This photograph is part of the Grounded series, produced for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and then toured in Australia from 2015 to 2019.
When settlers arrived in Australia from across the seas, many Aboriginal groups at first resisted the pastoralists. They stopped fighting to ensure community survival and maintain access to their land, and even to help the white man.
Aboriginal people often worked as stockmen on the pastoralist properties. The women often worked as midwives and as domestic help, and were able to procure bush foods. They played a key role in the development of the cattle industry, sharing their land, pathways, knowledge, food and water, taking pride in their work on the land, and strong bonds were often formed.
However, with the introduction of legislation for equal pay for Aboriginal workers, and with the strikes that ensued following the delay in its implementation, many communities were forced off the stations. The Aboriginal people voiced concerns over the importance of their Land Rights. The Gurindji strike (in 1966) was the first to attract wide public support for Land Rights.
Today overgrazing and drought are also cause for concern. Dust storms whip through the air where the land is bare. Pastoralists, extending their water troughs further afield, encourage the cattle to spread out, encroaching into National Parks with detrimental effects on country.
The 'Grounded' exhibition addresses issues around the marginalisation of Australian Aboriginal people, their loss of land and language, and how their way of life has been destroyed by a culture with little respect for land and environment. These photographs are paired with stories and photographs from the Gaelic speaking Outer Hebrides of Scotland.