Ockert le Roux, or Ockie as he is known amongst his mates, moved to Mount Gambier from Melbourne in October 2014. He and his family migrated to Australia from South Africa in 2008 and lived in Melbourne for 6 years. He is a qualified forest scientist and helped the SA State Government with the transition of their forestry assets from the South Australian Forestry Corporation to One Forty One Plantations. After his work agreement expired, he decided to stay on in the Mount and started to dedicate his time in documenting the natural beauty and splendour of the South East.
Ockie started his photography career in July 1976 when he was 13 years old. Between 1976 and 2003 he used film cameras and developed his own images. In 2004 he converted to digital cameras. His preferred photography genres are landscape, street and portraiture. Whilst living in Melbourne he mainly focused on street and architectural work. Photography was always used as a creative outlet to counter the pressures of his corporate career, but today it has evolved into a fulltime career.
In 2012 Ockie and British pilot Paul Verlander documented the remote Recherché archipelago of islands off the coast of south west West Australia. For this work he received an award from the West Australian government and the images were sold to National Geography, Qantas and a few other authoritative publications around the world.
In 2013 he did similar aerial landscapes in the Kimberley region of Australia on the Gulf of Cambridge in the Timor Sea, followed by aerial assignments on the Great Barrier Reef and land based work in Tasmania.
His work in southeast South Australia has concentrated on landscapes and in particular aerial landscapes. In 2014 Ockie started to use drone platforms to capture a birds-eye-view perspective of the land below. Four of the fourteen works in the upcoming exhibition will be taken from a drone. He loves the elevated perspective and drones allowed him to beautifully capture the large-scale geological futures of our region.
Ockie plan to remain in Mount Gambier and he is currently working on a coffee table book containing the splendour of the region he lives in. He recently joined the board of Tourism Mount Gambier and will help to promote and sell our region to the outside world.