Thanks to the brilliant explosive but so so sad comprehensive three part story penned by journalist Kristin Shorten, I’ve in the past few days had an exceptional run in The Australian three editions in a row with several different portraits of ‘Ruby’ … a startlingly brave but severely damaged twenty one year old indigenous mother from the remote Northern Territory community of Yuendumu.
Over three front pages over three days and several more inside, Kristin tells in graphic horrific and ultimately the saddest detail, the story of ‘Ruby’ (not her real name), her multiple rapes at the hands of her father, the violence that is endemic in her NT community … and the aftermath of that violence as she fled to the relative safety of Cairns. For ‘Ruby’ that was indeed ‘relative’ as she found herself in jail and separated from her one year old son.
‘Ruby’ … who not surprisingly has difficulty trusting anyone … was charming to portray and, eventually, to talk to.
An aspiring artist, ‘Ruby’ uses her art to forget her brutal past. Sincerely hope her art thrives and the story of her future with her son is much brighter.
Huge thanks and a pleasure to be a part of Kristin’s fabulous work on this story that had to be told.
Here are my personal favourite portraits of ‘Ruby’ (from top) and grabs of The Aus page 1 and some of the other pages with my pics. Kristin’s comprehensive harrowing stories and more of my images can be found online … with a subscription … at …
Images © Brian Cassey