A few minutes before this picture was taken at a remote spot on Fraser Island, I thought this wild Australian dog was going to give me trouble. After it was able to smell my scent it settled down and was becoming ‘playful’ when this picture was recorded.
A few months later a young child was killed by a dingo at this same location. This led to a culling and many poor dogs were killed by park rangers under government orders.
The northern Fraser Island dingo’s are a pure strain obviously isolated from the mainland breed. This good-looking dog is a fine example.
Not many people had seen a whale underwater in Australia when this picture was taken, 1st September 1966. At the time few folk appreciated what a whale was. They were an unknown species almost on the brink of extinction – at least this species was. This is a juvenile whale riding on a much larger mother’s back, the dark shape below. My only camera was a medium-format Rolleiflex loaded with slow 16 ISO B&W film.
Actors John Bonney, Janet Kingsbury (Contrabandits, ABC TV) and I had called into the bar at the Wooli Bowling Club for a pre dinner ale or two.
At the time Wooli was an fishing outpost on the mid north coast of New South Wales.
Ron and Valerie Taylor were preparing dinner at the beach cabin we’d rented for a few days.
John got talking with a fisherman at the crowded bar. It was Keith Knox – a pleasant and hard working fisherman with both front teeth missing. Keith had ‘a strange creature caught in the ropes of his fish trap’. He had no idea what it was. Just a ‘monster of a thing.
John Bonney and I agreed to have a look and see what might be done. We’d follow Keith in our boat the next morning.
It turned out to be this huge and very rare Green Sawfish, about five meters long in total.
The saw fish had wrapped itself in the tough nylon fish trap rope down near the bottom, 33 meters deep.
Back on the beach at Minnewater Valerie Taylor posed with my spear gun for this picture.
Dean Cropp has a dolphin film project happening. Recently he captured on video the birth of a dolphin.
Dean is also a news cameraman with the Seven Network in Sydney. His famous father Ben Cropp has made at least one underwater documentary for television, each year since 1964.
Kerry O’Neill was the underwater model.