Shooting Prime Ministers

Thursday, July 22, 2010
By Glenn Campbell

I have been a bit slack in my posting of late , covering a bit of country and taking a few pictures, from the banks of Magella Creek in Kakadu,

Traditional owner Yvonne Margarulla of the Mirrar people on the banks of Magella Creek in Kakadu National Park.

To Brunette Downs on the Barkly Tableland,

and south to The Alice.

Co- joined beanies at the Alice Springs Beanie Festival.

I was kicking back in Larrimah Pop 12, totally missing the night of the long knives and nearly spilt my coffee on the dash board when I came back into wireless range and learned that the country had a new Prime Minister and a Ginger at that!
It got me thinking about Prime Ministers past and present and the relative freedoms that we Australian photographers enjoy with our national leaders compared to our colleagues in Washington.
My first Prime Ministerial experience was as a green cadet photographer on one of my first assignments for the Townsville Buliten in the outback town of Winton when the Government jet landed at dusk and Paul Keating PM and entourage stepped down onto the black soil plains to plant a gum tree in the main street, up till then I had been the only photographer around, blissfully shooting the “Waltzing Matilda” festival, so when it came to scrum time I was woefully unprepared for the tender attentions of the press gallery shooters Mike Bowers, and Lyndon Michelson so after copping a few elbows and then a hand on my shoulder I gave back a decent backwards stiff arm salute and turn around to see that I had just elbowed the Prime Minister in the guts.
Needless to say I was quickly hauled out of there!
No pics of that one I’m afraid.
Since I have been in Darwin We’ve been graced with the presence of 3 Prime Ministers

Former service Station attendant, John Winston Howard PM

PM John Howard takes out 2nd prize in the Robertson Barracks Officers Mess Chook raffle

Laurie Oakes’s former house cleaner, Kevin Michael Rudd PM

PM Kevin Rudd

Definitely not taken walking out of Caucus on June 24th.

and of late former Adelaide schoolgirl, Julia Eileen Gillard PM , whom during her short stint in the top job has visited the “Top End” twice, the first time spruiking her border protection credentials.

PM Julia Gillard aboard the navy patrol boat HMAS Broome.

and the second to attend the funeral of Katherine born Soldier Scott Palmer who was killed in Afghanistan.

PM Julia Gillard commiserates with the family of Private Scott Palmer at his Darwin Funeral after he was killed on active service in Afghanistan.

Will keep you posted on the third but Damian Hale I’m sure will be welded to her shoulder on the next Prime Ministerial doorstop.

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