Tales of an adventurer
AFTER a hectic year which included visiting 551 properties in 365 days, Alice Mabin is planning to go bush for some rest and recreation.
“I’m going all Bear Grylls,” she laughed. “I’m going into the Never Never with a bag of clothes, a box of matches and my diary.”
Ms Mabin is looking forward to filling her days with catching and cooking her dinner and taking a break from technology for a while. She’s not even taking her camera which has become the tool of her trade.
“I don’t want an agenda, I just want to switch off,” she told Dubbo Photo News.
Formerly a jillaroo and then Pfizer Animal Health employee, Ms Mabin changed careers five years ago when she became a photographer.
“I got to the point where I’d had enough,” she explained.
In 2013, Ms Mabin packed her (camera) bags and followed the droving expedition of 18,000 cattle from Winton in western Queensland to Hay in NSW – 2000km of dust and toil which became the inspiration for her first book, The Drover.
From there, she joined the lifeblood of Australia and New Zealand’s transport sector on a journey of 130,000km across the two countries, capturing all the trials and triumphs of the industry.
“After my car was hit by a truck, I spent 18 months hitch hiking and learning to drive road trains,” she said.
The end result was The Driver, which features more than 700 images of trucking families, their rigs and the companies behind them.
Ms Mabin’s latest effort has been a year in the making, visiting different kinds of farms all over Australia.
“I spent 12 months working with over 500 farmers to put The Grower books together.”
The two books showcase the dedication of farming families and the important role they play as primary producers.
“People take truck drivers and growers for granted. Until you go without all of those things, you don’t realise what we have got.
“Consumers buy the cheapest things, unfortunately, that’s how everything is geared. The cost of living is going up but wages haven’t changed.”
Going on-farm, Ms Mabin was able to snap various images by pitching in and helping the landowners. It was a challenging yet rewarding period.
“I made some amazing friendships which helped me get through it.
“I’ve been very lucky to be able to have done the things I’ve done. And Australia is lucky to have these things showcased.”
Growers from the local region to feature in the books include Andrew Gill from Narromine, Jack Brennan from Warren, the Mudford family of Parkdale Merinos, Dubbo, and Nigel Kerin from Yeoval.