A work in progress - 3 decades of Farming Portraits Australia The 80’s, 90’s and 2000 + Photographs by Philip Quirk ©
The 1980’s Farmer portraits shot during the 1982 - 1984 Drought in Western Victoria & S.W. New South Wales
Alan Malcolm in Drought affected Country, Lascelles The Mallee Victoria 1982
Keith  Janet & Toby Robins on the back veranda, The Mallee Victoria 1983
Keith and Janet Robins Our strongest image of the drought was in deciding when to stop feeding the sheep. When you think i...
Drought affected Farmland, Mt Arapiles Horsham Victoria 1982
Lyle Roberts Farm Machinery Agent, Hopetoun The Mallee Victoria 1983
Lyle Roberts This is the worst drought as far as I can remember because I ’m  probably more conscious of it. 1967 was a dr...
The Summerfield Family, Warri Warri Gate Tibooburra New South Wales 1982
Drover on the Hay Plain, New South Wales 1983
Hand Feeding Sheep, Lascelles The Mallee Victoria 1982
Retrenched Worker Alan Chase, Rupanyup Victoria 1982
Sheep Kill, The Wimmera Victoria 1982
Farmer Max Ashmead, Lake Mokoan Victoria 1983
John Elliott tending Sheep, the outer Western Suburbs of Melbourne Victoria 1983
Grain Farmer Jack Vallance on Drought affected Country, Tempy Victoria 1982
Grain Farmer Jack Vallance and a Field of Oats, Tempy Victoria 1983
Rainstorm, breaking the Drought Nyah West Victoria 1983
Geoff Horman during sowing, Lascelles The Mallee Victoria 1983
Farmers chat at the Line Up, Hopetoun Silos The Mallee Victoria 1984
Hack Roberts Loading Grain Trucks, Hopetoun Silos The Mallee Victoria 1984
Mature Wheat Crop, mid harvest The Mallee Victoria 1984
Retired Farmer Bert Hilton, Hopetoun The Mallee Victoria 1984
Wheat Farmer Maurice Barnes helping out during a busy bee, Yelbeni Western Australia 1989
Maurice Barnes The busy bee was on Peter Craft’s farm. He was about 35 at the time of his heart attack, which would  put h...
Wheat Farmer Clem Hodges, ‘Toongarah’ Bogan Gate New South Wales 1988
Clem Hodges Dad brought his first car on 1926, a brand-new T Model Ford. He brought the car and then a week  later he drov...
The 1990’s Farmer portraits shot between 1990 - 1999
Furner   Dwyer Stock and Station Agent, Boorowa New South Wales 1995
Aah, I spose I’m more Aussie - 77 bloody years and my father too and my mother before me. They said if you fired a bullet ...
Farmer Julie Thompson with children Stephanie & Christopher hand-feeding cattle, 'Harley Hill' Mudgee District New South W...
The Martin Children Waiting for the School Bus, ‘Tarlee’  Mullaley New South Wales 1990
The Martin Children PQ There are 10 children in the Martin family. They prepare for school in two shifts. The teenagers fi...
Rain Storm heralding the end of the Drought, 'Colloden' Moree District New South Wales 1995
Ben, Susan and Ben Jr Carn, ‘Woottoona Station’ Shearing Shed Flinders Rangers South Australia 1998
John Toni and Thomas Wauch during the first Rains of 1995, 'Arrowfield' Barraba New South Wales 1995
Grazier Eric Carrigan hand feeding sheep, 'Tyrone' Narrabri District New South Wales 1994
PQ During the 1994 drought Eric Carrigan hand fed his sheep grain to supplement the meagre feed  available in the saltbush...
Grain Farmer Chris Chapman, ‘Clarendale’ Hoyleton South Australia 1996
Chris Chapman I got the nickname Jumbo from my football days. I used to play full forward a few years ago and that's  how ...
Sheep Farmer Noel Brayshaw during smoko in the Shearing Shed, ‘Noreen’ Burren Junction New South Wales 1994
Farmers wait for the Auctioneer, Coolah Cattle Sale New South Wales 1993
Sowing Wheat (20,000 hectares, 50,000 acres) ‘Oreel’ Rowena New South Wales 1995
Farm Hand Burning Wheat Stubble, Boorowa New South Wales 1997
Dairy Farmer Howard Skerman during the drought, 'Rippley Park' Dalby Queensland 1994
Grain Farmer Ray Lacey covering baled wheat stubble from pending rain, 'Glenelg' Moree District New South Wales 1995
Farmers Jamie & Andrew Zell checking the water supply, 'Gowan Brae' Gilgandra New South Wales 1995
Much as I might wish or hope for rain, I would not pray for any specific thing for my own benefit. I don't think  that is ...
