Striving to find Balance

In Fraser Island’s past the land was taken from the Butchulla people and the natural resources of this incredible island were exploited by logging companies. In its more recent past Fraser Island was given World Heritage status for its unique natural values and in 2014 the title of the land was returned to the Butchulla people. Tourism is now the main stay of the island. In spite of the local Butchulla population having clear aspirations for its management, their indigenous cultural heritage values are yet to be recognised in the WH status listing.


Prior to the colonisation of the island the Aboriginal people looked after this land sustainably for tens of thousands of years and hold the knowledge of what it takes to really live in harmony with the land.  We need to look at how we can learn from that and how we can embed those parts from their culture into the management of the island in order for it to thrive and survive for future generations. The well being of Fraser Island is inextricably linked with the way visitors to the island interact with the landscape, flora and fauna.


These images show the pure beauty of the island juxtaposed with a multitude of 4WD tyre tracks, remnants of tyre blow outs,  a solitary dingo from the purest strain of  Australian Dingo waiting for scraps of food from a tourist’s fishing expedition, lines and lines of foot prints scaling the heights of sandblows,  one of the hundreds of daily tourists taking in Lake Wabby which is of cultural significance to the Butchulla people but due to environmental and foot fall factors is  being engulfed by the sandblow.


Created with the soon to be obsolete medium of fuji polaroid the landscapes take on visual notes of images lost in a time that has past. The failure of the medium through light leaks and shutter failures are reflective of the human intervention with the landscape . There is only one original, the polaroid, the reproduction here on the website is a generation removed and doesn’t hold the qualities of the original, much like Fraser Island should it be lost.


We all need to hold the hope that sites of such beauty can find the balance they need to thrive, we need to remember that the land can survive without us, but we definitely can’t survive without it.


These works are available for sale as the original polaroids 10cm x 8cm. For more information please send an email

All Images © Copyright Virginia Woods-Jack 2020

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