Nikon-Walkley Contemporary Australian Daily Life


ABC Online

Matthew Abbott

“Not a farmer’s wife”

Matthew Abbott came across this story when he saw a jillaroo on social media and learned how, in the bush, women are increasingly taking on roles in a traditionally male-dominated industry. He traveled with a colleague to cattle country in the Kimberleys with the idea of documenting the daily lives of women mustering cattle, and shaking up the stereotypes of what outback life is like.

“What we found was modern young women taking on leadership roles in a changing industry where skills such as social media, logistics and planning are just as critical as manual labour,” wrote Abbott in his entry statement. “Over many days the women let us into their personal lives, and we were able to capture raw and intimate moments that get to the heart of what it means to be a jillaroo in 2018.”

The judges praised Abbott’s series as technically strong, with beautiful composition and use of natural light. “Each individual image stands alone quite strongly and tells a story. It says everything about who they are, where they live and how they live, in a way the viewer can really connect with.”

Matthew Abbott