The Australian Outback's Largest Cattle Stations

Previous Exhibitions & Events

See anyone you know?

You may see some familiar faces below, attending photography exhibition openings and other events.

Future exhibitions

There's a note on future photography exhibitions at the bottom of the page.

Re the exhibition & event photographs

Most of the more recent images were taken on my mobile phone camera. All images are unprocessed (due to time contraints). I paid professional photographers to take the exhibition opening photographs in Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns and at the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame; as well as the 2005 book launches in Brisbane and Townsville.

Some previous exhibitions and events

'Whispering Grass' - Stories from Australia's outback cattle stations

Australian Embassy in Washington D.C., USA

1 March - 9 June 2018

Opened by Australia's Ambassador to the US, Joe Hockey, on 6 March 2018

Beef Australia Exposition, Rockhampton (Queensland)

1994, 2000, 2006, 2012, 2015 - and also again in 2018

I love attending Rocky's Beef Week, but it's lucky it's only on every 3 years - as it's so time consuming - and exhausting!  Around 80,000 people attend, and I think I get to talk to a sizeable number of them!

In both 2012 & 2015 I had the good fortune to have a stand opposite Quadrant Australia, which made it extra enjoyable - so many interesting people coming and going, including many overseas visitors.

In 2015 more than 1,000 overseas visitors attended Rocky's Beef Week - a record number.

In 2018 I will be working on Quadrant Australia's stand, talking to everyone about their farm tours within Australia and around other countries.

Some images from Beef Australia 2015:

Sydney Royal Easter Show

17 March - 30 March 2016

Over a two week period around 800,000 people attend the Royal Easter Show in Australia's largest city, making it the southern hemisphere's largest annual event.

Having a tradestand close to the food dome was a priceless opportunity to strike up conversations with a large number of people who had never set foot on a farm or met anyone involved in agriculture.

Equitana Melbourne

18 - 21 November 2010

I had a tradefair stand at horselover's paradise - the largest equine event in the southern hemisphere, Equitana Australia, held at the Royal Melbourne Showground.  Over the 4 days, more than 50,000 people attended Equitana 2010.  Less than 10% of the people I met at my stand were from Victoria but overall attendance figures were: 39% of attendees were from Victoria, 55% were from other Australian states & territories and the balance came from other countries - mostly New Zealand.   There were 99 presenters and 300 competitors.  It was a fascinating 4 days - it was amazing how many people were there from the most distant corners of Australia (many Western Australians and Territorians, for example, as well as North Queenslanders) and it was even more amazing to discover a huge number of people who had lived and worked on big cattle stations.  It was great to meet so many people - many customers already, and many new ones.

Brown Gully Photography & Framing (Roma, Queensland)

'Roaming around the Bush' exhibition

1 November – 5 December 2008

Officially opened by accomplished author, bush poet and very witty speaker Sandy Thorne, of Lightning Ridge. I drove more than 1,000km south to be there and Sandy drove more than 500km north-east. It was well worth the effort - we had a top night and a good laugh with a large bunch of great people (it started before the official time of 6.30pm, and went 2 hours past the official finish time; until 10.30pm - Alistair and Nellie Brown are great hosts!).

Bondi Pavilion Gallery (Bondi Beach, Sydney, New South Wales)

'Outback by the Sea - Images of Australia's largest cattle stations' exhibition

18 March - 13 April 2008

Officially opened by Peter Lewis, Executive Producer of ABC TV's 'Landline' programme. Attended by a great assortment of bushies, business people and other locals interested in the bush. Those present on the night included: Landline Presenter, Anne Kruger; R.M. William's Outback Magazine Editor, Mark Muller, and Publisher, Jay Pring; CEO of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Nigel Milan; CEO of Frontier Services, Rosemary Young; President of the Luncheon Club, Carole-Ann King; Macquarie Pastoral Fund Managing Director, Alan Hayes; Macquarie Pastoral Services Director, Tim Hornibrook; 2007 Australian Rural Woman of the Year, Deb Bain; and President of the Qld Rural Press Club, Jane Milburn.

