and Co

The development of these towns really dates from the 1800s a period when the United States of America was developing in a similar way. North America’s towns of the wild west were very similar to  Australia’s even down to the stagecoach connections of Cobb and Co. What developed in this period of inland growth were what Australians refer to as the ‘Veranda Towns’. Towns with large verandas circumnavigating the period commercial buildings and houses of these regional centres – designed for hot summer evenings.

Molong NSW Image Photographer  Shane Aurousseau
Molong NSW Image Photographer
Shane Aurousseau

This architecture gives Australia its unique character influencing its development from the 1800s on. So much of this development is left in- tact across the continent that the country is a ‘Museum for the 1800s and the growth of a nation..

The Lion of Waterloo Pun 1840 low roof and veranda image Shane Aurousseau
The Lion of Waterloo Pun 1840 low roof and veranda image Shane Aurousseau
Silverton NSW Municipal Council
Silverton NSW Municipal Council
Netley Station Homestead
Netley Station Homestead
Braidwood NSW Image Shane Aurousseau
Braidwood NSW Image Shane Aurousseau
Ballarat Victoria NSW
Ballarat Victoria NSW
Silverton Hospital NSW
Silverton Hospital NSW
De Bauns Hotel Silverton NSW
De Bauns Hotel
Silverton NSW
Wellington Pub Wellington NSW image Shane A
Wellington Pub Wellington NSW image Shane A

Australia a Management Issue

Australia Condobolin NSW Indian Pacific Railway a vast land image Shane Aurousseau
Australia Condobolin NSW Indian Pacific Railway a vast land image Shane Aurousseau

Australia comprises a land mass of around 7.629 million square kilometers. It is about 50% greater than the European Union. When I did my first trip overseas in the early 1970s the population was around 10 million today it is 24 million people. The latest visit to my homeland started to give me an insight into the deficiencies in the infrastructure of this vast and exciting country. I mentioned in a previous blog the difficulties in travelling to the major inland city of Dubbo from the National Capital. There is only one bus a week Saturday and this travels through many outback small towns. Australians whom I spoke to and as an Australian I do understand the lingo generally felt that there are not enough people to justify building the infrastructure. This is rather like saying that Woolworths and Coles with their 18.3 million customers and total control of the $85 billion grocery market should not have built stores until the 18.3 million people where queuing up in front of the vacant plot picked out for the first store.

I spend my time now between Spain and Australia and have pointed out on many occasions the strong High Speed Rail Network that has gone together in Spain – Alta Velocidad Española (AVE)

Spain the AVEs High Speed Trains lined up
Spain the AVEs High Speed Trains lined up
Spain the AVE High Speed Train Image Shane Aurousseau
Spain the AVE High Speed Train Image Shane Aurousseau

Now I know that much of this network is built via EU (European Union for those Australians who don’t know where the EU is) loans. This money is however much better spent on infrastructure than going into some greasy politician’s pocket. The last 6 months have seen Spain coming out of recession with a growth rate as good as Germany’s. The infrastructure in Spain will pay off the country now has the second best High Speed Rail network in the world after China, where is Britain and Australia. The road system of Spain is now mostly silk like highways. Goods and tourists can move faster companies like this type of investment. Ford motor company is putting 2.8 Billion Euros into manufacturing in Valencia what a confirmation of trust; one of the biggest car manufacturing investments ever. What of Australia’s car manufacturing it has stopped, even the

Australia the Iconic Holden RIP Image Shane Aurousseau
Australia the Iconic Holden RIP Image Shane Aurousseau

iconic Holden has left the shores. Australia loosely welcomes 5 million tourists per year. I will add that at least half of these tourists are probably Chinese families coming in and out to visit relatives. Spain has 70 million tourists, France 85 million and Britain 35 million. Now most Australians while over the Barbie will tell you that it is due to the distance, from where the antarctic, Asia including China and Japan are in striking distance as is much of the East Coast of the USA. Tourists can lift an economy the Greeks may have to survive off the tourist industry. Greece attracts 22.5 million tourists per year with a population of 11 million; tourism contributes over $30 billion US per year to the economy. Now it is the birth place of democracy whatever that is, however Australia has a people who can be traced back 50,000 years and are living on one of the oldest continents on earth. The differential between what other countries achieve in attracting tourists and what Australia with its stunning and much unspoilt countryside, outback and beaches achieves should make the tourist board ashamed.  Thailand gets 22 million plus Tourists annually.

Australia is generally believed to be a dry land once away from the coast.  However the Great Artesian Basin is the largest and deepest artesian basin in the world covering 1.7 million square kilometers  some 23% of the continent this is a massive sweet water cache, It is also an under used resource with many of the great Australian Rivers being pumped dry.

Australia Darling River Loading Wool-Tolarnost 1914
Australia Darling River Loading Wool-Tolarnost 1914

The Darling river with its tributaries is 2,844 km long making it the largest river system in Australia. The Murray river is Australia’s longest river at 2508 Km. The  Murray Darling confluence is at Wentworth New South Wales.The Murray Darling river system is one of the longest in the world.

