Archive for October, 2013

Film review: Mystery Road

The Indigenous detective in Mystery Road, played by Aaron Pedersen.

The Indigenous detective in Mystery Road, played by Aaron Pedersen.

I saw the new Australian movie Mystery Road on Monday night. I’ve been keen to see it for some time for a number of reasons:

1. It was shot mostly around Winton (click for my gallery) and I was out there just a few weeks ago (1400km from Brisbane) and I was keen to see what was purported to be excellent cinematography of a really beautiful part of the country.

2. There were some fantastic Australian actors in the movie – Hugo Weaving, Jack Thompson, Aaron Pedersen and Ryan Kwanten to name a few.

3. And most importantly for its commentary on racial tensions and the social malaise of rural communities.

Read more

Book review: I am Malala

Malala Yousafzai. Pic: AFP.

Malala Yousafzai. Pic: AFP.

I haven’t finished “I am Malala” yet but a few people have already asked me what it’s like so I’ll give my review on the first part I’ve read and update this page later.

The first thing that struck me about the book (about the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban) is that beyond the first few pages of the prologue, this actual “event” is not mentioned again until page 203 (yes I admit I looked ahead). Of a 265 page book that’s significant.

And that’s because Malala recognises that where we come from is important. The story of who we are is just as important as what happens to us and what we do about that. “Be the change you want to see in the world,” said Gandhi. I get the feeling this story is very much about our responses to our history, life and the situations we find ourselves in as much as anything. It’s also perhaps an education for some readers about the circumstances that other people in the world face that are very different to their own. Read more

Anti Poverty week photo series

I have been posting a series of images each day for Anti Poverty week (13-19 October) on the Visited Planet photojournalism Facebook page. This concludes today so I’ve collated and reworked the posts here below with the photos, and added a few more.

Work and income, health, housing, education and services are all thought to be the main five causes of poverty. These posts sought to take a closer look at some of the issues, particularly in regards poverty in Australia.

Day 1 of Anti Poverty week: Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australian households are vulnerable to poverty. Their median income is substantially lower than the median income of non-Indigenous households.


This Aboriginal cowboy on the Northern Territory / West Australian border shows one of the many employment areas where Indigenous people excel

Link to image in the database.
Read more

Blog Action Day: 5 reasons giving aid makes a difference


Itinerant labourers hard at work carrying bricks at a factory in the Kathmandu Valley.

The most common question I am asked about the work I do in developing countries is, “Does it really make a difference?”

Is it worth giving money to that charity? Does the money get to the people that really need it? Is it really going to make any difference teaching photography for a few days? What if collecting all those donations and sending them in a container actually cuts out local industry? Is a hand out really a hand up?

These are just some of the questions I am frequently asked, and ones I’ve asked myself. I have read about terrible acts of charity and have even witnessed them myself. But my simple response is always yes and I usually turn to Mother Teresa at this point:

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

Read more

Film review: Girl Rising

Girl Rising is an inspirational new film that recounts the desire and struggle of nine young girls around the world to seek an education. These girls from countries like Nepal, Peru, Haiti, Egypt, India and Afghanistan face some incredible barriers – bonded labour, extreme poverty, early marriage or even the destruction of their school after an earthquake.

Girl Rising is a kind of docudrama with powerful tales about hardship in the quest for education. It’s beautifully and cleverly shot with superb narration by actresses like Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep. More than anything you come away wondering why you ever lamented an exam, a class, or the chance to learn, but forever grateful that you’re parents didn’t sell you for the chance to buy a car or have a better life themselves.

Read more

Return top

Empower, Equip, Educate

Visited Planet's documentary and lifestyle photographic projects are designed to aid, equip, empower and educate people around the world.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter - Martin Luther King Jr.