Our huge project to produce a photographic documentary of the small towns of north-west Victoria’s Mallee region is gathering steam after we had a great few days in the region between May 25 and 28.
The five photographers involved in the project – Noel Butcher, Andrew Chapman, Melanie Faith Dove, Jaime Murcia and Erin Jonasson – all came along.
Our star book designer, Phil Campbell, came along as well, as did our publisher/writer, Adam McNicol, who grew up in the Mallee town of Manangatang and came up with the idea of documenting the Mallee in this way.
Adam and Noel plot their course at the Hopetoun Community Hotel (Pic credit: Erin Jonasson)
The crew based themselves in Hopetoun, and they had a very enjoyable evening at the Hopetoun Community Hotel on the Friday night, where they met characters like ‘Twine’ Hallam and an interesting young fella by the name of Cyril.
Jaime and Cyril (Pic credit: Erin Jonasson)
Over the ensuing days, they spread out across the Mallee to document places like Yaapeet, Patchewollock, Woomelang, Rainbow and Beulah.
Adam, Phil and Jaime enjoyed calling in at Lascelles, where they took in the painted silos that are part of the Silo Art Trail, a brilliant initiative that has been strongly backed by Wimmera Mallee Tourism, an organisation run by the Warracknabeal-based Yarriambiack Shire.
They also enjoyed having a couple of cold refreshments at the mighty Minapre Hotel.
Andrew and Jaime visited Nullawil on the Saturday to see one of the Mallee’s most successful football-netball clubs in action.
They thoroughly enjoyed meeting local legend Tony Doran, who booted 3000 goals in his extraordinary career.
Tony remains fit as a fiddle and, despite being 53, he had his kit bag packed in his car just in case he received a call-up to have a run around in the seconds.
Andrew Chapman, who is widely known for his best-selling books Woolsheds and Around the Shed, found some shearing out at the Hallam family’s property on the Monday, which topped off a great few days.
The photographers headed home with thousands of brilliant pictures on their memory cards and you can see a selection of them by searching on Instagram for the hashtag #themalleebook.
Tractor letterbox (Pic credit: Andrew Chapman)
The crew will be coming together for at least two more shoots in the Mallee, one in August and one during harvest in November/December.
Feel free to use the contact page on this website to send us some ideas of where we should go and great stories waiting to be told.
The book, which will be titled The Mallee: A journey through the small towns of north-west Victoria, will be released in late 2020.