Warning: This site may contain the names and images of Aboriginal people now deceased
Mount Pierre Cattle Station
This is the first long-term project I worked on. At 21, I was living in Perth, where a friend told me about a cattle station in the Kimberley's, a remote area in the northwest of Australia. I decide to hitchhike there, some 2,500km of catching rides with truck drivers, delivery drivers and tourists. It was a good adventure – and a worthwhile one, as I ended up visiting the station two or three times a year over the next four years. This was during the early days of my photography, shooting sometimes in 6x6, sometimes 35mm, sometimes on slide film, sometimes in b/w, sometimes in colour. These pictures never got published, but the experience and the friends I made there are close to my heart. I don't want this series to grow old hidden on a hard-drive, so I’ve decided to let it live here, on this website. A memory of an experience, of people I love, of a land so beautiful it’s easy to forget how unforgiving it can be.
Set in the scenic country of the North-West Kimberley, 100km from the nearest town, Mt. Pierre is one of the few Aboriginal-run cattle stations in Western Australia. Half a dozen families and some itinerant station workers take care of the half-a-million-acre property; mustering, branding and look after the health of the many cattle and horses. The station owners, Marion and Louie Dolby, have worked hard over the past few decades to ensure the safe running of the station. As well as bringing up 5 children and looking after many family members, Marion and Louie care for juvenile delinquents and young adults in need. They offer them an opportunity to work and learn some of the many skills it takes to work on a station. ‘What they need is hard work. At the end of the day, they are too tired to run a muk’ says Louie.
Everybody looks out for each other in this isolated and often harsh land, and evenings are made up of a large community dinner. Sunday is the only day off, mostly spent lazing around, fishing and bathing in the nearby creek, and recovering for another week of hard work.
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