On a recent job for Prime Constructions I organised drone photography to be shot at one of their sites. It is hard not to feel like you’re revisiting your childhood with such technology … you know, a bit like when dad and you made one of those remote controlled planes. Fortunately the drone is a bit easier to fly than the bungled attempts I remember trying to get the plane off the ground.
Prime is regarded as one of the leading building contractors in NSW. It was established in 1983 by Ron Masters and Phil de Gail. Paul Christopher and John Drake joined the company in 1988 and 1989 respectively and both became joint managing directors in 2010.
I also captured some images of a recently completed logistics centre by Prime Constructions at Homebush. While I was working until dusk, waiting for the light to become more seductive, it was a welcome surprise to find that there was a fast-food van next door with outdoor seating. Of course I couldn’t resist trying the “Little Weiner cuisine” in between shots.
I was in the Sydney suburb of Liverpool to photograph the opening event of a new accommodation facility in Liverpool for people with disability.
United For Care is an organisation which promotes the idea that people with disability can live, to a large extent, a happy and fulfilled life and that means having their own independent accommodation. It strives to move away from any model of communal living in dormitories, shared bathrooms and lounge rooms and gives the individual the pleasure of having their own space, at the same time offering all the allied support that may be necessary.
The event kicked off with an acknowledgement of the traditional custodians of the land in a welcome to country by Aunty Gail followed by a smoking ceremony.
Speeches were made by the Chief Operations Officer, Karim Amin and Dai Le (Federal Member), who also cut the ribbon to mark the official opening.
Guests were entertained by “The Weeklies”, the Disability Services Australia band who created a melodic background for the day’s activities. The catering was next level, as you can see from some of the images which follow.
During the recent Sydney World Pride festival, I was commissioned by Booking.com and CSM to photograph events along Crown Street, to document the installation that Booking.com had created as part of their “Travel Proud” initiative.
Travel Proud has been created as a way of making travel for the LGBTQA+ community more inclusive. Companies, organisations and people who offer travel and hospitality experiences have been encouraged to take a short course to understand and connect more effectively with LGBTQA travellers. This reduces any barriers or uncomfortable situations for LGBTQA+ patrons and has been welcomed by Booking.com’s partners.
Passers-by were encouraged to share “travel proud” messages of goodwill and anecdotal travel stories by recording them (usually on their phones), then uploading them to the “giant suitcase” containing a large LED screen which then played them back.
I enjoyed capturing the atmosphere in Crown Street during this event. I started early on a Sunday morning to document the construction and reassembling of a giant suitcase which was to become the central focus for the Booking.com promotion. Alongside the suitcase, a stage was built with lights and sound gear, ready for the line-up of local and international talent.
And the artists, at least in the shows I experienced, were really magnificent. There was Nick Pes wooing the public with his dulcet tones (and a stunningly ripped midriff clearly on display).
Greg Gould had the crowd in the palm of his hand. Trevor Ashley gave Shirley Bassey a run for her money.
Of course the big draw card on the night was the Austrian winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, Conchita Wurst. Conchita was in town as an ambassador for Booking.com and the Travel Proud program.
There were fabulous drag queens from interstate, including Big Thick Energy, Vassy, Haiku Hands and Chela, as well as drag queens well known to the Sydney crowd such as Verushka Darling. Plus there was a string of DJ’s from Sydney and beyond, including James Tobin who I had photographed many years previously.
The night closed with a stunning performance by Paul Capsis who would have blown the roof off, if there was a roof in the first place. I loved watching the faces in the crowd during Paul’s performance. One comment I noted was, “Capsis is a creature with incredible force. His screams can be heard from Mars.”
All in all it was great to see Oxford Street and the neighbourhood come alive with a great feeling of celebration and sharing over this period. Bravo to the organisers for creating a really successful new event.
Scroll through more photos by clicking through the images below:
It was an early rise for Sunday morning, especially after working long hours the day before. However it was well worth the effort to be able to participate in a major civic event on the final official day of World Pride Sydney 2023. I met my two friends Ann Maree and Michele at Central Station, to join 50,000 of our closest friends, to walk across the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge to the Domain.
This was the first time in 23 years that the Harbour Bridge had been closed to traffic. Participants marched in solidarity for the LGBTQA+ community, in honour of past, present and continuing struggles both here and internationally, particularly in places where the rights of members of our community fall far behind the respect given in Australia (you know who you are!)
It was an exhilarating experience to be in unison with so many. The crowd was colourful and joyful. The weather was superb and the walk was the perfect bit of exercise for a Sunday morning.
As I walked, I thought about those people in other parts of the world who do not experience the freedoms that we enjoy here in this country. I then thought about all those in Australia who weren’t as lucky as us right now, being able to congregate under the banner of LGBTQA+ and march together, but instead have had to lead a life of non-acceptance and vilification. I thought about those who have had to endure social exclusion and even violent attacks, those who lost their lives, or the many hardships and painful journeys. It’s good to be able to clock just how far we have come, to act as a reminder to be vigilant in our protection of our hard fought freedoms.
Approximately 160 new graduates of the NSW Ambulance training course for paramedic and call takers gathered for the graduation ceremony with friends and family at Homebush.
Key speakers at the ceremony were David Dutton BM ASM, Executive Director, Clinical Operations and Clare Beech ASM, Executive Director, Clinical Operations who welcomed the new graduates to the ranks of fully qualified employees.
The Senior Chaplain, Peter Van Praag, gave an introductory speech followed by a moment of stillness and prayer. The audience also heard from different representatives from the classes of paramedic and call takers, and a sense of pride was shared by the family and friends who also attended. Later there was a special appearance by the NSW Ambulance mascot, “Bearamedic”