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Moura appears to be a town divided. It straddles the Dawson Highway – a road that cuts through the centre and brings you in, sees you out. But the divide seems greater than this geographical scar. As we learn more about the township during our one-week stay, we begin to discover another division. Mining has introduced a fly-in, fly-out roster. They need little from the town and offer little in return. The mining village sits on the edge of the community and is self-sufficient. Its transience stands in contrast to the long-term residents who live in long-term houses. The embellishment of the front yard reveals years of history - civic pride.
Industry surrounds the town: cattle, crops and cotton. Generations of farmers maintaining their own, holding onto their land as gas pipes are driven across their fields. Heavy trucks move the livestock and produce along the highway - hurling along unfenced roads, wildlife is caught in the headlights. The surface bears traces.
Grey nomads pull into the campsites and free up the highway at nightfall. While well stocked, they visit the cafes and buy groceries. Some seek to experience Moura and visit the memorial sites that represent the three mining disasters that have occurred. There is a quiet sadness over the town as it is approaching the anniversary of those interred in the 1975 tragedy. Although distant, it remains raw with the families who still live in the town and hold the memories.
This book is a glimpse into Moura through the eyes of twenty-five photo documentary students. The project is a part of the Bachelor of Photography, offered at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University.
Angela Blakely & David Lloyd