Photographer and writer Ramon Williams has been working in the Christian media industry for 53 years. A recipient of the prestigious Gutenberg award, he has interviewed Mother Teresa and chronicled some of Australia’s most memorable events. He reflects on his incredible journey.
When did you begin working in the Christian media industry?
While serving as a missionary with Worldwide Evangelisation Crusade (WEC) in Indonesia, the mission called for someone to open a new department to produce good-quality audiovisuals. I accepted the challenge and (with wife Dorothy) came home to Australia in November 1967, to start the work.
I noticed in the ministers’ meeting, prior to the 1968 Billy Graham Crusade, that nobody was photographing the event for the Christian media. New Life, an Australian Christian newspaper, was willing to accept my offer to photograph the crusade but they could not pay. Afterwards I found The Australian Baptist was willing to accept photos but could not pay. I’ve been doing it ever since—supplying photos to people who cannot pay!
You work from 7 am to midnight every day. What keeps you going?
The assurance that the Lord had called me to do this work has kept me going. He has provided financially for the ministry and personal needs. Nobody else has provided for either, on a regular basis. Recently a support group decided to support mission work in Australia, whereas previously they only helped those overseas. As a result, I have been able to buy digital cameras.
What is the photo/story covered that you are most proud of?
Cyclone Tracy (Darwin, December 25, 1974). I was there on December 27, courtesy of an RAAF Hercules, stayed four days and reported (and photographed) every church’s damage and spent a day photographing the Red Cross activities, for a friend. I was able to talk Telecom into helping me make a phone call to Radio Station 2CH on the Sunday and reported on what had happened to every denomination’s church. 2CH re-played the five-minute report throughout the day and night.
If you weren’t working in the media what would you have been doing?
I was serving WEC in Indonesia as the mission’s government representative. The Indonesian Government wanted only one spokesperson [so] I volunteered and was accepted. I had to convince government departments of the need for visas for new missionaries and obtain customs department clearances for equipment.
I had trained as a fitter and machinist, so felt the need for training in office management. A correspondence course of four years finished with lessons on preparing press releases, advertising and dealing with the media.
I guess the Lord knew I needed those lessons!
Curated from Sacred Turf and ASSIST News Service (assistnews.net) with permission from Ramon Williams.