PHOTOGRAPHER STEVE PARISH
For over 55 years, Steve Parish has been photographing Australia's landscape driven to 'show and tell' the wonders of nature through photography and inspire others to fight for the protection of our unique wild places and creatures. Over his career, he has taken over 500,000 photographs of Australian landscapes, plants, animals and trees, many of which personify qualities intrinsic to the human spirit and are featured in his photo exhibition for National Tree Day celebrating trees titled It's in Our Nature, as well as our Learning from Trees research report and our 'What can Nature teach us?' Video featuring 2017 research.
In 2011, Parish lost his publishing company and sadly all his possessions due to the Queensland floods where tens of thousands of dollars of stock and 36 filing cabinets of photos were destroyed. Understandably this was a terrible time for him and he went through a period of depression and anxiety. Nature helped him heal. At times of hardship, he's learned to 'plug-in' to nature to rejuvenate and recharge. He is now an advocate for improving mental health through nature connection and is an Ambassador for the Mental Illness Fellowship of Queensland, Bush Heritage Australia and Planet Ark.
He has also begun a new company called Nature Connect designed to encourage people to explore Australia's natural environment through photography and art. In his opinion, nature connection is the single most important issue of our time. Humans have always been hard-wired to nature; although too many of us see ourselves as separate from the natural world.
Steve sees trees as a planetary icon for nature. More than an icon, the tree can also become an anchor in our lives, a life-centre for our mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing. It never ceases to amaze him of the parallels and life lessons we can learn from trees like the tenacity of a windswept tree growing on a cliff top, the resilience and durability of a tree like the Moreton Bay fig with its enormous prop root system or the determination of a tiny seed that grows into a giant ghost gum soaring amongst the tallest trees in the world. Through focus and sheer grit, we too can surmount barriers, break through fears to attain aspirations well beyond our wildest dreams.
Experience these benefits for yourself, participate in National Tree Day.