The Drover: Photographic record of the Brinkworth Cattle Drove

The Drover by Alice Mabin - droving captured through the lens of a camera. The red dust swirls around you, filling your lungs and coating your face, the cattle low as they march onwards, you crack a cold one at the end of a long hot day. The path of a drover is a long and difficult one. Droving is woven in the fabric of Australian history, but droving cattle long distances is a rare event today. Now you can view the epic Brinkworth drove, as captured through the lens of photographer Al Mabin in her new book The Drover. During 2013's severe drought, South Australian farmer Tom Brinkworth purchased 18,000 cattle from AACo properties. The $8 million transaction was the largest single purchase in the history of Elders Livestock. Having purchased the cattle, the next question was how to get them home to Brinkworth's 35,000 hectare property Uardry Station near Hay, New South Wales. Doing the sums, the cost of trucking the cattle was roughly the same as walking them down. The journey started in June 2013, covering 2000km and crossing two states, as the cattle were walked south 'On the Long Paddock'. Mabin, who is building a reputation for her ability to capture spectacular photos of the Australian outback, tracked down the phone number of head drover Bill Little and asked if she could take photos of the drove one weekend. She found herself thrown on a horse and joining the drove. Heading home and scrolling through the photos, she realised she was missing the cattle and yearning for the drove. She decided to return and photograph all nine mobs. The result is the stunning coffee table book The Drover, going to the heart of droving, the people, and most importantly - the cattle. This book is sure to appeal to anyone who has ever fallen in love with the outback, and those who inhabit it. 196 pages.

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