In 1974 the discovery of a 42,000 year old human skeleton buried with extreme care and intricate ritual in the lunar like landscapes of Australia’s Mungo National Park reshaped the saga of the Australian continent and our entire view of prehistoric world migration.
Just as revolutionary was what Mungo Man meant for the understanding of the timeline and complexity of Australian Aboriginal culture. The discovery unveiled a new indication of extraordinary sophistication. The treatment of the body—the oldest ritual burial site ever found—revealed a concern for the afterlife eons before the Egyptian pyramids.
The bones of Mungo Man would spend the next 43 years at the Australian National University in Canberra, taken without permission of his descendants the Ngiyampaa, Mutthi Mutthi and Paakantyi people, a symptom of a time when Indigenous Human remains were treated as scientific keepsakes by researchers and museums.
In 2017 Mungo Man was finally handed over to his descendants and ceremonially repatriated to his discovery site at Lake Mungo.
Recent work for Smithsonian magazine accompanying a feature story by Tony Perrotet. Many thanks to photo editor Jeff Campagna. The story can be seen online here.
Recent work for The New York Times.
Three months ago the seven hundred foot long ‘Solomon Trader’ slammed into a reef on remote Rennell Island, a coral atoll and part of the Solomon Islands. The ship carrying bauxite rich soil bound for China ran aground in Kangava Bay, home to a UNESCO World Heritage site. Three hundred tons of fuel oil leaked into the sea, wreaking havoc on the sensitive coastline and its delicate marine ecosystem. The spill is a tragedy for the ocean and the locals whose lives depend on it. However the incident exposes a more calculated and sinister catastrophe unfolding in real time on Rennell Island and throughout the Solomon Islands: The illegal exploitation of natural resources from an economically poor nation by foreign owned companies.
The full piece can be seen here.
In January writer Ed Caesar and I spent seventeen days on the Coral sea aboard the R/V Petrel searching the ocean floor for the USS Wasp, an American aircraft carrier lost during WWII. The Petrel is a 250-foot converted North Sea oil-and-gas vessel, retro-fitted for wreck-hunting by the late Paul Allen, the multi-billionaire who founded Microsoft with Bill Gates.
On September 15, 1942 the Wasp was escorting a convoy of US Marines bound for the island of Guadalcanal, when she was hit by three torpedoes fired at close range by the I-19, a Japanese submarine. The lives of 193 men were lost. At approximately 9pm, the giant ship slipped below the surface of the ocean. It remained lost, shrouded in watery darkness until the crew of the Petrel found her using their high tech submarines, resting on the ocean floor at a depth of over 4000 metres. As the lights of the Petrel’s ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) shone on the wreckage, we witnessed the haunting, well preserved evidence of the violent end that met the ship and its crew. One of the first pieces of debris we encountered was a lone helmet.
Many thanks to the crew of the Petrel and to the amazing team of editors at the magazine. The full piece can be viewed here.
A fascinating story to shoot that took me from remote villages in Vanuatu to a high tech laboratory in Germany. An Incredibly well written piece by Gideon Lewis-Kraus, "Is Ancient DNA Research Revealing New Truths — or Falling Into Old Traps?".
Excited to have my first cover for The New York Times Magazine. Link the the story here.
I wrote and photographed a piece on the Aboriginal Rangers working to preserve their traditional country in Australia’s remote Arnhem Land. They are tasked with protecting 550,000 hectares of country in the face of some big challenges.
By combining contemporary training with ancient knowledge, Australia's unique Indigenous ranger program facilitates Aboriginal people once again being in charge of managing their traditional lands.
You can see the piece here.
Recent work accompanying a story by Rick Rojas looking at the worst drought in decades gripping Australia and the role of faith in the impacted communities.
"The repercussions from the drought — now affecting a stretch of Australia larger than Texas — seem almost biblical. There was the town swarmed by famished emus searching for food. The crops overrun by feral camels migrating toward water. Around Wee Waa, it has been the kangaroos invading soccer fields and crowding roadsides after dark, their carcasses littering the pavement in the morning. But the consequences have been especially brutal for livestock farmers, who have been forced to sell off stock and take on mountains of debt. Hanging over everything else is the spectre of harder times to come, leading many to reckon with the potential devastation of their livelihoods and their communities.” .
You can see the full story here.
At the end of 2017 myself and journalist Saul Elbein spent two weeks in the Philippines reporting on the ISIS inspired siege that had destroyed the city of Marawi. We embedded with tropps clearing the city of IED’s and unexploded ordinance, travelled to IDP camps, visited hospitals where soldiers were recovering, interviewed detailed militants and those whose lives were forever altered by the violence. You can view the recently published piece here.
The campaign that I created for American Express has hit the streets on billboards, buses and televisions sets around the world. I shot stills and directed motion for the campaign that had us in all corners of Indonesia for 12 days in July. I am so grateful for such a supportive and talented team at Flint Sydney and Ogilvy Australia and to my talented DOP, Glenn Pokorny.
I pitched, photographed and wrote a story recently for the New York Times on the dominance of New Zealand rugby. It was a joy to shoot as rugby was my first sporting love. Many thanks to the Gisborne Boys High School for hosting me.
The story can be read here.
At the beginning of the year I was commissioned to shoot stills and direct a TVC for St Vincent de Paul to launch their winter appeal campaign. The work has just gone live on their website and can be seen here. A link to the motion piece and a couple of the stills can be seen below.
Recent work for The New York Times accompanying a strong piece by Jacqueline Williams and images from Adam Ferguson looking at the growing suicide epidemic amongst Australian farmers. The full piece can be read here.
I visited Australian researcher Dr. Kate Brandis who has been relying upon citizen scientists to send her feather samples from around the country to get an idea of the health of Australia's wetlands and bird populations. You can view the article here.
While Australia has legalized Cannabis for medical use, conservatism and bureaucratichurdles have made it difficult for many patients to access the medicine they desperately need. I worked on a piece on the issue recently, you can read the full story here.
My first time having a picture with the hallowed yellow rectangle. An image of the Sydney Opera House for National Geographic Magazine's places to visit in 2018, coming in at number 4.
The piece can be viewed here.
The Sydney suburb of Cabramatta has a rough history of a thriving drug trade and gang activity born out of it's Vietnamese refugee roots. Fast forward to today and it is a dynamic example of how refugee communities can evolve into positive and vibrant. I spent a day there for the New York Times, you can see the story here.
Does Australia need more coal mines? Journalist Jacqui Williams and I looked at this question around rural Queensland in light of the proposed Adani coal mine in the Galilee Basin. The story ran A1 in the International Edition.
The full piece can be viewed here.
I travelled to the Great Barrier Reef with a team of marine scientists and Australian bureau chief Damien Cave for the New York times to look at coral species that are showing resiliency in the face of warming ocean temperatures.
You can read the full piece here.
I travelled to Rockhampton, Queensland on a commission for TIME Magazine to work on a story about the growing crisis in Australia with the highly addictive drug crystal methamphetamine.
The story can be seen here.