This was a fun interview with ABC Central West talking to Kia Handley about some of my recent shoots in Regional NSW, such as Blayney Abattoir , Bathurst Gasworks and Kandos Cement Works .
Blayney Abattoir was one of the first galleries I ever posted that went viral on Facebook through the power of community engagement.
There were people from decades back telling their stories of past times from when the Abattoir was still the backbone of Blayney.
It was amazing to watch unfold. It even began the Blayney Abattoir Facebook Group , which grew almost overnight to over 400 members and now have a reunion planned for later in the year.
It was sad too, reading about people who weren’t ready to leave or who were too old to find new employment, others who were forced to relocate due to shortages of work availability.
Many long time friends hadn’t seen each other for decades.
I think it speaks volumes about the impact these closures on a surrounding town when a large scale operation that the town was built to support, leaves .
Conversely, It’s not to say that every business should continue to run at a loss in the name of supporting workers either.
Time and time again, the companies move on to more profitable endeavours while the communities that supported it through its lifetime are faced with either very difficult choices or none at all.
Every time a major business leaves a region, we see the media reports offering its employees support and assistance where it can. But is it ever enough? I mean what is a livelihood and lifelong residency near your friends and family worth?
Do any ever really go back to check how things are going or if there is anything else they can do to help beyond what is required?
This is the actual audio of my ABC Central West interview with Kia Handley that relates to my other blog post you can see here .
I don’t really know what happened in that introduction at the very beginning of this interview, nerves I guess.
This ABC Central West interview was live, although I wasn’t with Kia in the studio, I was on the phone sitting under a tree in a park in Mt Druitt, during work at my (former) real job. It seemed as though I went through a phase of doing this kind of thing, especially early 2016 when things really started to move quickly. I think there was one month where I ended up having something like a dozen media requests! It’s tough keeping Lost Collective ticking over while working a full-time job.
I don’t think that any of my interviews are fully representative of what I am about, it’s difficult to get everything out that I want to in 16 minutes but I think I got pretty close.
In saying all this, I know the content of a blog post is supposed to be informative and engaging, and I do my best where I can but the core of the content here is the audio interview itself. So, I invite you to head over to the ABC NSW Soundcloud page by clicking here and have a listen for yourself.
I was invited to write for Broadsheet early in 2016. it was an opportunity to tell the story of what drives me to do what I do with Lost Collective.
A year since writing this for Broadsheet, a lot has changed, whether for better or for worse, but the one thing that has stayed the same is the community reaction to the photos I post.
Not the likes, wows, shares or any of that. The real, first-hand reactions of people recalling their past. It is still such an amazing thing to watch unfold.
I have met some incredible people over the past year who used to frequent the places I shoot. Some have even contributed greatly to the written component of many of the lost collective galleries.
One of the most amazing people I have met is a 94-year-old named John who founded an engineering company which played a part of the construction of most power stations in Australia.
John saw my images of White Bay Power Station in the Sydney Morning Herald and called me on my way home from work to talk about his time there.
John is getting on these days and his memory is beginning to fail which is why he wrote this book.
Here’s an excerpt from the article below.
I’ve worked as a fitter and turner for the past 15 years, then as a mechanical service technician, servicing all kinds of different customer sites to install, maintain and repair equipment. Places like water-treatment plants, mines, refineries, foundries, laboratories, food manufacturers, cigarette factories, crematoriums, power stations, the list goes on. I always thought the buildings that made up these industries were interesting – it’s what’s left behind when these industries become redundant that is often most interesting.
To read full the article I wrote for Broadsheet, click here .
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