Dusty Feet Mob \ THE IMPOSITION OF COLONISATION

I first met these guys in the sandhills of Davenport Community and it quickly became apparent that their dance and storytelling was unique. At the time they were choreographed by Lavene McKenzie who had her own mission story to tell. I experienced the power of these performances at events like the National Reconciliation Breakfast with Archie Roach and school visits across the state.

These images were designed to represent and honour this story in a linear format.

Uninterrupted family group in the sandhills of Davenport Community, Port Augusta

The Aboriginal Protection Act of 1869 introduced the removal of children to legislation to the Central Board for the Protection of Aborigines.
This act gave powers and jurisdiction to forcibly remove children of ‘half caste’ appearance. Many institutions and missions were set up to facilitate their assimilation into white bloodlines through a four generational campaign to remove the black blood and replace it with civilised white blood.

Escaping the Chief Protector

My formative years in school were spent pledging allegiance to a Queen i’d never met and running the gauntlet of uniform inspections under the threat of caning in the nape of the leg or knuckles. We were taught all about the glorious colonisation and education of a savage, simple race of people that peacefully embraced the culture, laws and society imported directly from Britain.

Self discovery is something that can never be underestimated and this transcends into all things. If you don’t go out and find out for yourself you will live your life believing the official story force fed down your throat by the establishment and to be honest that is exactly what they would like you to do.

Be passive, don’t resist and swallow it down as quickly as possible without questions or resistance.

Last year I spent three days with Mona Olsson documenting her story which resounds all over the country through similar stories of forced removal, indoctrination, loss of language and culture as well as an unrepairable void in identity and connection to land and family.

The sadness from the education I have received over the past three years breaks my knees from underneath me and the injustice breaks my heart and yet I see the patience and a strange forgiveness mixed with a desire to move on and get to work repairing damage created by a colonising force that sort to naively impose their best interest on a people who, as proved by history, are the most robust society surviving and thriving for over 60,000 years.

Searching for lost family members across thousands of kilometres

How is one to fight foreign decease, rifles and the ‘advancement of society’ through ‘progress’. My main question relates to the current day dualistic system. The mainstream or dominant system is Commonwealth which dismisses the richness and lifeline style connection to land, culture and community through it’s bricks and mortar approach.

The saddest part is the continuation of The Stolen Generation through unlawful imposition to community through quickly branded Interventions.

To brand people as drunkard pedophiles and post huge signs outside of communities seeks to demoralise and deconstruct the strength and pride of an entire race. Even through Australia has been blacklisted for Human Right violations from the UN and providing third world conditions to the First Nations People it’s hard to see where these good intentions are to be found in 2015.

Without this intent it’s just abduction, harassment and clear abuse and even with the intent history has shown you clearly to not repeat such an epic naive mistake bred through a sense of blind superiority.

Dusty Feet Mob know that storytelling through dance and song is a powerful way of celebrating Aboriginal identity, culture and connection to country. While at the same time their performance is a way of entering into past hurts and injustices experienced by Aboriginal families in a way that allows both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to grow in acceptance, understanding and empathy together. A significant part of this is focused on the promotion of healing and awareness of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities together. 

On Assignment for Australian Geographic

My prefered workflow is a calm, intent based, highly detail orientated process. Often times...

On living remotely

Among the backroads and unmarked trails of South Australia, tuck away, there is a...

TENAFEATE CREEK WINES

A One Tree Hill residence back in the 1800’s called the Homestead – “Tenafeate”,...

A PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPLORATION SCREENS ON NITV

The film, commissioned by NITV, was produced by Wankangurru / Adnyamathanha woman Lavene McKenzie...

NO BLACK SEAS Launched at ACE OPEN

No Black Seas is a specially commissioned exhibition of new works by artists from...

VOICE TREATY TRUTH

First Peoples sovereignty has never been ceded – not in 1788, not in 1967,...