Irrigation Channel and Wheat Crop, Darling Downs Queensland 1990
Droving Cattle on the Highway, ‘Cobungra Station’ Omeo District Victoria 1998
Wheat farmer Greg Hines & farm hand Ron Baldock, header maintenance during Harvest ‘Netherby’ Wallendbeen New South Wales ...
Approaching Storm and Sheep Grazing, Holbrook District New South Wales 1999
Sheep cross deeply scared paddocks during the Drought, Jugiong New South Wales 1995
Drover Mary Kernaghan and Granddaughter Tammy, on the stock route Jeriderie District New South Wales 1996
Mary Kernaghan I’d been on the road for four and a half months and had driven 6000 sheep down from Hay. We’d just finished...
Sheep Farmer Vince Nowlan and Family, 'Wentworth Station' Bimbi New South Wales 1998
Canola Crop, Cootamundra District New South Wales 1999
Lloyd Munroe & Willy Saunders watch sheep coming to water, Ashley Stock Yards Moree District New South Wales 1995
Farmer Barbara Lindeman, ‘Gilgai’ Moama New South Wales 1996
Barbara Lindeman After my children, I'm proudest of my horses. I bred three World Cup horses. I used to ride all the time,...
Aerial of Strip Farming, Darling Downs Queensland 1990
Wheat Farmer Ray Jones, ‘Darriwell’ at Trundle Silos New South Wales 1998
Combine Harvester harvesting Wheat, ‘Austcott’ Wee Waa New South Wales 1992
Shed hand Les Lonnen, ‘Noreen’ Burren Junction New South Wales 1994
2000 + Farmer Portraits shot from 2000 - 2007
Wheat & Cattle Farmer Hamish Munro, ‘Glenwood’ Cumnock New South Wales 2005
Cattle Farmer Robert Perkins, ‘The Racecourse’ Ebor New South Wales 2005
Storing the Wheat Harvest, Walgett Silos New South Wales 2000
Orchardist Warren Yoemans, ‘Greenhill Orchards’ Arding New South Wales 2005
Wheat Farmer Jock Hunter, ‘Warroo’ Garah New South Wales 2005
Cotton Harvest, ‘Merowie Station’ Hillston New South Wales 2003
Farmer Alix Turner in St Stephens Church with embroidered Kneelers made by his mother Winsome Turner, Wayo via Goulburn Ne...
Burning Maize Stubble and Willy Willy, ‘Wooloondool’ Hay New South Wales 2006
PQ Burning Maize stubble is more prevalent in the irrigation districts of Southern NSW. Maize stubble is very  fibrous mat...
Merino Lamb & Grain Producers Peter & Val Cannon, 'Yeronga' Peak Hill New South Wales 2005
Export Hay Farmers Richard and Anthony Ord, ‘Marombi’ Coolah New South Wales 2005
Shire Horse Gelding 'Archibold Cedars’ (Australia's tallest horse), Sydney Royal Easter Show New South Wales 2005
Sheep Farmer Christopher Groves, ‘Glenwyck’ Cowra New South Wales 2005
Grape Farmer Leo Depaoli, ‘Hanwood Grafted Vines’ Griffith New South Wales 2005
The Royal Hotel and Veranda Streetscape, Canowindra New South Wales 2007
Lena Murdaca, Prickly Pear Orchard Rouse Hill Sydney New South Wales 2005
Max Hargreaves Contract Harvester checking equipment during the Rice Harvest, ‘Mungadal’ Twynham Pastoral Coy Hay New Sout...
Derek McFarland stands infront of a 200 year old River Red Gum on the flood plain of the Lachlan River, ‘Thelanderin Stati...
PQ The Lachlan River rises south west of Goulburn and flows northwest, west, and southwest to its junction with the Murrum...
Cattle Farmer Martin Royds counting Cattle, ‘Jillamatong’ Braidwood New South Wales 2005
Danish born Mette Pederson drives the Tractor and Chaser bin during the Maize Harvest, early evening ‘Wooloondool’ Hay New...
