In the space of a few days, Australian media have displayed images of two local cowboys. Heath Ledger, co-star of The Secret of Brokeback Mountain, was found dead in Manhattan last Tuesday. Today, in a more joyous context, country singer Lee Kernaghan was proclaimed Australian of the Year. And here's an old photo of an authentic Aussie cowboy:
This is my brother Don Skyvington (a year younger than me) at Wave Hill cattle station in the outback, in the company of Aboriginal stockmen. This photo was taken in the early '60s. Don has had major health problems for most of his adult life, possibly as a consequence of hepatitis that he picked up out in the bush. He now resides in Brisbane (Queensland) in a fine and friendly home with disabled Aboriginals, which I visited when I was out in Australia in 2006.