Local author releases incredible tale of the outback
THE MAN who sold his 13-acre property in Rosebank and travelled to Kakadu to work on a book has now published the finished product, Old Man's Story.
Author and landscape photographer Mark Lang had spent his life capturing the beauty of the world but 16 years ago he felt a pull to settle in one place in Australia.
"I thought it would be better to spend some time in one piece of country and get to know that piece of country very well," Mr Lang said.
Mr Lang was in Kakadu for two years working with Aboriginal elder "Big Bill" Neidjie, who passed away in 2002, to write their book which describes Mr Neidjie's deepest thoughts and wishes.
Their partnership was not Mr Lang's original intention, but a result of being in the right place at the right time.
Mr Lang had organised interviewing an elder from across the river but after several weeks of waiting, the man changed his mind.
"He decided to work with someone else, so I thought this country was not lucky for me and I was going to leave Kakadu," he said.
"The last thing I did was to say goodbye to Old Man (Mr Neidjie) but he could see that I was upset, so I explained what happened."
Mr Neidjie listened, then told Mr Lang to sit down and take out his tape recorder.
"I will tell you a story," he said.
Mr Lang photographed Mr Neidjie's country over two wet seasons and two dry seasons, and transcribed a total nine hours of his story.
"He wanted to leave a chronicle of his feelings and wishes for his people and for people generally speaking, he wanted to share his culture with the white fella world," Mr Lang said.
Their book, Old Man's Story, was released on July 1 and is available at bookstores or online on the New South Distributors website.
Visit http://www.newsouthbooks.com.au to secure a copy.