Cattle Farmer Wayne Dunford hand feeding cattle, ‘Lynton’ Gunningbland New South Wales 2005
Sheep Wheat Farmers Andrew & Will Burge, ‘Praire Home’ Deniliquin New South Wales 2005
70 year old Mavis Butcher during the Pea Harvest, Shooters Hill Oberon District New South Wales 2004
Geoff and James Rayner with Prize Merino Ram, ‘Pomanara’ Sallys Flat Mudgee District New South Wales 2005
Sheep Farmer Peter McClintock, ‘Dinyah’ Cootamundra New South Wales 2005
Wheat and Cotton Farmer Barry Dugan, ‘Toobaroo West’ Narromine New South Wales 2005
Philip Quirk Photographer PO Box 1101 Woollahra 1350 New South Wales P: 02 93631616 E:  [email_address] W: www.philipquirk...
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Farmers 2

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Farmers 2

  1. 1. A work in progress - 3 decades of Farming Portraits Australia The 80’s, 90’s and 2000 + Photographs by Philip Quirk ©
  2. 2. The 1980’s Farmer portraits shot during the 1982 - 1984 Drought in Western Victoria & S.W. New South Wales
  3. 3. Alan Malcolm in Drought affected Country, Lascelles The Mallee Victoria 1982
  4. 4. Keith Janet & Toby Robins on the back veranda, The Mallee Victoria 1983
  5. 5. Keith and Janet Robins Our strongest image of the drought was in deciding when to stop feeding the sheep. When you think it's no longer economical to feed the sheep and where to draw the line. We hardly shot any sheep, only a few lambs and a couple of old dollys. If they could walk we never herded them. We let them go at there own pace. They were doing a good job to survive so why should we kill them? Let them have a go. We had 462 ewes. We sold 202 ewes and 102 lambs back in august (1982). We sent them to Wycheproof to the sale and got a bill for $32.75. They were worth nothing. Keith: I ended up going down to Melbourne looking for a job. In a fortnight I scored 42 knock backs and I thought ‘b low it ’ I ’l l go droving. I looked for anything and everything.The farmer ’s a jack-of-all-trades and qualified for nothing. That ’s what I found out quick in Melbourne. I had a couple of jobs when I came back. I was selling fertilizer door to door. Then I got a job working for Hannafords on the grader (October ‘8 2). I worked there until harvest, came home for two week and stripped (harvested) what I could of our wheat crop. We got 450 bags. We ’d sown 1000 acres, got a bag an acre. Most of the crop didn ’t come up. It never looked like coming up. Janet: We knew by then we had to do something to just get by. We ’d been caught a bit with our pants down, we ’d just brought more land earlier in the year. We ’d been living out here for four years and not used to managing farm money. Keith: Through droughts. Janet: We ’d virtually had to replace most of the farm machinery, it was pretty run down. We were lucky in that we had four good years, but we spent and spent and didn ’t have anything put aside for a rainy day. We were caught financially. It didn ’t seem right that the bills kept coming in. But everybody was in the same situation. Keith: I don ’t think the drought changed my attitudes to farming. We ’d made money out of farming the way we ’d been going. It didn ’t rain, that ’s why we didn ’t make money. But putting money aside for the future would be number one. The drought will teach us to put some money away and leave it away. Well every farmer is different, some years it works, some it doesn ’t . You ’v e just got to put your ideas into practice and back them.
  6. 6. Drought affected Farmland, Mt Arapiles Horsham Victoria 1982
  7. 7. Lyle Roberts Farm Machinery Agent, Hopetoun The Mallee Victoria 1983
  8. 8. Lyle Roberts This is the worst drought as far as I can remember because I ’m probably more conscious of it. 1967 was a drought, but everybody carted wheat to the silos. The other droughts happened when I was a blue tongue (young man) and we just breezed along and those days, weren ’t much different to the Depression anyhow. I worked a full week during the drought, but on reduced hours. But all the other men were put off. I think another reason we and farmers found this drought pretty hard is that there is a new generation of farmers today. They never knew hard times. In 1981 we had had a fantastic cropping season right across the country. It was one of the biggest sales years a Massey dealer had ever had. We sold machinery as far north as the Riverina in fact everywhere. The drought came along in ‘8 2. You ’v e got to crawl before you can walk. You ’v e just got to crawl. The recovery, it amazes me actually, I never expected it to come back like this. I was doubtful easier this year even when we got rains.You ’d go sixty miles to the north and they were still in drought. It was only late rains in the season that gave them (the farmers) a crop.... unheard of yields for this year. Gordon Yetman at Patchewollock stripped a paddock of wheat that went over 20 bags. If we had an eight bag average in the ‘50 s we reckoned we were having a pretty good year. But wheat ’s changed, methods of farming have changed, machinery ’s changed. In my day, if I worked (ploughed) 40 acres I was putting in a reasonable days work. Today they do that in a couple of hours. Blokes stay farming for something to do. They ’v e got sons that are going to do something. Something for the family to do. When I was working for the Hilton ’s and I ’d go away for a holiday and I was coming home and it would rain. You could smell the fresh worked ground and you were itching to get on a tractor and start working. After two days you could have cleared off the moon! It ’s a pretty good life. It seems an eternity when your growing up, but it ’s not long until you ’r e grown up and have kids of your own. You get really down to realities I think.