NATIONAL PORTRAIT PRIZE 2019

I’m a big fan of one thing doing two things or even three things....

Fremantle International Portrait Prize 2019

The timing of this worked out perfectly being in Perth for the Exposure Mentoring...

REVEALED

One of the best parts of being a photographer is sharing that passion with...

UNDERGROUND COAL SEAM GAS AT COPLEY

Earlier in the year we were in Copley creating the TWO WAYS Series and...

YURTU ARDLA PROJECT OPENS AT SAM

After two years of bush trips, wood collecting, workshops, museum visits and site specific...

NATIONAL PORTRAIT PRIZE 2018

It’s been a very busy year and not much of that has been personal...

PETER ‘STONEY’ STONE

Meeting Stoney up at his shack at Blanche Harbour was meant to be. Over...

LIMITLESS FIRST NATIONS PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION

Two years in the making the mentoring was a way of empowering community on...

NAIDOC THEME RESONATES WITH THE NATION

As leaders, trailblazers, politicians, activists and social change advocates, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander...

CityMag Editorial Commission

Culture is not always conscious. It is not just what is seen or heard....

GOVERNOR GENERAL SIR PETER COSGROVE VISITS DAVENPORT COMMUNITY

On his tour of South Australia Sir Peter Cosgrove, Governor General of Australia, stopped...

FOOTSTEPS \ The Road to Recovery

Photographed over four days on the west side of Port Augusta was a really...

BARNGARLA ‘SONGS’ PROJECT UNDERWAY

The project is being broken down into three stages: – Documentation and Collection of...

AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS

Great to finish the year with a bang. HOPE, a work derived from the...

SPIRIT FESTIVAL

This was my second time as Official Photographer so it was great meeting new...

Language Films in the West

Being mobile is a huge advantage to my project work so when I was...

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL SPORTS FESTIVAL PORT AUGUSTA

Always a huge honour to be asked to travel around country to facilitate community....

Fremantle International Portrait Prize

Got a call from the head steward who asked me to clean up my...

SA ABORIGINAL WOMENS FOOTBALL

A lot of my work around Australia is classified as pro bono.This gives me...

COLLABORATION FOR ABC

Being still in one place for an extended period of time is not the...

COOBER PEDY SAINTS

Being a part of a small community has its benefits and offers many ways...

CHARACTERS OF THE OUTBACK BEGINS

Since 1989 Jeff Boland has been maintaining his three hundred kilometre section of the...

National Portrait Prize 2015

The plight of Anangu includes an incredibly high cost of living, disruption of...

The Outback Postal Service

Travelling long distances, on the Stuart Highway and Nullarbor for projects, can be exhausting....

TWO WAYS \ A Dualistic System

In my childhood I grew up with the paintings of colonist Frederick McCubbin's 'The...

AUDREY WONGA

Many things arise in the journey of life often unexpectedly and i’m always surprised...

COOBER PEDY DEADLY CENTRE KANKU BREAKAWAYS RECOUNT EDUCATIONAL PUBLICATION

Proud moment today with the publishing and distribution of the Deadly Centre Breakaways Recount...

LYNNIE PLATE \ CHARACTERS OF THE OUTBACK

This portrait was taken at the beginning of the final ride at the Bronco...

MONA OLSSON & THE FOUTNAIN OF TEARS

“Saying sorry doesn’t mean much unless we can leave that part of our history...

UACAC 10 MILE PHOTOGRAPHIC COMMISSION

‘Youth from across SA joined us at the 2013 Mentoring Camp at Ten Mile...

AN INSIGHT INTO FIRST NATIONS IDENTITY

These encounters show a mixed variety of the Coober Pedy society without a sense...

REMOTE LIFE

There’s something quite charming about living in a remote town. A lot of inner...

Streets of Coober Pedy Project Born

With everything I’ve ever done I’ve always gone about it in my own way....

Selective Collaboration with ‘The Ball of Light’

It is always great to meet up and hang out with other creatives who...