Australia Darling river transport
Australia Darling river transport
Darling River water Conservation Scheme The pride and expectation
Darling River water Conservation Scheme The pride and expectation

There was a period when steamers came up the Darling river today you would be lucky to paddle a canoe up this great river. Industry and to some degree intensive cotton farming and its hunger for water have had a great effect on the water level of both the Darling and Murray rivers.

Australia the dry Darling River Image Shane Aurousseau
Australia the dry Darling River Image Shane Aurousseau

The Murray still has some depth to it but the Darling has little left. Cubbie Station located near Dirranbandi South West Queensland  the largest irrigation system in the Southern Hemisphere covering some 240,000 acres has dammed of more water than the total volume of Sydney Harbour from the Darling river system.. All of this intensive agriculture is damaging the environment and having an effect on the  native commodities wheat and the wool industry. The problem seems to be that successive governments have been more concerned with their political power and personal financial gains rather than investing management skills into protecting this exciting continent and  growing the real wealth of the country. It is hoped that the Aboriginals who control the rights to most river banks will step in and help fight this destruction of the environment.

The only state at the moment that has a sound financial base is New South Wales but I wonder how long that will last, possibly NSW should go for independence the Scots would support them. With sound management Australia has the mineral / commodity wealth to be one of the leading countries in the world.  Australia is the 11th wealthiest country in the world, Spain is the 12th. Generally speaking the country left to the Australians would go bust. It’s lucky that the Chinese have come however the joint deals need to be managed so that the Australians also benefit. There is the population for both a manufacturing base and commodity base. The Australian Dollar is at the mercy of commodity and especially mining prices – good business spreads the risk.

Australia Belswick Merino Stud Condobolin NSW Image Shane Aurousseau
Australia Belswick Merino Stud Condobolin NSW Image Shane Aurousseau

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Photographer Shane Aurousseau

..

The working dogs of Australia

The agile Kelpie
The agile Kelpie

I recently had the privilege of photographing and filming Kelpies working with Merino sheep the invitation came from Peter and Terrie L’Estrange, they are the owners of a station on the outskirts of Condobolin Central NSW called Belswick Merino  Stud. I believe they have around 7000 acres running  mainly Merino sheep including prize animals that are regularly shown at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney .

Australia NSW Condobolin Prize Merino sheep Belswick Merino Stud Peter &Terrie L'Estrange
Australia NSW Condobolin Prize Merino sheep Belswick Merino Stud Peter &Terrie L’Estrange

The Merino is of course the sheep that gave Australia its place in history as the leading wool producing country in the world. Wool production of Australia accounts for approximately 30% of world production.The Merino originally from central Spain (Castille). Its wool was highly valued even in the Middle Ages.

Fine Micron Merino Wool Belswick Merino Stud Condobolin NSW
Fine Micron Merino Wool Belswick Merino Stud Condobolin NSW

The fine micron quality of Merino wool  gives this commodity its reputation as the highest quality of all wools.

Merino sheep introduced into Australia from Spain  in the late 1700s and developed by Captain Macarthur in the early 1800s into the valuable commodity it has now become for Australia. The production of Merino wool adds some Aust $2 billion annually to the Australian GDP. From the 1800s it was generally accepted that Australia rides home on the Merino’s back. The droving and organising of the sheep has always been a hands on exercise however those hands do have assistants – the Kelpies.

Although different breeds of dogs work with sheep it is generally Kelpies that the the Australian stations use. These dogs tend to have great personalities and have an inbred desire to work and to organise.

Working with Kelpies
Working with Kelpies

The Kelpie tends to be a one man dog and is great with children if brought up in an environment with them. A good working dog is prized and can change hands for anything up to $30,000 Australian Dollars and as one station owner pointed out is worth 2 men. Watching the two drovers working with the dogs moving some 100  sheep around was an incredible experience. The handlers shouted orders to the dogs more or less indicating to them where they wanted the sheep to be directed. The dogs quickly respond to  signals even to a glance. To see a sheep cut from the group and the speed of the dogs forcing the sheep to rejoin its mates gives  an insight into how intelligent these animals are.

The agile Australian Kelpie
The agile Australian Kelpie

The-sheep-and-the-Cockees-(50-of-172)

The Australian Kelpie is the most popular of working dogs and their agility gives them the ability to move around tightly packed sheep, see the dog in the photograph clearing the sheep by jumping them. They are workaholics easily trained herding is in their nature.

The agile Australian Kelpie
The agile Australian Kelpie
The reward hosing after hot work
The reward hosing after hot work

The workaholic nature and energy of this breed can be demonstrated by the image of the Station hand hosing the dogs down following an intensive working session.  The dogs actually seek  the cooling hosing when work is finished.

 

Boredom is the Kelpie’s worst enemy they are working  dogs.

When travelling in  Peter  L’Estrange’s  4×4 one of the dogs Lucy sat between us. This particular dog is as pointed out the house dog  and rarely leaves Peter’s side however she still needs to  work and knows when he is preparing to move the sheep and more or less demands participation. She can be seen travelling on the back of Peter’s quad bike waiting for one of the flock to make a false move.