It took more than 10 years to line up a good venue in Australia's largest city. Competition for quality exhibition space is fierce. Thousands of people visited the exhibition, from all parts of Australia and all over the rest of the world. Eventually I bought a large map so overseas visitors could mark their home town. Attendance of people from remote areas of Australia was helped along by a Keith Urban concert and the Sydney Royal Easter Show, which encouraged people to make the effort to travel long distances (including a family from Katherine, in the Northern Territory, who came to Sydney just for the concert and my exhibition). Thanks to Waverley Council's Martha Belgum for helping with the organisation of the exhibition.

The Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame (Longreach, Central-Western Qld)

'Stockwomen and stockmen' exhibition

15 May - 16 October 2006

Officially opened by His Excellency Major General Michael Jeffery AC CVO MC Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. Also attended by the Governor General’s wife Marlena, the Administrator of the Northern Territory Ted Egan and his wife Nerys Evans, Chairman of the Year of the Outback Bruce Campbell and his daughter Fiona Campbell-Maybury, and Longreach Mayor Pat Tanks and his wife.

It was also great to meet the Governor General’s staff — all immensely personable. And their uniforms are absolutely stunning! A truly memorable night.

Beef Week (Rockhampton, Central Queensland)

Books Signing - Tradefair

3-6 May 2006

Beef Week is on every three years during early May and is highly recommended to anyone interested in Australian agriculture. Packed with a wide range of things to do and see and attended by people all over Australia plus many overseas visitors.

Apart from talking with so many interesting people who came past, and seeing people I hadn’t seen for 20 years or more (eg. an ag. college lecturer I last saw in 1983), two other highlights were the Rural Press Club breakfast (guest speakers Paul and Simon Holmes a Court) and the Resource Consulting Services cocktail party for Grazing For Profit graduates.

For information visit Beef Australia.

Official launch of Fiona Lake's first book, 'A Million Acre Masterpiece', by Bob Katter MP

QCWA Hall, Townsville (North Queensland)

2 December 2005

Hon. Bob Katter MP (Independent Member for Kennedy) officially launched ‘A Million Acre Masterpiece — Images of Australia's largest cattle stations’. Books were signed for several hours straight with people coming and going to Christmas functions and a highlight for me was the effort some people made to attend, some driving hundreds of kilometres just to be there, or sneaking out of must-attend office Christmas parties. A lot of people find old friends and acquaintances at these events, and at the booklaunch a record was set by Ray Fryer, who bumped into an old school friend he hadn't seen since he was in school…63 years earlier in 1942! We saw a bloke we haven't seen since we worked with him in 1984, and he brought along photographs I sent him in 1985. Retired drovers, kids, businesspeople, mothers, journalists, station owners and staff and everyone in-between. It was a great mixture and it was good to see everyone enjoying a good chinwag. Peter Fitzgerald did a great job of running the Rotary bar for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Thyme, Lime and Tea provided excellent food.

The Queensland Rural Press Club's Christmas party & preliminary launch of my 'A Million Acre Masterpiece' book

Mélange Café (Brisbane CBD, South-Eastern Queensland)

17 November 2005

The Rural Press Club’s Christmas “Roundup” at the Mélange Café, Roma Street Parklands. Joint speakers: Queensland National’s Senator Barnaby Joyce, Agforce President Peter Kenny, and myself.

Like many Rural Press Club functions it was sold out weeks in advance. Rural Press Club events are excellent agri-business networking events, featuring interesting speakers.

Further information at can be found at the Rural Press Club.

Cowboys Leagues Club (Townsville, North Queensland)

'Australia's Most Famous Cattle Stations' Exhibition

14 May 2005 - 21 March 2007

Regularly changing images in the dining area of the Cowboy's Leagues Club.

