A contractor for the Gladstone Ports Corporation was suspended after putting Bill Shorten on-the-spot over tax breaks. Photo: Liana Walker
A contractor for the Gladstone Ports Corporation was suspended after putting Bill Shorten on-the-spot over tax breaks. Photo: Liana Walker

TOP PICKS: Our favourite photos

AS WE prepare for The Observer to go digital only, the team decided to reflect on the past year and pick their top five photos.

The Gladstone community has continually welcomed our journalists into businesses, homes and sporting events to capture these precious moments, and will continue to do so as we continue to cover Gladstone’s biggest stories.

Here’s what our team has to say about their top picks:

Chris Gilmore, Editor

Rodney Hammond gave a new life to an old wagon and donated it to Ubobo as part of centenary celebrations. Photo: Sam Reynolds
Rodney Hammond gave a new life to an old wagon and donated it to Ubobo as part of centenary celebrations. Photo: Sam Reynolds

Rodney Hammond – I love the pride etched into Mr Hammond’s expression. There’s an air of cheekiness that Sam captured perfectly in this photo. It made for a great page one.

Restop – The way Ms Fletcher is standing invitingly beside the ‘Restop’ echoes the story behind the seat, which was made to offer walkers relief on their way up a notorious hill.

The Last Post – Rod captured the sense of unity brought together by Anzac Day, despite this photo being taken during the height of the pandemic lockdown, making it particularly striking.

Gladstone's Catholic Parish Priest Fr Andrew Chase. Photo: Nick Gibbs
Gladstone's Catholic Parish Priest Fr Andrew Chase. Photo: Nick Gibbs

Father Andrew Chase – Nick did a great job showing the parish priest still clearly very connected to his church, despite the pandemic forcing its doors to close.

Sam Reynolds

A picture tells a thousand words, and these ones are more than just the people in the photo, they are the story behind them and the experience of telling that story.

Rose and Les Baker look back at old memories ahead of their 65th wedding anniversary. Photo: Sam Reynolds
Rose and Les Baker look back at old memories ahead of their 65th wedding anniversary. Photo: Sam Reynolds

The Bakers – It was a privilege to listen to the Bakers’ talk about their life as they prepared to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary.

Divalashes – Citra was forced to close her beauty business when coronavirus restrictions took hold, but saw it in a positive light. She said it meant she could spend more time with her sons.

Qld Reds vs. Melbourne Rebels at Marley Brown Oval in January. Photo: Sam Reynolds
Qld Reds vs. Melbourne Rebels at Marley Brown Oval in January. Photo: Sam Reynolds

Queensland Reds – This was the first major event I photographed and it was awesome to experience the joy of the crowd (and see the Reds thrash the Rebels).

New citizens – I got goosebumps during the Citizenship Ceremony on Australia Day and was absolutely moved to talk to families like the Nguyens.

Liana Walker

The people behind the stories are what make them and putting a face to a voice helps bring the authenticity to those stories. These are some of the faces behind some of the most important stories.

Jake Haber, Kirsten Smith and Matt Lynn with Poly the loggerhead turtle on Quoin Island on October 16. Photo: Liana Walker
Jake Haber, Kirsten Smith and Matt Lynn with Poly the loggerhead turtle on Quoin Island on October 16. Photo: Liana Walker

Jacobbe McBride

Karen Bargenquast and Brett Bowman – This photo is one of my favourites because seeing local businesses adapt and overcome challenges they have faced to then thrive is something which is very important to me.

ISO JAM: Local musician Jayd Mckenzie has attracted national and international attention after taking his live gigs to social media. Photo: Jacobbe McBride
ISO JAM: Local musician Jayd Mckenzie has attracted national and international attention after taking his live gigs to social media. Photo: Jacobbe McBride

Jayd McKenzie – Jayd McKenzie’s online gigs polarised a region which missed the night life. Coming from a music background it was a pleasure to interview him and get an insight on the everchanging live music scene.

