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.
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 1800s
Images by Shane Aurousseau