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Sam Bienstock

Sam Bienstock
Australian/American dual national, resident in Australia since 1971

“Icon” 1971 Mt. Isa Rodeo, far northwest Queensland, Australia
I came to Australia from the U.S. as a draft resister during the Vietnam War. My first job here was as driver for an Aboriginal rights activist who was enrolling remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to vote in their first eligible Federal election (despite laws that prevented them voting at the State and local level). I was also sending weekly audio commentary to Sydney radio station 2GB on my thoughts and experiences. The Mount Isa Rodeo was a real drawcard for Aboriginal drovers (cowboys) and station hands from rural northwest Queensland and the Northern Territory. This fellow was a drover and contestant in the bullring. I was struck by his self-confident repose and quiet dignity as he drank a beer and cooled off between events.

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