One man dog Lucy on quad bike with Peter L'Estrange
One man dog Lucy on quad bike with Peter L’Estrange
The Kelpie
The Kelpie
Peter L'Estrange
Peter L’Estrange
Terrie L'Estrange
Terrie L’Estrange

Photographer: Shane Aurousseau

Australia the last Frontier

 

Australia the last Frontier

I  recently finished a photographic tour of inland western and northern New South Wales  my home state.  its  development has been an interest for me for sometime. What I found during this trip was a worrying trend of an’ I’m OK Jack’ culture..

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Australia NSW Condobolin preparing the flock

Australia is a country that offers so much especially from it’s richness in commodities much of which it has a ready market for in China. The issues that worried me were ones of development and management. When I first travelled from Australia 40 years ago the country had a population of around 9 to 10 million, today it is 23 million mainly coastal inhabitants. However much of the wealth is not drawn from the coast but the Outback once the great dividing coastal mountain ranges are crossed. The country has the potential to be commodity self sufficient.

Australia NSW Condobolin Merino Sheep
Australia NSW Condobolin Merino Sheep the finest wool


The potential for self sufficiency is confirmed  by the amount of mines,  farms, cattle ranches and sheep stations. Merino wool  is still the world’s finest.

Images-of-the-Outback-(18-of-60)
Australia NSW Lightning Ridge Black Opal mining

Much of Australia’s manufacturing industry has been lost, the final blows coming with the withdrawal of the car industry manufacturing including the Australian iconic Holden brand.

Union and government inability to see eye to eye and manage this incredible country has been a contributing factor. however having said this the attitude of the coastal Australian is one of ‘ let’s have another barbie and go to the beach’ few even realise that their farmers have failing crops due to lack of rain and many have had their land repossessed by greedy banks who don’t give a damn for the development of the country. The immediate quest for short-term  profit seems to be the goal of many banks the world over. I have always said that ” banks that do not contribute to the management of society are irrelevant to society”.

A major contributor and hinderance to Australia’s development is infrastructure. Bring this up to most Australians and the retort is but we don’t have the money or people and to add we don’t give a damn, Taxing major corporations properly could change this issue. The  only time that the average Australian will give a damn is when food and retail commodity prices hit totally unaffordable levels. Then their will be wailing and gnashing that the prices are too high and still it will take a term for the penny to drop that the farmers and commodity  developers should have been taken care of.

Images-of-the-Outback-(58-of-60)
Australia NSW Dubbo road transport

Infrastructure there are many developing regional centres, you only have to look at the size of the supermarkets that have grown up in regional centres mainly Woolworths and Coles but now challenged by Aldi. These groups are the real business people and see the advantages and potential for growth. If you look at Spain and the infrastructure that is going into place  in a country that has just gone through a major recession you have to ask why not Australia. The average myopic Australian would argue that Spain has a larger Population. The average European will say that Spain has ripped of the Euro Zone for that money – better than  being spent on expenses by corrupt Euro politicians. Spain now has one of the finest high speed rail networks in the world after China. Link Sydney, Dubbo, Canberra, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and you will develop the interior of those states. Link Perth and you will develop Western Australia. Have the guts and the people will come.   Getting a bus from the national capital Canberra to the major centre of Dubbo is a substantial exercise. Only one goes on Saturday and it goes through half of New South Wales.

Australia gets only 5 million tourists per year, half of those probably Chinese coming in and out to visit family; Spain gets 65 million, France 85 million and the UK 35 million. Now some would say that this is due to Australia’s isolation. I would however argue that the differential is too great and needs a closer look. Australians seem to be in cop-out mode. Promotion of Australia is mainly in English in the UK and yet the cross section of other nationalities in Australia has now become great indeed.

It is almost a no brainer to develop a rich country like Australia if there is a government without vested personal interests.The Australians are so limited in their thinking that unless they take action to manage this great country they will lose it. Already the Chinese own almost everything employing the Australians.   Now I don’t have a problem with the Chinese investment in Australia without it the Australians would have bankrupted the country. The Chinese bring a lot of good things and should be welcomed. However when you own something and sell it you should retain a interest in what you have built especially as it is  your main home.

The-Outback-(4-of-107)
Australia NSW Wilcannia the dry Darling
The-Outback-(1-of-107)
Australia NSW Wilcannia the dry Darling river
Dry river outback NSW
Australia NSW the dryness of the Outback

The damage done to the Darling river and many other rivers adding to the mismanagement of water through the country. Once steamers travelled along the Darling river. Australia’s Artisian Bore covers 23% of the country one of the biggest water basins in the world yet it is not tapped properly in times of distress for farmers. The Snowy river scheme which was one of the engineering wonders of the world is not working properly and generating the irrigation that it should.  Cubby station in Queensland dams off more water  than  Sydney Harbour contains.  The South Australians are plundering the great Murray river without a management system in place

To get the development right you need a government with the will. , Link the great centres  and the people will come; Australia has one of the best living possibilities in the World and could be the leading light in Asia.

Photographer Shane Aurousseau