All in Oldies Project

Eric adding colour to Cue

Just a couple of kilometres from Cue we started spotting life-size metal cutouts of blue sheep, and red dogs on kayaks. A little further down the road we saw Eric, sporting a crazy hat and obviously trying to get some phone reception, as he paced around his quad bike complete with Aussie flag, proudly fluttering in the wind. I’d barely started asking the question, and Steve was already slowing down to do a U-turn!

Wyndham's Honest John

…Welcoming me inside, I was introduced to Elizabeth - the beautiful and fashionable mannequin standing in his kitchen. “I was hoping she’d clean and cook” said Honest John, “But she doesn’t lift a finger.” Elizabeth was a souvenir from his days as “fashion advisor to the ladies of the Kimberley” when he had “a boutique” in downtown Wyndham. One of many businesses he’s owned and operated around the town, from all accounts…

President of the Old Bastards

It turns out you don’t need to be old to be an Old Bastard. We’d been told that John Wheelock has been the president of Carnarvon’s Old Bastards since its inception in 1982. A quick google revealed that the Australasian Order of the Old Bastards is an Australia-wide organisation, far less organised than the Rotary Club or the Lions, but just as effective where fund-raising is concerned…

Penelope shares her story

Penelope’s story, sadly, is one told far too often in Australia. She is part of the Stolen Generations. Her very early years were spent at the Moore River Native Settlement before she was shifted to New Norcia Mission. As with many in similar circumstances, Penny’s life descended into one of alcohol abuse with her own six children also being taken away from their family. In between photographs, Penny shared tales of ill-treatment as a child, including sexual abuse, and alcohol-induced floggings and sleeping in public toilets as an adult. But Penny’s tale is also one of resilience…

Dr Harry in Carnarvon

It seems the whole of Carnarvon knows Dr Harry Sneddon. For many years he was the town’s vet treating creatures great and small. A quietly spoken, gentle man - a gentleman in its truest sense - it’s not hard to imagine him tenderly handling someone’s fur child at his practice in town, or horse whispering out on a cattle station. More recently he’s owned and operated the general store just out of the town centre to keep himself busy in his retirement.

Bryan at Gascoyne Junction

While we were hanging out with Spags, we also met Bryan. Spags seems not to have a care in the world. His mate Bryan though has the weight of the world on his shoulders right now after losing everything in a fire a month ago. Bryan had been living in his caravan inside a big shed at Spags’ place. He was working out bush when he got a call from a mate to say the shed had burnt to the ground. “It was April Fool’s Day”, Bryan said “I thought they were pulling my leg.”

Wheatbelt mother and son

Neighbours to Robin and Robert, Margaret Scally lives in Goodlands, on the northern edge of the Wheatbelt in Western Australia with her two sons. It’s not the easiest place to find but we spotted their ‘mailboxes’ next to the road sign bearing their name. Standing at her back door with views across to ‘the hills’, Mt Singleton and Mt Gibson, Margaret told us of her earliest memory - aged around five, being given the last rites by the priest when she had “the black measles”.