The story of the Outback [video]

Jul 10, 2013 No Comments by

Growing up in the high desert of New Mexico, I always craved to be by the ocean. I was completely jealous of my cousins in California and Kauai.

What was so great about the desert?

It wasn’t until I left that I understood the beauty that the desert holds, and the powerful effect it has on you.

When Matador said Tourism & Events Queensland was looking for a filmmaker to explore the Outback, I was immediately interested.

The Outback seemed to me the ultimate desert, with larger-than-life floods and breathtaking sunsets. I couldn’t wait to get lost in that landscape. I felt I could almost imagine it, but I also knew I had no idea what I was in for.

After a week traveling around Channel Country, we landed in the town of Birdsville, which is in the southwestern-most corner of Queensland. Birdsville is famous for the horse races that happen once a year, but I wanted to know more about this place than what an annual event could tell me.

While in Windorah, I was told by some new friends who own the Western Star Hotel to seek out Don Rowlands, an Aboriginal Elder and park ranger of Munga-Thirri National Park, formerly known as Simpson Desert National Park. Munga-Thirri is the largest national park in Queensland.

Don is well known in the area, and finding him in the small town only took a short conversation with the friendly owners of the Birdsville Bakery. Don’s love for the Outback is apparent when you meet him, and his pride in his work as a ranger shows. He was kind enough to let me interview him about the area, despite the short notice.

During the interview, I started to get the feeling that there just wasn’t enough time in one interview to explain it all — the history, the people, the spirit of the Outback. As we reached midday and the flies started to make themselves known, I turned my questions towards what the Outback meant to Don. What came of that conversation inspired this short.

I hope to spend more time in the Queensland Outback one day, because a place like that takes time to absorb and appreciate.

This article originally appeared on Matador Network.

, outback


Founding the production company Red Reel in 2009, Alexandria has concentrated on short films with character driven stories. Her 2012 film series MoveShake features real life stories and lessons of people dedicating themselves to environmental and social issues. Believing in the power of storytelling, Alexandria’s work is defined by her ability to get to the core of passionate characters with the intention of shifting perspectives and igniting change.