Author(s): Bill Neidjie
'Right then,' he said with a sigh, and then turned to me with a grin. 'I tell you story, eh!' Then he said something which really floored me: 'I been waiting for you. You been waiting for me.' And so began Bill Neidjie's relationship with English photographer, Mark Lang. Known as 'Old Man' in this book, but often called 'Big Bill Neidjie' throughout his life because of his imposing height and strength, Bill Neidjie wanted to record aspects of his life for a younger generation of Gagadju, to help them look after their country and remember its stories - and for balanda, non-Aboriginal people. Told in the old man's words, this beautifully nuanced, impressionistic account allows Neidjie to gently emphasise the issues of importance to him. Old man's story has a very personal inflection with Neidjie's words complemented by Lang's beautiful landscape photos. Structured in the cycle of the seasons, Old man's story provides readers with insights into the annual trans-formation of landscape that are so integral to Neidjie's life story.
Mark Lang is a renowned landscape photographer. Bill Neidjie was the keeper of ancient knowledge and the last speaker of the Gagaudju language from northern Kakadu. His wish was to pass on this knowledge to the younger generations and to share his culture with the wider world. Bill Neidjie is perhaps best known for being central to the opening up of his land which led to the creation of the world-heritage listed Kakadu National Park and for recommending it be leased to the Commonwealth Government for it to be managed as a resource for all Australians.