These portraits were made of the entire crew of Aak Puul Ngantam – a new indigenous cattle venture on remote Cape York Peninsula – at their bush camp as they returned from an exhausting muster. The backdrop for the images was a dirty old caravan at the camp.
APN Cape York is an initiative of local Bruce Martin and the collective Wik clans of Aurukun – an attempt to provide sustainable employment and a sense of pride in the indigenous town – and break the cycle of booze, drugs, violence and welfare dependency. Elders are revisiting a lifestyle and occupation from earlier times, whilst the younger indigenous men are learning a new trade in an area where employment opportunities are virtually zero.
An experienced non indigenous stockman is overseeing the operation and passing on his experience and expertise.
APN is short for Aak Puul Ngantam … which in local Wik language means “our father’s father’s country”.
The small APN team are mustering – by helicopter, horse and quad bike – about 5000 head of wild cattle left to roam after a previous venture failed in the 1990’s.” ©Brian Cassey 2012
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