Focus: photography and war 1945–2006
David Dare Parker (1958-)
The Perth-based photojournalist David Dare Parker was a musician whose desire to travel the world led him to photojournalism during the 1980s. He has since become one of Australia’s most highly regarded photojournalists and has covered many of the world’s conflict zones, including the Middle East in the early 1990s and the East Timor crises of 1999 and 2006.
In 2003 Dare Parker was commissioned by the Australian War Memorial as an official war photographer to cover operations during the Second Gulf War. He was the first official war photographer to be appointed by the Memorial since the Second World War. Dare Parker’s sense of the power of the photograph was shaped by the experience of seeing Ronald Haeberle’s photographs of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam as a young boy.
Dare Parker has spent the last two decades as a freelance photojournalist with a keen sense that photographs can both greatly affect viewers and reveal the events of the world. “You witness many things and it has an effect on you,” Dare Parker has written of the role of the photojournalist:
We all have an ego but after a while you have to leave it behind because it makes no sense to keep witnessing these things just to make a name. Photojournalism becomes less about you and more about the people of the situation you’re photographing. It’s about offering other people a voice.