June 1st, 2018

6 Months In The Middle Of Nowhere.

At the halfway mark, it is important to recognise how far I have come this year.

Six months ago the realisation set in that I was without a job, and by effect a home. The reality of finding work on short notice was unlikely. However, a school in the Northern Territory needed a good all-round candidate. I was to rid myself of my possessions, and tough decisions were made. I packed my camera and my essentials into my Landrover Discovery. Later to set out into the red centre of Australia.

Sitting in my home in Armidale the process of imagining a world without the things and people I care about or a home at all was deeply disturbing. I was ruined. Struggling to start the process, I started picking up objects and holding them. They either brought joy, or they were empty. A small box of artwork given to me by friends over the years, some books, and a Rocco style armchair, was put into a small garden shed at the back of my parent's house on the Central Coast. The rest was given away to charity or sold, including my much-loved pet parrots.    

Araluen Christian College needed a candidate to fill a vacant position requiring a Science and Mathematics expert. The catch, was that they also had to be good at Design Technology [woodwork] and Digital Technologies [computers]. Agreeing on all aspects, I accepted the position. I began driving before the start of Term 1 on an extended tour of NSW. The final drive to the NT was brutal though. With back to back days above 50 degrees Celsius, and almost no rest aside from eating at breakfast and dinner. At times you could go for more than 4 hours before seeing another vehicle on the road. Ultimately the Stuart Highway lead me to my new students. A generation of students who were in need of a good teacher, but also one who is passionate about their work. Bringing joy and excitement into their life through Science and the ethos of the school.

My camera has been one of few things I have cherished the most. I have had quite a few over the years. Photography has allways been a cherished pastime, keeping memories of loved ones, friends, and family close. Today however, it is almost the opposite, as photographs are a way of sending home what I see from thousands of kilometres away. Care is put into taking them to tell stories of what I see. A photograph can describe what sometimes cannot be said, and it translates into a universal language, and allows people to see what some people may not in a lifetime.

I have come very far into the outback, but for everyone else, it has brought the remote desert to life for people around the world. I dearly miss my old life, my friends, and my family. Living this far away in solitude some days feels like living in exile. In a way I am lost, looking through the light passing by the lens of my camera. Although halfway, the adventure is certainly not over yet.