Photo essay by Eric Algra
I love exploring the Mallee Country. The big skies and open country, both where the land has been cleared as well as the vast, remaining expanses of natural Mallee Scrub. There is an atmosphere all of its own here.
There are many small settlements throughout the area with most being close to the railway lines that were built in the early part of the twentieth century. Many of these settlements (but not all) have since been virtually abandoned, making for very interesting places to photograph.
I find it fascinating that all these little towns seem to have had, at some stage, football teams. Apparently, during The Depression, this was very much due to the arrival of large numbers of men seeking work in the region.
As interesting as it is to visit the remnants of some of these old footy grounds, there is always a tinge of sadness to see them looking so forlorn and, seemingly, forgotten. Fortunately this is balanced out somewhat by the beautifully kept grounds in the larger towns where footy still thrives.
Coming soon: part 2 of Eric’s epic adventures across the Mallee. (Pinaroo, Wunkar, Wynarka, Murrayville, Parrakie)
Eric has also taken footy photos in Parilla, Geranium, Red Hill, Warracknabeal and Yark and photos for Stereo Stories.
You can visit Eric’s site for more very fine photography, from Melbourne to rural Australia to New York to Cardiff.