  9. 9. The Summerfield Family, Warri Warri Gate Tibooburra New South Wales 1982
  10. 10. Drover on the Hay Plain, New South Wales 1983
  11. 11. Hand Feeding Sheep, Lascelles The Mallee Victoria 1982
  12. 12. Retrenched Worker Alan Chase, Rupanyup Victoria 1982
  13. 13. Sheep Kill, The Wimmera Victoria 1982
  14. 14. Farmer Max Ashmead, Lake Mokoan Victoria 1983
  15. 15. John Elliott tending Sheep, the outer Western Suburbs of Melbourne Victoria 1983
  16. 16. Grain Farmer Jack Vallance on Drought affected Country, Tempy Victoria 1982
  17. 17. Grain Farmer Jack Vallance and a Field of Oats, Tempy Victoria 1983
  18. 18. Rainstorm, breaking the Drought Nyah West Victoria 1983
  19. 19. Geoff Horman during sowing, Lascelles The Mallee Victoria 1983
  20. 20. Farmers chat at the Line Up, Hopetoun Silos The Mallee Victoria 1984
  21. 21. Hack Roberts Loading Grain Trucks, Hopetoun Silos The Mallee Victoria 1984
  22. 22. Mature Wheat Crop, mid harvest The Mallee Victoria 1984
  23. 23. Retired Farmer Bert Hilton, Hopetoun The Mallee Victoria 1984
  24. 24. Wheat Farmer Maurice Barnes helping out during a busy bee, Yelbeni Western Australia 1989
  25. 25. Maurice Barnes The busy bee was on Peter Craft’s farm. He was about 35 at the time of his heart attack, which would put him out of action for a couple of months. So the local farmers rallied around to sow his crop. I was rung up and told the busy bee was on the next day. I brought a grain truck over to Peters’ property and began filling seed wheat from the silos. We'd rally around to help someone in difficulty. I’m sure it made a huge difference to Peter and his family. And at harvest time it’s the same. If someone gets into trouble because of accident or illness, we'd rally around and take the crop off. I think that'd happen anywhere that you have a close-knit community. PQ I’d heard on the grapevine that a local farmer Peter Craft had been hospitalised with a heart attack. The local community was getting together to help Peter, as the sowing season had just commenced. A dozen of so farmers had come together to sow a wheat crop for the Craft family, who would have lost a year’s production otherwise. When I arrived early that morning the farmyard was full of large tractors, ploughs and air seeding equipment. The size of the machinery was impressive and gave real meaning to the title board-acre farming. In the morning light men and women milled around, drinking tea. A plan of action was been worked out for the day. Maurice was one of the local farmers. I followed him to a grain truck where he loaded grain for the day’s planting. With a dozen tractors working the paddocks, he was kept busy. Golden grain represents the beginning of a growing cycle. Maurice’s work as simple as it appears provided me with a quiet but powerful image of farming. Farmers have an attitude to their work that is meditative. It has to be done. The photograph, saturated in blue from an intense clear sky provides more clarity to the subject grain.
  26. 26. Wheat Farmer Clem Hodges, ‘Toongarah’ Bogan Gate New South Wales 1988
  27. 27. Clem Hodges Dad brought his first car on 1926, a brand-new T Model Ford. He brought the car and then a week later he drove it to the police station to get a driver's licence because that's what you did in those days. Where I live, I'm the third generation. We will have it for 100 years in 1997. There's going to be some celebrations I tell you. We’re planning a district celebration because the same families have held three other farms for 100 years. Yeah we’re a close-knit community with good local organizations, sporting clubs and good social get-togethers. PQ I met Clem on his farm at Bogan Gate west of Forbes. Clem and his son Gary, who was on leave from the Navy, had just finished harvesting a wheat paddock. Clem stopped his red grain truck next to a wheat stubble paddock and stepped out to greet us. It didn’t take long for Clem to settle into a conversation about the harvest. It was going well. My colleague Kerry Conway a farmer from the Mallee in Victoria engaged Clem in the local gossip of the districts fortunes. The district grew bread wheat, barley, oats, canola, triticale and pulse crops such as lupins and field peas. Clem shuffled his gaze between Kerry and myself, not wishing to exclude a city slicker from the conversation. After a while I began to attend to the scene in front of me, with the intent of shooting a portrait of Clem. The day was clouding over with sunny breaks. The light softened revealing Clem’s face under a well-worn farmers’ hat. This moment reveals a man intensely focused on his thoughts. Small in stature, but surrounded by everything he is comfortable with. An old workhorse grain truck and recently harvested wheat paddock that stretched well beyond my frame. Inherent in Clem’s manner is the knowledge that a year’s work was coming to an end. He was happy and proud that his son was able to help with the harvest.
