Six weeks and the Commonwealth Games …

The Commonwealth Games is now well and truly over … the stories of triumph and endeavour (and a little controversy) slowly fading into history.

Personally, ‘GC 2018’ meant six weeks of photographic employment … five weeks around the country with the Commonwealth Games ‘Queen’s Baton Relay’ … and a further week covering the fourteen Commonwealth Games basketball events in Cairns for Australian Associated Press (AAP) including the visit of … ahem … ‘basketball fan’ HRH Prince Charley.

All very rewarding … and a satisfactory little ‘earner’..

The rest of this post was penned on my return from the ‘Queen’s Baton Relay’ stint back in January … but has been held over till now to satisfy any contractual requirements.

“Just back from a manic, chockers but fantastically rewarding full month criss-crossing Australia with the Commonwealth Games Queens Baton Relay … Thanks to team mate colleagues Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert and Colin McPherson (they are Scottish but I won’t hold that against them) … and the GOLDOC crew.

Commencing on the 23rd December and running (almost literally) to the tail end of January, I travelled, in order, to Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Hobart, Perth, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Stradroke Island, Gold Coast, Townsville, Palm Island, Gold Coast, Springbrook, Uluru, Melbourne, Warrnambool, the Great Ocean Road … and Adelaide. We took in Australia’s top sporting events … the Boxing Day ‘Ashes’ test match in Melbourne, the finish of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race (including Taste of Tasmania) in Hobart, the Perth Cup (horses) and Hopman Cup (tennis) in Western Australia, ‘A League’ football Sydney FC V Newcastle at Allianz Stadium, the Sydney ‘Ashes’ test match at the SCG, the Brisbane International tennis (with Rod Laver, Roy Emerson et al), the Magic Millions beach horse run on the Gold Coast, the National Sports Museum at the MCG and the Tour Downunder cycle races in Adelaide … and climbed each of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (with Ian Thorpe), the Q1 building (322 metres) at Surfers Paradise and the roof of the Adelaide Oval. We also took the Queens’s Baton to Uluru, Palm Island, the Twelve Apostle’s and Springbrook National Park.

I met and worked with some wonderful people … athletes, baton bearers, the relay team members and myriads of people who showed great interest in “The Baton” … whilst catching up with many photographer colleagues at distant parts of the country. I also made the odd photograph or two … ”

Below are just three of those … made at Uluru, at Surfers Paradise (Magic Millions) and at the peak of the Sydney Harbour Bridge …

Images © Brian Cassey and GOLDOC

 

Queen's Baton Relay 2018 - Uluru - Brian Cassey GOLDOC

Queen's Baton Relay 2018 - Magic Millions Beach Run Surfers Paradise - Brian Cassey & GOLDOC

Queen's Baton Relay 2018 - Sydney Harbour Bridge - Ian Thorpe - Brian Cassey & GOLDOC

 

Beautiful One Day …

In the week before departing for the New York trip I had the very real pleasure of working alongside ultra talented journalist Trent Dalton at Palm Island (once nicknamed “Coconut Alcatraz”) in the Coral Sea on a story for the Australian Weekend Magazine. That story – entitled “In Their Own Words”– was published last weekend.

I strongly suggest that you take time (if you haven’t already) to read Trent’s wonderful story. It may be found here … http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/weekend-australian-magazine/palm-island-after-100-years-of-trauma-writes-a-new-storyline/story-e6frg8h6-1227532935088 (with several of my images).

Trent and I spent several days with the people of Palm Island – mostly with the cast and crew of the theatre production “Beautiful One Day” – a play created by Palm Islanders that documents the troubled history of the indigenous island settlement from establishment early last century by the Queensland Government through to the Mulrunji Doomadgee ‘death in custody’ tragedy and the resulting furore. (I wouldn’t even attempt to match the words written by Trent so do suggest you read his complete story here !)

“Beautiful One Day” – the central element of the magazine story – came ‘home’ to Palm Island after successfully touring in London and around Victoria and is also currently showing at the Brisbane Festival QPAC till September 26.

The Palm Islanders and the crew of “Beautiful One Day” were more than gracious hosts … and I had a ball making images of the theatre production and the people and lifestyle on the island.

Below is a grab of the opening title spread in last weekends magazine and also the image in question – one of six used with the story.

Images © Brian Cassey

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