Stoney's High Country Store (Mansfield, Victoria)

'Australia's Most Famous Cattle Stations' Exhibition

22 February - 20 July 2005

Display in Stoney's High Country Store.

Sofitel Reef Hotel & Casino, Cairns (Far North Queensland)

'Australia’s Largest Cattle Stations — Two Decades of Photographs' Exhibition

1 July - 28 November 2004

The largest exhibition to date, with 50 photographs on show in the 'Lobby' and 'Tamarind' Galleries. Opened by Kevin Byrne, Mayor of Cairns. The Sofitel Reef Casino art programme was launched at the same time. Sponsored by the Australian Agricultural Company. Featured the most splendid hors d'oeuvres ever at an exhibition opening - General Manager Michel Molliet put on a delicious repast Huge platters of the best coconut prawns ever tasted and trays of oyster shooters. Arranged by Sofitel Melbourne Art Advisor Maria Prendergast, and Michel's very efficient and personable p.a., Ciara Bramwell.

Maranoa Art Gallery (Mitchell, Queensland)

'Two Hours Drive to the Local Post Office' Exhibition

3 April - 23 May 2004

Opened by Councillor Wayne Dobbin. Assistance received from the Booringa Shire Council (Mitchell). Fabulously arranged by the very creative and energetic Noela Ward.

Sofitel Hotel Melbourne (Victoria)

3 September 2003 - 16 February 2004

Sofitel Melbourne

Exhibition in the 'lobby' of Sofitel Melbourne, 25 Collins Street. Opened by Peter Holmes à Court, previous CEO of the Australian Agricultural Company, and introduced by Sofitel Melbourne G.M. Erik Stuebe. Sponsored by the AACo and assistance received from Regional Arts Development Fund (through Arts Queensland and the Townsville City Council). Arranged by the splendidly capable and charming Maria Prendergast, Sofitel Melbourne Art Advisor. Attended by a huge variety of people, and especially memorable for me because so many friends and relatives were able to attend. And Lillian Frank! Lillian Frank is an amazing woman; read the transcript of her 'Talking Heads' interview. Footage of the exhibition opening featured on a 'Landline' story regarding my photography.

Cowboys Leagues Club (Townsville, North Queensland)

'Australia's Most Famous Cattle Stations' Exhibition

5 Sept - 30 Dec 2003

Regularly changing images in the foyer of the Cowboy's Leagues Club.

The Hub (Chillagoe, Far North Queensland)

'Ringers Not Cowboys & Stations Not Ranches (The World’s Largest Cattle Stations)' exhibition

26 July - 1 August 2002

Arranged and also opened by the late Gordon Arnold — Mareeba Shire Councillor & previous manager of Wrotham Park Station. A “Year of the Outback - 2002” event sponsored by the AACo, and assistance received from the Mareeba Shire Council.

Peppin Heritage Centre (Deniliquin, New South Wales)

'Australia’s Largest Cattle Stations — 18 Years of Photographs' exhibition

5 March - 16 April 2002

Opened by Adrian Piccoli MP. A “Year of the Outback - 2002” event. Assistance received from the Deniliquin and the Conargo Shire Councils. Arranged by the exceedingly capable Stephanie Barlow.

Weswal Gallery (Tamworth, New South Wales)

'Australia’s Largest Cattle Stations — 18 Years of Photographs' exhibition

17 January - 13 February 2002

Opened on 20 January in the midst of the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival, by the very talented and generous Ted Egan, prior to his appointment as Administrator of the Northern Territory. A “Year of the Outback — 2002” event.

Flinders Gallery (Townsville, North Queensland)

'By Horse, Helicopter and Shanks Pony' exhibition

30 August - 26 September 2001

Opened by Winton resident Peter Knowles, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 1997. Assistance received from the Regional Arts Development Fund (through Arts Queensland and the Townsville City Council).

