Posts Tagged pulitzer
I guess I’ve earned the right to blow my own trumpet, at least for today. Last night I was honoured to win the 2010 Nikon-Walkley Australian Portrait Prize at a presentation in Sydney. I’ve never entered a photo competition as, to be honest, I have never really found made the time. This year I was prompted by fellow snappers Peter Wallis and Derek Moore to enter a couple of my Bob Katter pics in Australia’s equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize, the Walkley Awards. There are a few news clippings floating around the web – here, here, here
The Courier-Mail reporter Peter Michael assisted me to pen this entry statement that was included with my entry.
Kingmaker Bob Katter has almost become a caricature of himself with his maverick reputation, ten gallon hat, and cowboy boots.
Everyone in Katter Country, the vast electorate of Kennedy, knows the wily 65-year-old MP where he boasts a cult like status enjoying three-quarters of the two-party preferred vote.
But in the rest of Australia, the lawmaker who is likely to cast a deciding vote in Australia’s cliffhanger election is virtually unknown.
For insight into his political pedigree before turning Independent in outrage at rural de-regulation by the National Party, his dining room is dominated by a huge portrait of Red Ted Theodore, one of the giants of the Labor movement.
There’s also an impressive collection of bayonets and old Enfield rifles above a swag of war medals in the silver cabinet.
Love him or loathe him, Bob Katter is today one of the most powerful men in Australian politics.
“In some parts of my electorate the Coalition is about as popular as a black snake in a sleeping bag.
“Equally, in other parts a Labor supporter is as rare as a feathered frog on the Murranji Track.
“I simply want to go with whoever offers the best deal for the bush.
“I’ve been screaming into the wind for years. It’s time for a get square.”
I had the opportunity to photograph Katter as he arrived in Townsville on a light plane after travelling from his Charters Towers home on the day after the federal election. He had brought his grand-daughter Kate, 11 along for the ride. Katter was glued to the phone and Kate, being a little cold, threw on Katter’s jacket and ten gallon hat. Sitting with her lanky grandad between the ladies and gents bathrooms in the tiny aerodrome hanger she seemed excited to be thrust into the limelight.
The next day I headed out to Katter’s home in Charters Towers where I sat down to tea and lamingtons in the family lounge room. Katter, once again glued to the phone, threw a leg over the lounge chair and with his Enfield rifles proudly displayed on the wall I thought this was a perfect reflection of Katter, ‘the unknown’.
Photographs: Cameron Laird (0418 238811)
Shot for News Limited group
Published in The Courier-Mail, The Australian, Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun in the week following the federal election.