  28. 28. The 1990’s Farmer portraits shot between 1990 - 1999
  29. 29. Furner Dwyer Stock and Station Agent, Boorowa New South Wales 1995
  30. 30. Aah, I spose I’m more Aussie - 77 bloody years and my father too and my mother before me. They said if you fired a bullet up the main street of Boorowa years ago you’d hit a Dwyer, a Ryan or a Corcoran, an' if you missed him, you’d hit a Hurley, an O’Malley or an O’Neil. Aah, there’s some bloody old characters. I was standing out there a couple of months ago and two women drove up. An' I said Where d'you come from and one of the women said Dubbo and I said Oh yes, that’s a couple of hundred mile away, that’s a nice drive. So we were talking and she said, What might your name be an' I said Furner Dwyer She said, Oh, that’s an unusual name. I said, Oh yes, there’s not many Furners around - as a matter of fact everyone calls me Bloody Furner. And she said Well I’m a bloody nun, how are ya (laughter) I‘m buggered if I know. The other day the television mob were here and they took a photo of the ANZ Bank which is closing. And I was talking to two old mates - every day I go across there about eleven, and we sit outside the menswear shop. So I was talking and they were taking photos of the bank. And the girl with the microphone was this far away from me and said Whaddya think about the bank closing and I said, Lady it's a bastard. And she said We’re on television and I said I don’t give a bugger what we’re on. Cos the elderly people go up there and do their banking and people will have to go to Young and do their banking and the business is gone out of town We’ve got a good little town here, there’s everything you want. We got supermarkets. It’s one of the best districts in NSW, the best sheep in Australia of their type. ‘Merryville Stud’ a sheep property wins the Stonehaven Cup, that's like winning the Melbourne Cup in the racing game. Oh, I love the sheep. Jeez there’s s a lot of good country out here. They always talk about selling up here and going out west but that’s not for me. Stay where the water is. I mean this is one of the safest districts for water - 26 inch rainfall. You have your droughts but you’re not having them as often as out there. And your bloody sheep still cut just as much wool. Furner Dwyer
  31. 31. Farmer Julie Thompson with children Stephanie & Christopher hand-feeding cattle, 'Harley Hill' Mudgee District New South Wales 1994
  32. 32. The Martin Children Waiting for the School Bus, ‘Tarlee’ Mullaley New South Wales 1990
  33. 33. The Martin Children PQ There are 10 children in the Martin family. They prepare for school in two shifts. The teenagers first and the young ones, with the help of mum are at the farm gate by 8.30am each morning. A school bus will eventually arrive full of children from the district. Jenny Martin (6 years old) has engaged in conversation her friend from a neighbouring property. She is an affable character and quickly forgets the photographer’s presence at the gate. The other Martin children quietly play around the farm gate. Where they live is black soil cropping country. Mostly flat with occasional extinct volcanic cores changing the horizon line. There is plenty to look at. The occasional passing car, Black Kites souring above searching for food and dust plums from farm machinery in the paddocks
  34. 34. Rain Storm heralding the end of the Drought, 'Colloden' Moree District New South Wales 1995
  35. 35. Ben, Susan and Ben Jr Carn, ‘Woottoona Station’ Shearing Shed Flinders Rangers South Australia 1998
  36. 36. John Toni and Thomas Wauch during the first Rains of 1995, 'Arrowfield' Barraba New South Wales 1995
  37. 37. Grazier Eric Carrigan hand feeding sheep, 'Tyrone' Narrabri District New South Wales 1994
  38. 38. PQ During the 1994 drought Eric Carrigan hand fed his sheep grain to supplement the meagre feed available in the saltbush paddocks on ‘Tyrone’. It was a ritual carried out several times a week. In a normal season the Bellata district is productive cropping country. Using valuable grain to feed sheep was a drastic measure. But one, that with the breaking of the drought would help restore viability to the farm. The trail of grain was in stark contrast to the monotonous tones in the landscape. It was a river of life for the sheep and they followed the Ute and attached trailer as soon as it arrived in the paddock. Eric’s attitude to this work was reflective and accepting of the circumstances. The drought allowed Eric and farmers like him to catch up on work that can only be done in such difficult times. Several dams on the property that had gone dry were cleaned and rebuilt for future rains. Machinery maintenance was another item on the farm agenda and of course keeping the livestock alive. Eric Carrigan
  39. 39. Grain Farmer Chris Chapman, ‘Clarendale’ Hoyleton South Australia 1996
