About John Elliott

John Elliott is an Australian photographer, writer, creative producer and social documentary maker. He may be contacted at:

email address

John has 30 years experience as a self-employed as a writer, photographer and documentary maker. His work has focused mostly on Australian culture, the bush and music. He has compiled Australia’s most extensive country music photo library. He was Slim Dusty’s preferred photographer for many years and produced the images for 20 of Slims album covers.

John has authored two definitive books on Australian country music – On The Road With Slim (ABC Books)which sold 23,000 copies and Where Country Is – a pictorial history of the past 25 years of Australian Country Music (Rural Press). He is collaborating with Joy McKean on a major coffee table book set for release late 2011.

John was founding editor of Australian Country Music Magazine. He also wrote a weekly music column for Australasian Post Magazine.

He was a board member of the Country Music Association of Australia for seven years and a board member of The Australian Centre for Photography.

John co-ordinated the production of the Slim Dusty Living Legend Stamp Series for Australia Post in 2001. He received The Charlie Lamb Award at Belmont University in Nashville for ‘excellence in country music journalism’. John produced a compilation cd of John Williamson’s Queensland Songs to celebrate 100th Anniversary of RACQ. He produced The Legend of Matilda – a compilation cd featuring 14 versions of our national song. He also produced a radio documentary on the song that was distributed to radio stations nationally.

At the Tamworth festival in 2010 John delivered the inaugural Lecture at the Australian Country Music Foundation, LET’S GET REAL – The Need For Authenticity In Australian Country Music.

See examples of John’s work at:

National Portrait Gallery – www.portrait.gov.au/exhibit/stare/index.htm

Youtube Video – John Elliott Photographs Part 1 – http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=K3YC_Kaw4Yw Part 2 – http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=QVtI6vIDRI8

ABC Radio interview – http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2009/01/19/2468072.htm?site=southqld&rotator=true

Solo Exhibitions

2007 King Street Gallery on Burton, Sydney
2004-05 Thousand Mile Stare, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
1989 John Elliott’s Portrait Exhibition__ Imagery Gallery, Brisbane
1987 In America, Imagery Gallery, Brisbane
1986/87 The Last Show, Brisbane City Hall; Ipswich City Art Gallery; Toowoomba City Art Gallery
1984 Fact or Fable? Nunkeri Gallery, Brisbane
Faces & Places, Images Gallery, Sydney
1983 Monumental Works, City Art Gallery, Toowoomba
1981 Of Little Consequence (joint exhibition with Dough Spowart), Imagery Gallery, Brisbane

Selected Group Exhibitions

2007 People In Photography – The Good, The Bad & The Beautiful, Josef Lebovic Gallery, Sydney
2006 King Street Gallery at Doggett St Studios (cummings, elliott, penrose hart, murphy sages)__ Doggett Street Studios, Brisbane, QLD
The View and the Viewed (curated by Ian Poole & Doug Spowart), Queensland Centre for Photography, Brisbane
Australian Visit (in collaboration with National Portrait Gallery, Canberra), National History Museum, Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark
2005 Face the Music National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Masters of Fare Chefs Winemakers Providores, Old Parliament House, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
2003 Mackay Artspace, Mackay, Qld|
2002 Barry Humphries Exhibition, National Portrait Gallery
2000 Opening Exhibition, National Portrait Gallery
1990 Balance 1990, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
1989 World Photo Exhibition, Osaka, Japan
Shots from Aus, Japan
1988 Araluen Tourist Images Award, Imagery Gallery, Brisbane; Araluen Gallery, ACT; Kodak Gallery, Sydney
1987 A Wedding Photography Exhibition, Imagery Gallery


2005 Where Country Is- a pictorial history of Australian Country Music, published: Rural Press
2002 On the Road with Slim Dusty, published: ABC Books
1994 Sons & Daughters of the Barcoo
1992 Cattle Creek Memories
1990 Hambledon Memories
1989 Mackay – A Bicentennial Portrait, published: Boolarong Press
1988 Mount Isa Portrait published: Boolarong Press
1985 The Last Show (photographs by John Elliott; text by David Tickell)

