Yamatji photographer touring with AFL premiership cup

Edward ScownGeraldton Guardian
The 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Cup Tour visited one of Western Australia’s most iconic locations on Wednesday, with a sunrise camel ride along beautiful Cable Beach. Today will see the Premiership Cup visit Karratha community before travelling down the mid west to Exmouth on Friday.
Camera IconThe 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Cup Tour visited one of Western Australia’s most iconic locations on Wednesday, with a sunrise camel ride along beautiful Cable Beach. Today will see the Premiership Cup visit Karratha community before travelling down the mid west to Exmouth on Friday. Credit: Tamati Smith; Yama(t)ji / AFL Ph

Geraldton photographer Tamati Smith probably has the best job in Australia right now. He’s following the AFL premiership cup across WA, taking photos in some of WA’s most beautiful locations from north to south.

“I never expected to do the Kimberley in reverse,” Smith said.

The cup started in Broome before heading south through the Pilbara towns of Port Hedland and Karratha. It will make its way to Exmouth today, then Geraldton on Sunday where it will make an appearance at WA Country Builders Stadium in Wonthella for GNFL grand final day. The tour finishes in Kalgoorlie, Manjimup and Perth. In just two days, Smith was taking a helicopter ride through the Ord Valley, a plane over the Bungle Bungles, mixing with locals in Halls Creek and getting caught in a bushfire near Port Hedland.

After an accommodation mix-up, the cup and its crew decided to push through the night to Karratha but were forced to turn around as a bushfire had blocked the road. They found a place to stay the night and made the trip to Karratha the next morning, arriving only hours before the cup was due to be displayed.

Despite all the picturesque locations he’s visited already, Smith said the best picture of the cup hasn’t been taken yet. And although he’s spent a lot of time with the cup, Smith isn’t making any guesses about who will win it.

“I photograph footy more than I follow it,” he said.

It may be the best gig in Australia but it doesn’t include a seat at Optus Stadium for the big dance.

Smith said he’ll be enjoying the grand final like the rest of us, in Geraldton. “I’m a Yamatji man... so it’ll be great to be back home,” he said.

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