This photo essay gives a sense of the calibre of photography featured in our new Stations magazine.

Story By Therese Hall

Every two years, between February and April, a small group of photojournalists heads across Australia to report on our great cattle and sheep stations. Their mission is to bring back stories and photographs for our biannual magazine, OUTBACK Stations, a showcase of remarkable agricultural properties that are rarely glimpsed by the public.
This is our third edition of Stations magazine and it features
11 in-depth stories on properties from the Kimberley to Cape York. It brings to 33 the number of properties that we have covered in this depth. “We tell the stories of some great properties that reflect the best of what is going on in agriculture in the bush,” R.M.Williams OUTBACK editor-in-chief Mark Muller says. “It’s been an interesting project over the past four years, and is something we will continue to do.”
Working either solo or in teams of two, photojournalists immerse themselves in everyday life on sheep, cattle and cropping properties across the country. Most stay about three days, rising at dawn with the station cooks, heading off on horseback or motorbike with the stock crew and sleeping under the stars in stock camps. They enjoy the camaraderie of station life, while recording it with their cameras and interviewing all kinds of participants, from fresh-faced station hands to gnarly old shearers.
Prize-winning photojournalist Nathan Dyer travelled more than 20,000 kilometres by air and road to cover three far-flung cattle properties for the 2014 edition. He made three trips from his Melbourne base: to Kilto, near Broome, WA; Nappa Merrie, on the Queensland-South Australia border and to Wrotham Park on Cape York. “This was a dream assignment for me,” he says. “I had to pinch myself when I wound up at dawn in a chopper with Jock Warriner mustering cattle on Wrotham Park on my 35th birthday. What a memorable birthday.”
The other eight properties featured include successful family-run sheep, cattle and cropping holdings: Benham in Tasmania, Roseville Park in Dubbo, NSW; and Murdeduke in Victoria’s Western District. Company conglomerates include Jumbuck’s massive sheep spread Commonwealth Hill in remote South Australia and S. Kidman & Co.’s Barkly classic Helen Springs and the Australian Agricultural Company’s Montejinni, in the Victorian River District – both in the Territory. We tell the stories of remote farming families: the Mills, who have made a go of it on Warrawagine in the Pilbara, WA; and the Bells, who have stuck it out through difficult times on Dulkaninna Station on the Birdsville Track, SA.
“Station owners and managers welcomed us onto their places to show our readers the important work they are doing,” Mark says. “They are proud of the work they do and love to see it written about.”

This Story is from Issue #96

Outback Magazine: Aug/Sep 2014