  40. 40. Chris Chapman I got the nickname Jumbo from my football days. I used to play full forward a few years ago and that's how it came about. I think my girlfriend's the only one who calls me Chris. Here on the farm we grow durum wheat for San Remo. It wasn't something I used to like as a kid, but I love it now. I cook spaghetti bolognaise. Or if my girlfriend's here, she usually cooks it for me. It gets pretty warm around here 40 C , occasionally even up to 45 C . We've still got to work through that in harvest time, you got to. You just drink plenty of water, soak your hat and put it on, that keeps you cool Oh I guess we’re equal partners, me and my Dad. Yeah, we make the decisions together which seems to work pretty well. I guess it’s more on my foot now, as he’s looking at retiring before too long. It’s really good to be able to work with your father. In the early days he taught me a lot. There’s some new ideas around now, I go to a lot of the field days… you learn the different things that’s new to agriculture. I guess I know more about the computer side of the business. Dad doesn’t have anything to do with that. Farm tractors, air seeders and spray units all have computers and of course there’s the office work to do… yeah they’re excellent.
  41. 41. Sheep Farmer Noel Brayshaw during smoko in the Shearing Shed, ‘Noreen’ Burren Junction New South Wales 1994
  42. 42. Farmers wait for the Auctioneer, Coolah Cattle Sale New South Wales 1993
  43. 43. Sowing Wheat (20,000 hectares, 50,000 acres) ‘Oreel’ Rowena New South Wales 1995
  44. 44. Farm Hand Burning Wheat Stubble, Boorowa New South Wales 1997
  45. 45. Dairy Farmer Howard Skerman during the drought, 'Rippley Park' Dalby Queensland 1994
  46. 46. Grain Farmer Ray Lacey covering baled wheat stubble from pending rain, 'Glenelg' Moree District New South Wales 1995
  47. 47. Farmers Jamie & Andrew Zell checking the water supply, 'Gowan Brae' Gilgandra New South Wales 1995
  48. 48. Much as I might wish or hope for rain, I would not pray for any specific thing for my own benefit. I don't think that is what faith is about. I'd be more likely to seek the strength to face whatever comes and to see it through to better times. While we accept we cannot change weather patterns, we realise that we must change some of our farming practices and the demands we put on the land. With most other farmers and graziers, we must farm for the future, restoring our agricultural country to sustainability. This can only be achieved with changes to Government policy which allow farmers to make some sort of viable living over and above costs. That way they won't have to overstock or over farm. Maintaining a degree of fighting spirit seems to help in some way to face the day-to-day challenges and cope with difficult times. Although our financial position is increasingly difficult, we have learned with the loss of one very special son, that the most important things are close family relationships and having the health and strength to forge on. We tend to expect our lives will progress to our hopes and ambitions, on a continuum of good fortune, but the reality for most of us is quite different. Most of us encounter major setbacks of one kind or another. It is what we do with those setbacks that determines whether we survive emotionally and psychologically. Someone once said to turn your problems into opportunities and I've found it's not bad advice. Jenny Zell mother to Jamie and Andrew
  49. 49. Irrigation Channel and Wheat Crop, Darling Downs Queensland 1990
  50. 50. Droving Cattle on the Highway, ‘Cobungra Station’ Omeo District Victoria 1998
  51. 51. Wheat farmer Greg Hines & farm hand Ron Baldock, header maintenance during Harvest ‘Netherby’ Wallendbeen New South Wales 1994
  52. 52. Approaching Storm and Sheep Grazing, Holbrook District New South Wales 1999
  53. 53. Sheep cross deeply scared paddocks during the Drought, Jugiong New South Wales 1995
  54. 54. Drover Mary Kernaghan and Granddaughter Tammy, on the stock route Jeriderie District New South Wales 1996
  55. 55. Mary Kernaghan I’d been on the road for four and a half months and had driven 6000 sheep down from Hay. We’d just finished shearing the sheep on a local property and I knew it was too cold to push them back onto the stock route. But the farmer who owned the shearing shed wouldn’t let us stay around the shed or in a warm gully on his land. It was too cold and in the early light, it was like a battlefield. Dead sheep everywhere, we lost 700 sheep that night. PQ Mary is a sheep and cattle drover. She moves thousands of animals up and down stock routes every year. Mary’s been a drover for over 32 years and mainly works in the Riverina district on the New South Wales/ Victorian border. She has five children, seven grandchildren and shares the work with her partner Dick Brian. Mary has the reputation of being one of the best drovers in Australia. She receives $2.50 per head of cattle per week. Mary smiles as she remembers the difficulty of her first job. Her weather-beaten face bursts into laughter infecting the attentive faces of two of her grandchildren David 7 and Tammy 8. Outside the caravan the 1400 head of cattle feed alone the roadside and a few of the 23 cattle dogs bark as a matter of course. It’s smoko and tea and cake are been served in her caravan home on the stock route.
