Ray Collins Photo

Conversations. ABC Radio National Australia

Conversations. ABC Radio National Australia

It was my absolute honour to chat with Richard Fidler on the Conversations program on ABC Radio. The program is ABC's most popular podcast, downloaded 5 million times per month. It features local and international guests from all walks of life, engaging in in-depth interviews.

We discussed my childhood in a single-parent government-provided housing, my old work in the coal mines, the people, the danger, the confinement -  and to be honest - it isn't something I've thought a whole lot about since I left the industry 4 years ago.

Life can be chaotic and wild at times and I wake up every day thankful that part of my life is over...

Here's the description from the ABC website. 

"When Ray was growing up in Wollongong he wanted to be a coal miner. He was in his twenties when he got the call that he was going underground. Each working day he descended in a cage full of men to ‘the black’, more than one kilometre underground to gouge out the coal from beneath the escarpment. Ray had been working underground for years when he had a bad accident. During his recovery, he began swimming out to waves near his house with a camera.

First, he took photographs of a friend of his who was a surfer. 

Within months, his work made the cover of Australian Surfing Life.

Ray returned to the mines, working as a surf photographer on his days off.

Eventually, he dispensed with humans as his subjects and began capturing images of waves caught in a frozen instant.

Ray’s photographs of waves are now recognised around the world."

Here is a link to the episode (47min 50sec)