Commissions / Commissioned Documentaries

2001 Slim Dusty Living Legend stamp series for Australia Post Collections, Wrote and produced radio documentary on Slim Dusty, Australia Post|
1999 Slim Dusty in the Solomon Islands__ Ross Mining Corporation
1998 Winton Winton Shire Council, Qld
1996 Life Along the Brisbane River Channel 7, Brisbane, Qld
1987-88 Site, commission to document construction of Parliament House, Canberra

Grants / Public Funding

2005 Churchill Fellowship to study in USA
1992 Queensland Government Regional Arts Development Fund (Sons & Daughters of the Barcoo)
1988 Mt Isa City Council (Mt Isa Portrait)

Awards & Prizes

2002 Recipient: Best Country Writing Book__ Belmont University, Nashville, USA
1994 Named ‘Media Person of the Year’ Australian Professional Rodeo Association


Blackall Shire Council, Qld
John Oxley Library, Brisbane, Qld
Mackay artspace, Qld
National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, ACT
Parliament House, Canberra, ACT
Toowoomba Regional Gallery, Qld


1990-pres Regular photojournalist assignments for: Who Weekly; Aussie Post; Country Weekly (USA); Australian Guitar Magazine; RM William’s: Outback Magazine
1991 Founding editor: The Australian Country Music Magazine|
1994 Founding editor: Roundup Magazine
1996 Founding editor: Country Music Australia
1997-02 Weekly Column: Australasian Post Magazine


2008 Our Leaders, Picture Perfect__ The Sydney Morning Herald, April 21, p35
2007 Hornery, Andrew __Action Station__ Sydney Morning Herald July 7-8 p26
2005 Thousand Mile Stare__ Portrait Photography by John Elliott, Portrait No. 15, Autumn, p32
Bush, Greg __Where Country Is__ Capital News Magazine, Dec
Elliott, Simon __Thousand mile stare__ Portrait No. 14, Smmr 2005, National Portrait Gallery, pp28-33
John Elliott, Thousand Mile Stare, Highlife, Autumn, pp 60-63
Smith, Mike, Thousand Mile Stare, Country Music Capital News, Jan, pp 60-61
Portraits keep bush stories alive, The Toowoomba Mail, p2
John Elliott __The Last Show__ Highlife Magazine, Autumn, p 37
Maynard, Neale __Silver summer a snap__ The Courier Mail, Jan 8, p6
2004 Elliott, John __100 mile stare__ Outback Magazine, Dec, pp 72-75
Thousand Mile Stare__ Qantas, Dec
Thousand Mile Stare__ Spectrum- Sydney Morning Herald, Dec 11-12, p17
Passmore, Daryl: __Visons of the Bush__ The Sunday Mail, Nov 23, p20
Gearing, Amanda: __Outback faces__ The Courier Mail, Nov 23, p20
Hot Seat – Canberra__ The Weekend Australian, Nov 20-21|
Martin, Lauen: __Windows to the soul of the outback__ Metropolitan- Sydney Morning Herald, Nov 19, p 17|
Cassidy, Frank: __The message? It’s staring you in the face__ The Canberra Times, Nov 19|
Hot Seat__ The Weekend Australian, Nov 20-21|
Miller, Merryl: __Exhibition a snapshot of Australian bush life__ The Chronicle, Nov 18, p 6|
1990|Hogan, Janet (editor): __Balance 1990-Views, Visions, Influences__ Queensland Art Gallery (publishers), p 31, 39|
1989|__The Other Side – John Elliot Portrait Exhibition__ Catalogue, Imagery Gallery, Brisbane|
1984|Tickell, David: __Photographers show in Sydney__ The Courier Mail, Sept 20|
Tmba – from another angle__ The Chronicle p12|
1982|Clark, Peter: __Instantly__ Australian Photography, April, p 59|
Exhibitions, Review, The Sydney Morning Herald, June p6|
Schien, Gina: __Bilboard__ The National Times, June 20-26|
1981|__Out of a Photographic Rut__ Brisbane Scene, Sept, p 5|
Sutton, Gem: __The John Elliott Postcard Collection__ Sunday Sun, Sept 27|