Tag Archives: Sheep Shearing

An Australian Journey in Black and White. Images Shane Aurousseau

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Traditional Houses high pitched Roofs for cooling just like the one I grew up in

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 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 main development has been for short term commercial / profit driven gains. Such objectives have caused the plundering of one of the world’s great commodity reservoirs with little thought for the landscape or its inhabitants. Many will say irrigation is a problem however Australia has one of the great sweet water catchments of the world in the Great Artesian Basin covering in excess of 1/3 of the country.

Great Artesian Basin of Australia the Largest Artesian Basin in the world

The country suffers from lack of real communication infrastructure development, railways and roads. There has been too much profiteering by small groups in power that have been too quick to take the vast sums of corporate cash on offer by the multi-nationals that covert the buried riches of Australia. The country is the epitome of the good life for the few a promotion of the 1%. This issue manifests in the lack of of support for the farming communities, wildlife protection and the governments inertia related to fire seasons.

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 from the Merino sheep is of the finest micron quality on the globe. Although some of the micron quality ( not all ) has been purposely lowered for more cost effective Chinese manufacturing. 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, Lightning Ridge, Coober Pedy, White Cliffs to name a few.

Tradition housing dating to the 1800s

Australia the Outback and Silverton the 1800s ‘ Mad Max’ Country
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From the 1800s

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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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
Repairs
Check out
Start Digging
The Entrance
The Climb
Miner in thought
Australia Outback and Lightning Ridge Opals the church
Australia Outback and Lightning Ridge Opals the church
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
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
Transport
A Local
A Local
Local Art at Broken Hill
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The Gum
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Images by Shane Aurousseau

Australian Outback Towns – the Australian Photographer Shane Aurousseau

Australia Molong 'Time Warp' town
Australia Molong ‘Time Warp’ town

Australia NSW Wellington  Lion of Waterloo Pub 1840
Australia NSW Wellington Lion of Waterloo Pub 1840

Australia Clunes Victoria nr Ballarat
Australia Clunes Victoria near Ballarat

Australia Condobolin NSW Indian Pacific Railway
Australia Condobolin NSW Indian Pacific Railway

Most people know Australia by the traditional icons, Sydney harbour Bridge, Opera House, Uluru/Ayers Rock, long beaches with surfers, the Barrier Reef. There is another Australia that I grew up in travelling west inland from the east coast and northern Victoria. This region is where Australia began as people moved inland from Sydney and Melbourne in order to work and mine the land and  is where much of the current exciting development is today.

When I first left Australia it was a country of 8 to 9 million people, today it is a nation of 23 million. A country rich in commodities, gold, tin, copper, bauxite, sheep, cattle (beef and dairy) and fine wines. I found large numbers of prosperous small towns, looking like something out of the wild west with their typical awning and veranda architecture stuck in a ‘time warp’ from the 1800s to 1950s, towns with young populations. Driving into a town full of period history and finding a delicatessen selling food products from all over the world and a coffee shop promoting panini with Mediterranean vegetables and of course the inevitable Chinese restaurant. Small towns with massive Cole’s or Woolworth’s supermarkets servicing the outlying sheep stations, farms, mines and now vineyards spread out over 1000s of kilometers from South Australia across NSW and into Queensland. Towns full of young people working in the the lucrative world of physical commodities. Australia is a country of growing importance and influence in Asia, a country that has become of great importance to the development of China.

The Chinese the greatest of trading people have seen the importance of this commodity rich country and have in great numbers began to call it home. While sitting in Condobolin a small sheep and mining town inland NSW, I was asked by a cousin what we should do tonight, “do you want a Chinese” he asked. Of course three shops in town, coffee shop, supermarket and Chinese restaurant. i should add there is always a pub selling great old and new beer. Most pubs in this region have a history dating from the 1800s. The Chinese are bringing real wealth to the country and are living alongside the Australians and easily integrating. Australia is a country in transition a country that is creating a new race of people who are developing and promoting its exciting commodity wealth. Sales of Merino wool are on the increase again. Merino wool the world’s finest  wool in the past too expensive for the Chines market, however many sheep stations have lowered the micron quality and can now put this fine wool into a cost bracket that suits the Chinese market, allowing them to still brand products Merino.

Australia NSW Condobolin Merino wool
Australia NSW Condobolin Merino wool

Australia NSW Condobolin Merino Sheep
Australia NSW Condobolin Merino Sheep

There is so much life in the Australian outback its commodity wealth and its vast beauty from red ochre laced dust to the never ending cobalt blue skies. The wealth of this region is now attracting the young.  I have added a quote I found on the the front of a pub in an outback town.

Australia NSW pub poem
Australia NSW pub poem

I currently live in London for business reasons, working as a photographer, am an Australian citizen and proud to call myself an Australian.

Shane Aurousseau : http://www.kiamafoto.com