Janette, Riley and Tiarna Reid – The resilience of Riley and Tiarna Reid, to persevere through the bone disease they are living with, and the strength of their Mum Janette means this photo is a favourite of mine.

Jaimee Kerfoot, Marlu Fur Babies and Friends owner Sue Patroni and Bianca Gardiner holding joeys the organisation is caring for. Photo: Jacobbe McBride
Jaimee Kerfoot, Marlu Fur Babies and Friends owner Sue Patroni and Bianca Gardiner holding joeys the organisation is caring for. Photo: Jacobbe McBride

Marlu Fur babies and friends – Another one of my favourites is the Marlu Fur babies and friends pic with Jaimee Kerfoot, Sue Patroni and Bianca Gardner. This was my first immersive wildlife story and I loved every second of it.

Michael Cahill – When news broke of the pubs being allowed to reopen, it was a very happy day for me. To take photos of an experienced bar owner like Michael Cahill pouring a schooner means it is up there with my favourites.

Nick Gibbs

Posing for a photo isn’t the most natural thing in the world, particularly for people who aren’t used to having their picture taken. The people in these shots had fun with it which usually makes for a good result.

Tannum Garden Centre owner Paul Ford. Photo: Nick Gibbs
Tannum Garden Centre owner Paul Ford. Photo: Nick Gibbs

Eilish Massie

My favourite photos were for my first front page at The Observer

Last November I was tasked to cover a house fire at Philip St. It was by chance I met the family of Bill Spangen outside of the house and he agreed to an interview and photos. 

He welcomed me into his home during what would have been a devastating day, to tell me about what he had lost. The fire had torn through the upper storey of the home, damaging most of his belongings. 

Bill Spangen at his property Philip st, November 12 2019. Photo: Eilish Massie
Bill Spangen at his property Philip st, November 12 2019. Photo: Eilish Massie

While it was devastating to see the remnants of this poor bloke’s home, the resulting photos were powerful. Fire is truly destructive. I took photos as Bill recovered some of his antique coin collection and old family photos, which somehow were spared from the flames. 

I’ve taken some other photos during my time here but the Philip St fire photos will always remain my favourite.

Rodney Stevens

Central Coast Car Club Khanacross – Arnold Schafer gets the back wheel off the ground in a Mazda 323 Astina that was formerly the Sotiris family car until it was retired to use as a track car. To have a former family car being pushed so hard it lifted the back wheel off the ground into a corner was a sight to see.

Central Coast Car Club Khanacross – Ben Barnes of Rockhampton had is VY SS V8 Ute screaming as smoke billowed off the tyres around the whole course. I’m a bit of a rev head so It brought back great memories.

A rescue chopper lands at the site of a crash in Calliope. Photo: Rodney Stevens
A rescue chopper lands at the site of a crash in Calliope. Photo: Rodney Stevens

Calliope Cattle Truck Crash – My first major crash at The Observer after covering too many others, fortunately it wasn’t a fatality. I was corresponding with the editor, Chris Gilmore and was going to leave the scene until he said the rescue chopper was on its way and I was fortunate enough to grab this cracking shot.

Gladstone's Sunrise Rotary Club got Gladstone Regional Council to purchase a commercial freezer for the food centre. Photo: Rodney Stevens
Gladstone's Sunrise Rotary Club got Gladstone Regional Council to purchase a commercial freezer for the food centre. Photo: Rodney Stevens

Gladstone Food Centre new Freezer – Gladstone’s Sunrise Rotary Club got Gladstone Regional Council to purchase a commercial freezer for the food centre. One of the reasons I became a journalist was to help the community and the feedback from this was great, as many people benefit in the Gladstone community.

Spinnaker Park Sunrise – It was quite cold but the stunning sunrise captured on my DJI Mavic Air 2 drone over Port Curtis Harbour made up for my frozen fingers

FULL GALLERY:

Do you have a fond memory of a time your photo was in The Observer? Let us know at newsroom@gladstoneobserver.com.au.