Showing the brighter side

The reason for this special tribute is to pay respect to a person who gave so much to so many

APOLOGIES for the slackness in blogging over the past few weeks. I managed to take some annual leave and then went full steam ahead into the Ekka. The Brisbane Royal Show is of course one of our busiest times of the year and I needed to recharge the batteries.

Next time I would like to show you some of my favourite shots from this year’s Ekka. However, I have decided to dedicate this week’s blog to Samantha McConnell-Green from Woodridge Dorpers, East Greenmount.

The reason for this special tribute is to pay respect to a person who gave so much to so many and wasn’t afraid to pass on her knowledge of showing animals at Queensland shows to students, young people, fellow exhibitors and other stewards.

These days it seems that everyone knows someone who has had or is in the midst of some kind of cancer battle. Yet it was a shock when Sam informed me that she had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. My heart broke for her, but back then I thought if any one could beat this terrible disease it would be her.

Click on this image to see the gallery of photos in celebration of Sam's life.

Samantha was diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago and even though I assume it was one of the most terrifying moments in her life she was thinking of others, as she always did. She wanted to keep working and showing.

I met Sam within my first 12 months of QCL and from that first day she took me under her wing and taught me many things including how to photograph sheep. I was way out of my depth back then. Thankfully she was close by when it came time for me to cover my first dairy judging events at the 2010 Ekka. What an experience that was, who knew there were so many different breeds of dairy cows!

In May last year Samantha agreed for me to come out to the family property and take pictures of her with her beloved Dorpers. We had so much fun that afternoon, laughing and joking and discussing the family favourites as the sun set on yet another glorious day. My pics of her on this particular day I will cherish forever, along with the beautiful story that accompanied them.

Sam always thought of others and wanted to help people in anyway she could and she truly believed by telling her story it could help someone else.

Sadly Sam lost her fight back in June and although I got to say my goodbyes it still hurt to think we lost such a caring, wonderful person, who had the biggest of hearts. Not only for the people that came into her life but for everyone involved in agricultural shows and the rural sector.

Sam, I missed you at this year’s Ekka and there were a few times were I shed a silent tear and remembered your beautiful smiling face. I asked for your assistance when it came time to photograph the dairy section - and do you know what, I think you answered and helped me out. I also caught up with your amazing mother and Geoff and gave them both a big hug! You were truly missed and even though you never believed it, you touched so many people’s lives.

It was lovely to catch up with Samantha's mother, Sandra and her husband Geoff Green while at the 2014 Ekka. Click on this image to see the gallery of photos celebrating Sam.

Sam - thank you for allowing me to become a friend and not just another work acquaintance. I will treasure the times we shared and have a drink in your honour tonight. May you rest in peace my dear friend xx

Sarah Coulton

Sarah Coulton

is a photographer for Queensland Country Life
Twitter: @QCLSarah_C
Date: Newest first | Oldest first


lik lik lowlines
26/08/2014 6:37:06 PM

this is a wonderful tribute sarah to sam she was a truly inspirational women and was a great help at the annual heritage ag show. we miss her dearly and have her and the family in our thoughts
27/08/2014 12:08:37 PM

Thankyou Sarah , I think as long as people remember what Samantha taught them her legacy in teaching and show will continue. I know there are young people out there who are making careers out of the knowledge and tools that Samantha gave so generously. Many people have phoned asking advice and I tell them to close their eyes and remember the advice she gave them and this seems to work. sandra
Coultons CountryQueensland Country Life photographer Sarah Coulton shows you a glimpse of rural Queensland from behind the lens.


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