Vale Carol … My Best Subject … ABC Far North

Carol Mayer … heroic burns survivor, subject of my some of my most successful images and all round great lady … very sadly died in December 2020 after a fight with the Big C. Carol fought for her life and won after a house fire left her near death with burns to 85% of her body … but cruelly cancer eventually beat her.

Carol allowed me to make memorable images of the results of the fire on her body.  They gained recognition in Australia and around the World. Carol’s rationale in allowing me to make them was that she hoped the work would empower other burns survivors. The pictures not only resonated with other burns survivors but also gave Carol a boost in self confidence helped her embark on many speaking events.

In the days following her death in December 2020 I was asked to share my thoughts about Carol and my images of her in an interview on ABC Radio Drive with presenter Adam Stephen.

The interview (below) runs for 8 minutes and 43 seconds.

‘Portrait of Humanity’ in Space & SLQ ‘TWENTY – Two Decades of Queensland Photography’

A great couple of weeks of interviews regarding my work on various media … ABC, Radio 4CA, Channel Ten’s ‘The Project’ and a 20 minute online video interview at the State Library of Queensland.

The subject matter in most was the 2020 ‘Portrait of Humanity’ short list and award … and the projection in ‘space’ of two of my selected images. The portrait of Carol Mayer … ‘The Skin I’n In’ … was the centre of attention in many … whilst the other selected pic ‘Ramnami’ also received a mention in some.

First off was ABC Far North correspondent  Sharnie Kim who did a great job on her ‘Portrait of Humanity’ story for publication on the ABC web site at .

Radio followed up  … Sarah Speller interviewed myself ‘live’ on ABC Breakfast Far North (at not the best time very early on a Saturday morn) … and then followed that with another recorded segment on her ‘Sarah’s Spot’ on Cairns Radio 4CA a few days later. If you fancy … here (below) are Sarah’s two radio interviews (roughly near six minutes each).

ABC Breakfast Far North – Radio Interview ‘Portrait of Humanity’ – 5.50


Sarah’s Spot – 4CA – Radio Interview ‘Portrait of Humanity’ – 5:52


Then TV … a piece on the top rating Channel Ten news program ‘The Project’,  thankfully centred on the my amazing subject burns survivor Carol Mayer. Lisa Wilkinson opened ‘The Project’ with the news of the selection of my pic of Carol in the 2020  ‘Portrait of Humanity’ … and I later had a cameo in the program as Carol otherwise enthralled the presenters and audience . The show featured a total of nine of my Carol images … including, of course, the one chosen for ‘Portrait of Humanity’ … and Carol herself was, without doubt, the star of the show.

The show ran for 6:28 and can be watched here …

Carol Mayer on ‘The Project’


At the same time I was also asked to be involved and interviewed for the State Library of Queensland’s ‘Behind the Lens’ series as part of their current exhibition ‘TWENTY – Two Decades of Queensland Photography’. Five of the many photographers who have contributed to SLQ’s headline exhibition were each asked to feature in a series of twenty minute interviews over the next few weeks … and mine was first off the rank. The piece of SLQ’s Anna Thurgood chatting was interspersed with my exhibition images made during Cyclones Winifred, Yasi, Larry, Ita and Ului.

State Library of Queensland – ‘Behind the Lens’ – ‘TWENTY – Two Decades of Queensland Photography’

More info on these recordings, ‘Portrait of Humanity’ and ‘TWENTY – Two Decades of Queensland Photography’ may be found on my  blog post at …



The ABC Story on ‘Paper Tigers’ …

A great piece by ABC journalist Teresa Tan on the ‘Paper Tigers’ project curated by Moshe Rosenzveig and ‘yours truly’ … and one of the highlights of the just completed 2020 ‘Head On Photo Festival’.

