A distinct pleasure to join the Canberra ‘press pack’ for a week covering the Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s northern Australia indigenous tour. This year the PM chose to grace the Torres Strait and the Northern Peninsula Area at the tip of Cape York with his presence – and several government Ministers also decided it was a good idea and left the chilly climes of Canberra to join him.
I was one of three still photographers in the ‘pack’ – the others being talented ‘fotostrada’ colleague and AAP staffer Tracey Nearmy and Fairfax Canberra politics photographer Alex Ellinghausen. Also carting still cameras was ex Daily Telegraph snapper Brad Hunter in his new role as the PM’s media adviser and personal photographer.
As is always the story with these ‘media opportunities’ the schedule was hectic – including visits to Thursday Island and Mer (Murray) Island in the Torres Strait – and then the NPA communities of Seisia, Bamaga, Injinoo, Umagico and New Mapoon. Highlight of the week was arguably Tony Abbott’s visit to the grave of Eddie Mabo (who infamously was instrumental in overturning the legal doctrine of terra nullius) on Mer Island.
Since our return from the far far north Tracey and I have compiled a photo essay – “Tropical Travelling with Tony” – which is now published on the web site of our ‘fotostrada’ collective under ‘Latest Stories’ at http://www.fotostrada.com/latest-stories/tropical-travelling-with-tony/ .
The collection of 33 images document the week of the tour concentrating on the background picture, the pics that wouldn’t/didn’t make the press – and the people and places that were impacted by the visit of Australia’s political leader. Plus the odd ‘different’ pic of Tony himself.
Below I’ve posted just three of the large essay – the top two made by myself and the third from Tracey.
Images © Brian Cassey (top two) and Tracey Nearmy (AAP – bottom)