  56. 56. Sheep Farmer Vince Nowlan and Family, 'Wentworth Station' Bimbi New South Wales 1998
  57. 57. Canola Crop, Cootamundra District New South Wales 1999
  58. 58. Lloyd Munroe & Willy Saunders watch sheep coming to water, Ashley Stock Yards Moree District New South Wales 1995
  59. 59. Farmer Barbara Lindeman, ‘Gilgai’ Moama New South Wales 1996
  60. 60. Barbara Lindeman After my children, I'm proudest of my horses. I bred three World Cup horses. I used to ride all the time, everyday I think I'll go for a ride and instead I take the motorbike because it's there, it's quicker and you can take a shovel and sheep shears. I never rode a motorbike until I was on my own. That's my energy saver. There have been big changes in the district because of irrigation. I suppose it must have been nearly 30 years ago now. When I was a child the garden fence was about 12 feet from the veranda. You only had a few annuals and a few hardy plants that could survive. The bigger aspect of irrigation was you had security with your stock and crops. I was an only child and I used to spend a lot of time with my father down in the paddocks. I consider myself quite good with stock but not really good at moving carts and machinery. Share farming is good for me. I have an arrangement with my neighbour Mick who provides labour, the seed, the fertilizer and the machinery. He gets two-thirds and I get one-third of the income. Normally a paddock’s used for crops for three years and then it’s sown down to small seed and it reverts to pasture. I put in sub-clover, which builds up the nitrogen levels. We usually sow 200 acres (80 hectares) but this year (1996) we’ve doubled that because wheat looks so good. Running a farm is a lot of work for one person. David comes along about two days a week and just recently a young woman called Cate from Mathoura rang up and asked would you like a housekeeper and I said, when can you start (Barbara runs B&B accommodation at the farmhouse) You know, you're either sliding down the the cliff face of life or your clawing your way up it, and at the moment, we're clawing our way up.
  61. 61. Aerial of Strip Farming, Darling Downs Queensland 1990
  62. 62. Wheat Farmer Ray Jones, ‘Darriwell’ at Trundle Silos New South Wales 1998
  63. 63. Combine Harvester harvesting Wheat, ‘Austcott’ Wee Waa New South Wales 1992
  64. 64. Shed hand Les Lonnen, ‘Noreen’ Burren Junction New South Wales 1994
  65. 65. 2000 + Farmer Portraits shot from 2000 - 2007
  66. 66. Wheat & Cattle Farmer Hamish Munro, ‘Glenwood’ Cumnock New South Wales 2005
  67. 67. Cattle Farmer Robert Perkins, ‘The Racecourse’ Ebor New South Wales 2005
  68. 68. Storing the Wheat Harvest, Walgett Silos New South Wales 2000
  69. 69. Orchardist Warren Yoemans, ‘Greenhill Orchards’ Arding New South Wales 2005
  70. 70. Wheat Farmer Jock Hunter, ‘Warroo’ Garah New South Wales 2005
  71. 71. Cotton Harvest, ‘Merowie Station’ Hillston New South Wales 2003
  72. 72. Farmer Alix Turner in St Stephens Church with embroidered Kneelers made by his mother Winsome Turner, Wayo via Goulburn New South Wales 2005
  73. 73. Burning Maize Stubble and Willy Willy, ‘Wooloondool’ Hay New South Wales 2006
  74. 74. PQ Burning Maize stubble is more prevalent in the irrigation districts of Southern NSW. Maize stubble is very fibrous material and may not decompose before the next seasons’ sowing commences. Burning stubble can also aid in controlling disease and weeds. Other cereal crops like wheat and barley are less fibrous and are ploughed into the soil in line with current farming practice. The Maize stubble fire creates a huge column of smoke and ash reaching several hundred metres into the sky. From a distance the smoke column dominates the expansive flat horizon and stains an indigo blue sky. Closer to the burning paddock, the smoke is dense changing colour from burnt orange to brown and grey. Men in farm vehicles travel along the permitter of the stubble to ensure the fire doesn’t jump into an adjoining paddock. Willy Willy’s full of maize ash occasionally form ahead of the fire. As evening falls the sky has less natural clouds formed by the dissipating smoke.