Teresa interviewed six of the sixty photojournalists who are participating in ‘Paper Tigers’ …  an anthology of contemporary Australian photojournalism. The published piece delved into the personal back story of the images that each of the six had selected for inclusion in the exhibition and a ‘Paper Tigers’ book that is sure to become a sort after volume. The subject matter captured by each of the six was diverse and the stories of how these images came about extremely illuminating. The six photojournalists whose work is analysed in the ABC article are Tracey Nearmy, Nick Moir, Craig Greenhill, Eddie Safarik, Rob Maccoll … and unashamedly … myself :-). Teresa’s story is available here …

The Guardian also did a fine job highlighting ‘Paper Tigers’ at Head On showcasing the work of Martine Perret, Jaime Murcia, Andrew Chapman, Nic Walker, Michael Coyne, Penny Stevens, Tracey Nearmy, Meredith O’Shea, Glenn Lockitch, Eddie Safarik, Ashley Crowther, Janie Barrett, Jessica Hromas, Delly Carr, Dean Lewins and Alex Coppel. It can be found here …

You can find more details about the origins of the ‘Paper Tigers’ idea and how it evolved on a previous post on this blog at … … which also lists all sixty photojournalists participating in the project.

The ‘Paper Tigers’ exhibition can be found on the Head On Photo Festival site at …   … the Limited Edition book ‘Paper Tigers’ can be purchased from the Head On site at …

Sadly,  the physical exhibition of the work at Paddington Town Hall has had to be postponed … however, it is now planned to have the sixty works on the walls in Paddo in early November. Stay tuned on that one …

ABC Radio Far North … “A Photographer’s Life – Part One” Interview

On the morning that my exhibition “A Photographer’s Life – Part One” opened in Cairns at The Tanks Arts Centre, I was interviewed by ABC Radio Far North breakfast presenter Kier Shorey. An affable geezer, the interview was a bit of fun and touched on the exhibition, my work and history with a camera etc. it runs for nearly thirteen minutes …


ABC Media Watch … Manus Island Detention Centre … We Were There …

ABC Media Watch aired a segment on the lack of media coverage when the Australian Government closed the Manus Island PNG Lombrum asylum seeker detention centre leaving over six hundred refugees without water, food, power, medicines or any other essential services. Myself and journalist Rory Callinan were there … and managed to work inside the abandoned camp. Not sure if  the Media Watch coverage was a good or a bad thing!


Media Report – ABC Radio National – ‘Photojournalism Special’

This ‘Photojournalism Special’ interview first went to air on ABC Radio National’s ‘Media Report’ on Friday 31st August 2012 and has been re-broadcast several times since.

The panel participants in the discussion on the current state of photojournalism were myself, Andrew Meares from Fairfax Media Canberra and April Fonti, picture editor from AAP. (The discussion begins at about 1 minute 20 seconds and lasts till the end at 28 minutes 30 seconds).


Audio courtesy ABC Radio National ©

Photojournalism Panel Talk on ABC Radio National

As the media industry declines and respected journalists and photojournalists are bundled involuntarily from their newspapers in droves, Richard Aedy from ABC’s Radio National hosts a somewhat optimistic ‘panel talk’ on the future of photojournalism.

Running for 28 minutes and 30 seconds, Richard’s ‘Media Report – Photojournalism Special’ segment features experienced photojournalists Andrew Meares from Fairfax’s Canberra bureau, deputy pic editor of AAP April Fonti … and a certain Cairns freelancer  … Me !

The entire show may be found at …

… or simply click on the interview here below.


ABC Media Report – Photojournalism Special …

Had the pleasure and privilege this week of being a third of the ‘panel’ chosen to talk on a ‘Photojournalism Special’ edition of the radio show – ‘Media Report’ on ABC National.

The program, which runs for about half an hour, aired on Friday 31st August at 5.30pm and was repeated early on the Saturday morning.

My co-panelists were Andrew Meares – Chief photographer Fairfax Canberra – and April Fonti – deputy photo editor at AAP … distinguished company !

Media Report host and presenter Richard Aedy led us through a discussion of the state of photojournalism in these changing and dramatic times.

I won’t give too much of it away as you can listen to the entire show by going to the Media Report ABC National web site hereMediaReport – Photojournalism Special

You can also click on the ABC National Media Report page below to hear the program. (Oh Yeah … that is one of my pics made during the Holi Festival in Jaipur, India.)

ABC Radio National – Media Report