Eastway in the NT

This week AIPP Top End Chapter will be hosting a week-long set of events with special guest Peter Eastway. For those who are unfamiliar, Peter is an Australian photographer known internationally for his landscape photography and creative use of post-production. He is also a Grand Master of Photography, a Fellow and an Honorary Fellow of AIPP and an Honorary Fellow of the NZIPP. Peter won the 1996 and 1998 AIPP Australian Professional Photographer of the Year Award and in 2019 was named the AIPP Wildlife Photographer of the Year. 

We spoke with event organiser Sharon Jones about what attendees can expect and how they put this fantastic event together.

What individual events will the Eastway visit feature?

We have designed the week to have a variety of activities that will suit a range of audiences, both local and interstate.  There are four events which include an evening talk, half day aerial workshop, 3 day Kakadu workshop and 1 day Darwin workshop.  

What inspired the events?

The inspiration was something of a joint effort between the former AIPP NT Council (now AIPP Top End Chapter) and the national AIPP committee.  The aim was to provide a showcase activity with a renowned photographer that would create an experience not often available in the NT.  Of course once we decided to invest in flying in a guest speaker it made sense that it would be not just a single activity but a series of activities – after all flights to Darwin aren’t cheap!   

How successful has it been putting it together?

Well I really should answer that one after this week! But seriously the event planning side has been enormously successful. One of the key factors to this success has been partnering with local tour company NT Bird Specialists for the Kakadu workshop – this really was the only way this workshop could have worked given the requirements for park permits and insurance.  Not to mention that the company owners Luke and Sarah are just great people who have been a pleasure to work with. Peter has also been great to work with in planning the event. The organisation certainly has had its challenges and a few nail-biting moments before we achieved the minimum number of event bookings we needed to make it financially viable. Travel in the time of coronavirus has had (and still has) me on the edge of my seat both in term of having participants brave enough to book an interstate trip and the constant risk that an outbreak anywhere in the country may result in a sudden border shut down. But we’re keeping our fingers and toes crossed.

Any advice for Chapters looking to coordinate and host their own future events?

Just do it. The hardest part of all was deciding to make this happen and then committing the time to putting it together. Looking at options to partner with local companies or like-minded organisations is also a great idea. We’ve partnered with the local camera club to use its club rooms for our Darwin workshop and this has also provided a good avenue to market the event. In my case this was made easier as I am also the Darwin Camera Club Treasurer, but I’m certain many clubs would be open to a collaborative event, especially if it means you can link into the amazing community and talent the AIPP has access to. 

We wish Peter Eastway and AIPP Top End Chapter the best for the week to come and look forward to hearing feedback from attendees. For member information on how to set up a chapter: https://aipp.com.au/members-home/establish-a-new-aipp-chapter/