  75. 75. Merino Lamb & Grain Producers Peter & Val Cannon, 'Yeronga' Peak Hill New South Wales 2005
  76. 76. Export Hay Farmers Richard and Anthony Ord, ‘Marombi’ Coolah New South Wales 2005
  77. 77. Shire Horse Gelding 'Archibold Cedars’ (Australia's tallest horse), Sydney Royal Easter Show New South Wales 2005
  78. 78. Sheep Farmer Christopher Groves, ‘Glenwyck’ Cowra New South Wales 2005
  79. 79. Grape Farmer Leo Depaoli, ‘Hanwood Grafted Vines’ Griffith New South Wales 2005
  80. 80. The Royal Hotel and Veranda Streetscape, Canowindra New South Wales 2007
  81. 81. Lena Murdaca, Prickly Pear Orchard Rouse Hill Sydney New South Wales 2005
  82. 82. Max Hargreaves Contract Harvester checking equipment during the Rice Harvest, ‘Mungadal’ Twynham Pastoral Coy Hay New South Wales 2006
  83. 83. Derek McFarland stands infront of a 200 year old River Red Gum on the flood plain of the Lachlan River, ‘Thelanderin Station’ Hay New South Wales 2006
  84. 84. PQ The Lachlan River rises south west of Goulburn and flows northwest, west, and southwest to its junction with the Murrumbidgee River, a distance of approximately 1500 kilometres. It is part of the Murray- Darling Basin. The Lachlan River below Booligal near Hay receives inadequate environmental water allocation and as a consequence the degradation of the riverine environment is obvious. River Red Gum and Black Box Gum forests, the existing native remanent vegetation along the river and across the flood plains are dying, due to lack of moisture. It is not just about the drought and lack of rainfall. These forests need natural periodic flooding to survive. The lower reaches of the Lachlan River runs through Derek’s property. It is a vast sheep station on the Hay Plain. Other farmers living along the river support Derek’s concern for the environment of the Lachlan. You only have to go back up towards Cowra, where the river appears to have reasonable water flows to realise the depth of the problem. On ‘Thelanderin Station’ the river is sluggish, the riverbanks exposed, and fallen trees litter it’s shallow waters. Derek McFarland
  85. 85. Cattle Farmer Martin Royds counting Cattle, ‘Jillamatong’ Braidwood New South Wales 2005
  86. 86. Danish born Mette Pederson drives the Tractor and Chaser bin during the Maize Harvest, early evening ‘Wooloondool’ Hay New South Wales 2006
  87. 87. Cattle Farmer Wayne Dunford hand feeding cattle, ‘Lynton’ Gunningbland New South Wales 2005
  88. 88. Sheep Wheat Farmers Andrew & Will Burge, ‘Praire Home’ Deniliquin New South Wales 2005
  89. 89. 70 year old Mavis Butcher during the Pea Harvest, Shooters Hill Oberon District New South Wales 2004
  90. 90. Geoff and James Rayner with Prize Merino Ram, ‘Pomanara’ Sallys Flat Mudgee District New South Wales 2005
  91. 91. Sheep Farmer Peter McClintock, ‘Dinyah’ Cootamundra New South Wales 2005
  92. 92. Wheat and Cotton Farmer Barry Dugan, ‘Toobaroo West’ Narromine New South Wales 2005
  93. 93. Philip Quirk Photographer PO Box 1101 Woollahra 1350 New South Wales P: 02 93631616 E: [email_address] W: www.philipquirk.com A selection of portraits covering 3 decades of farming in Australia Credits: Photographs by Philip Quirk Interviews Kerry Conway, Diana Dennison, Phil Thorton and Philip Quirk

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