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“Outback Photographer Visits Gippsland”

Some of my social media followers may have wondered why I was visiting Melbourne at the beginning of October….I have been meaning to explain myself….but now I don’t have to because a very generous paper from Victoria “The Gippslander” (there is a good story behind the name of the paper) has written a story about my visit and why I was there….“Outback Photographer Visits Gippsland”.…..you will find the article on page 22 …you can find the story of the paper’s name on page 9.

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This is the Cardinia Cultural Centre where my photos will be on display from 15 February to the 15 April.

Why Melbourne?
Why Victoria?
After opening my Gallery in Boulia (Outback Queensland) in July this year, the visitors to my magic little shop were predominantly Victorians…going north for the winter, our tourist season. Also I noticed that, yes they were happy to view websites but no they didn’t have any interest in being on social media.

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So I thought there could be a wider audience that maybe interested in visiting our part of the world.
After asking a fellow photographer in Melbourne, what my chances were of hosting an exhibition in Melbourne would be, and he admitted later that he thought my idea was a bit of “high hopes” but he did inquire for me and very quickly found that the Cultural Centre had a spare spot as early as February 2017.img_1567-cardinia-cultural-centre
The Gallery Room will host my photos (right next door to the lovely cafe that makes very good coffee) The Gallery Room will still be used to host other functions….there was a Tupperware Party happening when I visited The Cardinia Cultural Centre.img_1566-cardinia-cultural-centre
I have always used my photography to tell “our” story: life/business on the land, regional activities and events, the landscape, flora and fauna, characters and history. So I am hoping that my exhibition “Visit Outback Queensland via My Lens” at the Cardinia Cultural Centre will bring my world to life in a very different landscape. Giving people an Outback experience that entices them to want to visit or learn more about Outback Queensland. It maybe thousands of kilometres away from Melbourne but it really is just out their back door.

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I must admit I felt the cold of Melbourne….I experienced four seasons in one day, many times….but I did love my Gippsland #roadtrip

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Wilderness…..you seem to be able to find this not too far out of any of our major cities…..we are extremely blessed in Australia.
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“Pumpkins” growing in the paddock.
We are not only blessed with wilderness at our doorstep, but with ace farmers that grow safe food and fodder within coo-ee of major cities as well as making viable businesses further afield. I have always taken my hat off to crop farmers, they seem to have to deal with a so much more challenges than ourselves….and we have enough.

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Many things are the same in Gippsland as they are at home…..but very different in other ways.
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Out of the mountain country and onto the flats, buy online diclofenac sodium covered in wonderful green shade dotted with sheep….seems some have not that long ago, had a “wool” shorn.
(oh look and they are still alive….sorry, those that follow me on SM will realise that sometimes you have to explain to animal rights followers that sheep don’t have to die to be shorn….yes some can be that brain washed and yes animal rights organisations know their audience)
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The view was gobsmacklingly beautiful, no matter where you looked for the whole Gippsland tour. Note the planted, fenced, tree corridor….raining in the hills….and that beautiful green.
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Spoilt dairy bulls….green feed and being fed hay…no doubt there is a reason for this.

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A view of Corners Inlet from a dairy farm….can only imagine the different hues this would take on over the course of a year.

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Just a few milkers….I take my hat off to dairy farmers too…..I wish them all brighter light shining for all of them in the near future.
My family, on both sides, have a farming background, crop and dairy. I still have family growing crops and raising meat sheep and cattle.
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I was blessed to have the commentary of two ex dairy/beef farmers throughout the day (both of whom I have met via social media) ….that extra bonus of personal history, added to different towns history, the meaning of names, the events of the area, the happening over the years……made my tour extra special.
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For some reason I love this photo….yes it once was a pub, the Gelliondale Hotel to be exact, and now someone is renovating it to become a home….how lovely….imagine if those walls could talk. Yes of course Outback Queensland has wonderful history…..but Victoria’s is that wee bit older, different.

When you travel with a person that knows the history you are able to learn a lot more: The Initials J D  on the front of the Gelliondale Hotel are that of the owner builder and first licensee John Danks.

The Area known as Gelliondale was named after the original owners who selected a large tract of country.

The Gelliondale Run is a large tract of land south of the South Gippsland Highway which was the site of the Gelliondale Coal  Mine, The Coal is only about 6m below the surface. The mine was abandoned In early 40’s due to a water problem in favour of Latrobe coal deposits.

Staceys Bridge, an area not far from the Gelliondale Hotel, was named after Bill Stacey who lived in a hut on the bank of the river. He fell a large gum tree across the river to use as a bridge. He also made Violins and used to play at dances. There is a monument to him near the bridge on west side of road south of the bridge.

Looking forward to doing some more exploring of Victoria’s country side when I return to Melbourne for the opening of the exhibition in February.

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