The end of a decade is a perfect opportunity to take stock of all there is to be grateful for and to give a massive shout out and THANK YOU to all the incredible people who have helped me, encouraged me, supported me or generally just hung out with me in person or on the blog during the last ten years.
In the middle of the last decade, some five years ago I made the decision to return to Australia (full time) and to continue working towards my dream of a career in photography.
During these years there have been a tonne of highs and lows (as there are in life), some failures, some successes and a massive amount of learning both in my personal life and professional life.
My failures have taught me much more than my successes have. They have pushed me to upskill, to feel the fear and still show up and to work smarter.
Thank you to the art directors, editors and producers who over the years since my return have shown enough confidence in me and my work to hire me and in doing so have helped me to learn and grow as a photographer
And to the fabulous National Photographic Portrait Prize team and to the judges for 2017 who chose one of my images as a finalist, which in turn helped open doors to some wonderful opportunities.
Thank you to all the generous individuals who have allowed me to photograph them over the years (for both personal and professional projects) and to my tribe of followers who have purchased my prints for their walls.
Thank you to Carla Coulson and her Yes Yes Yes program (which I took part in during this last year) for helping me understand the importance of self worth and self belief in creating the life I really want.
Eternal thanks to my incredible mother and father who are always there for me no matter what!
And to this boy on the right….. who I rescued, only to discover it was he who rescued me!
Last but not least I am eternally grateful for each and every opportunity I have had to hit the highway (so to speak) with my camera and explore so many corners of this beautiful world and to also have the great fortune to call Australia home.
This last point brings me to the current and dire situation affecting Australia and so many Australians at the moment and that many of you living outside of our country may not be aware of.
Bushfires in both NSW and Queensland have been burning for months on end with over 3,000,000 hectares destroyed, hundreds of homes and many lives lost.
Along with the bushfires that continue to ravage parts of Australia many Australian farmers suffering from the continuing drought have little or no feed for their stock and transportation costs and stock feed prices are spiralling out of control.
Some farmers have not seen a drop of rain for 2 or more years, some have not seen rain for 7 years! Many household taps on these stations and farms are blowing dust rather than running water, water troughs and dams are dry, the stock, crops and humans are suffering.
There are many organisations on the ground working tirelessly to help all those affected and they are in need of our donations. These people and animals are living through immense hardship and suffering.
Please see below for links to some organisations I have personal faith in. (not to say the others are any less deserving or legitimate).
An initiative started by my sister in law’s brother Sam Daw called True Blue Water. He and a few mates have funded and just completed the first delivery of 24,000 litres of fresh clean spring water to their first homestead in a drought stricken area of NSW
They are a NON FOR PROFIT initiative whose ultimate aim is government support.
Having funded this first delivery to Dalmuir Station (3 hours north of Broken Hill) they are now asking for donations via their Gofundme page in order to keep the deliveries happening.
Wildlife – The Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie NSW, the only hospital in the world dedicated to caring for wild koalas. Hundreds of these beautiful creatures have lost their lives in the bushfires, help the hospital to care for those who have been injured.
The Salvation Army are on the ground in many bushfire affected locations and require your help to fund the incredible work they are doing in so many affected communities.
For the next year and beyond I wish you all the best of health, lots of road trips and back roads to crazy life changing adventures, and here’s to all of us finding our place in the world and what it is that makes us truly happy!