A little pleased with this weekends The Weekend Australian (27.10.2012).
Last Weekend I ventured once again up to the wilds of Cape York Peninsula, this time with journalist Michael McKenna, for a four day visit to Bruce Martin and his APN Cape York cattle enterprise a hundred K out from Aurukun.
APN Cape York is an initiative of Bruce and the collective Wik clans of Aurukun – an attempt to provide sustainable employment and a sense of pride in the indigenous town – and break the cycle of booze, drugs, violence and welfare dependency.
The idea of this particular plan of Aak Puul Ngantam (which in Wik mean “our father’s father’s country) is to return to the traditional ‘country’ – in this case as stockman to manage and profit from the approximately five thousand head of cattle left to run wild after an earlier venture failed in the 1990’s. To work on the land just as their forefathers did many decades before.
Our task was to document the mustering venture in words and pictures for the weekend edition of The Australian.
It didn’t start well … the ute taking us through the bush shed the drive shaft half way though the journey in the middle of nowhere, meaning we were unceremoniously towed into the mustering camp.
Sometimes, however, things fall into place – and with the help of the entire APN crew present – stockman Jay, Kenneth, Winston, Dominic, Steven, Cameron, Allan and Bruce, roustabout Perry, cook and mum Rebecca, jillaroo sisters Nina (5) and Shae-Anne (10), their teacher Moyra and helicopter pilot Brendan – the coverage went like clockwork (and with a great amount of banter and good humour).
I photographed the team erecting stock fences, mustering on horse back (and in Bruce’s case off the horses back!), helicopter and quad bike and training a herd of cattle to be used as a host herd.
The Weekend Australian used what must be a record number of images on the same subject by the same snapper – 22 of my pics in all over five pages – along with Michael’s excellent thousands of words! They also run on-line a photo essay and a video.
I’ve posted below screen grabs of the pages involved – and the online photo essay can be found here – and the video here.
Also below is just one image from the set of portraits I made of all the camp participants – an essay to be entitled “The Aak Puul Ngantam Stockman” – which I hope to exhibit at some stage in the future.
The full sets of images will appear on my web site when the current site revamp is finished in a few weeks time. They will also feature soon on the web site of my collective ‘fotostrada’.
© Images Brian Cassey