Outback Regional Gallery (Winton, Western Queensland)

'Wilder Than The Wild West... & a Damn Sight More Interesting' exhibition

17 July - 8 September 2000

Opened by Barbara Anderson, previous president of the Queensland Rural Women’s Network. Assistance received from the Regional Arts Development Fund (through Arts Queensland and the Winton Shire Council).

Jupiter's Hotel & Casino (Townsville, North Queensland)

'Australia's Most Famous Cattle Stations' Exhibition

25 May - 15 June 2000

Regularly changing exhibition in Aqua, Jupiter Casino's best restaurant.

Beef Week (Rockhampton, Central Queensland)

'Australia's Most Famous Cattle Stations' Exhibition

10-14 April 2000

Australia's largest cattle industry gathering - the tri-ennial week-long 'Beef Week' tradefair in Rocky - an exhausting but great week, meeting thousands of people from all over.

Exhibition - Civic Centre, Longreach
Photograph by Chris McCormack
Queensland Country Life Newspaper
20 Nov 1999

Longreach Civic Centre (Western Queensland)

'Australia's Most Famous Cattle Stations' Exhibition

20 November 1999

Exhibition during the Year of the Outback (2002) forum, launch and dinner. This event was an amazing one-off gathering of people from all walks of life, from all over Australia, who were interested in the bush. From Deputy P.M. John Anderson to the energetic and visionary Bruce Campbell, the indefatigable Everald Compton (pursuer of new inland transport links), Mayors, people in business and the arts, and CEOs of the major pastoral companies of the time, such as John Cox of Stanbroke Pastoral Company.

Conrad Jupiter's Casino (Gold Coast, South-Eastern Queensland)

'Broadbeach or the Bush' Exhibition

28 June - 1 July 1999

The 'Broadbeach' room was generously provided by Terry and Pam McCosker of Resource Consulting Services, Yeppoon (Central Queensland); during the inaugural RCS conference.

Like to see more images?

My three coffee-table style books feature more than 800 of my best photographs taken on Australia's largest cattle stations, spread across the top half of Australia.

They can be personally signed and mailed anywhere in the world. And sales of books help fund rural advocacy - for example, the above-mentioned exhibitions.

Comments from book purchasers can be seen in Testimonials.

FUTURE EXHIBITIONS

The Bondi & Roma exhibitions were intended to be the last, so I could concentrate on other things - such as producing books and running workshops.  I invested more than a decade of time and energy into arranging an exhibition overseas to no avail - so shelved that plan for a few years.  Recently one last try scored me a three month exhibition in what is arguably Australia's most important Embassy - in Washington D.C.

So who knows what else might bob up - never say never.  But future exhibitions will have to be funded externally as my biscuit tin for donated exhibitions has well and truly run dry.  Past exhibitions have been almost completely self-funded, as part of my ongoing rural advocacy efforts - particularly addressing my aim to reach those who are least familiar with agriculture of any kind. When done properly, exhibitions tie up a substantial amount of capital and consume countless hours of work, over many months.  And it's impossible for even the most popular exhibitions to make a profit these days - covering costs is even a challenge. 

Some of the above exhibitions have been described by experienced, long-term gallery directors as receiving by far the best response from the public - far outstripping any other exhibition they have held.  Several have hung for twice as long as originally planned.

I do love holding exhibitions.  It is fantastic to meet exhibition visitors in person, hear their views and answer queries and to encourage people to visit or work on farms and cattle stations. And to promote respect for the producers of food and export income.  Art creates very effective Trojan horses.  A well-run and well-publicised exhibition in a great location is exceedingly effective in reaching a broad cross-section of the general public, the media and others in positions of public influence.

If you want to help make sure you don't miss any exhibitions or events close to where you live, send your contact details so personal invitations may be sent to you; time permitting.  But also keep an eye on the 'Business operating hours' blog post, as my mailing list has grown into such a monster that it's not possible to send out notifications for all events.

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