For three decades, Ron Camp has defied floods, isolation and painstaking long distances through the Kimberley and WA to enable residents in remote parts of WA to lodge their votes in the State elections.
The long-serving WA Electoral Commission returning officer has been running polling stations in remote communities for 30 years and is as passionate as ever about helping people make their voices heard by registering to vote.
Last December, the 65-year-old embarked on an ambitious 6000km trek across the Kimberley in December, part of a pre-election enrolment drive to encourage eligible residents to vote in the March State general election.
Mr Camp began his career as an electoral officer as a 19-year-old in the Wheatbelt.
“I could run a polling booth but I wasn’t old enough to vote back then,” he said.
But once he gained his pilot’s licence and a twin-engine plane, Mr Camp found himself in high demand for outback work. During his career, Mr Camp has battled natural disasters and isolation to get the job done.
“I’ve been through two of the worst floods in Kimberley history,” he said.
“A week out from one election I was in Fitzroy and was told over the radio ‘don’t come to Halls Creek’. We never saw the sun for a week.”
Following Ernie Bridge’s controversial Kimberley election loss in 1977, Mr Camp was called in to run the poll in Derby.
From 1980, the returning officer visited communities throughout the Kimberley and beyond, including the Pilbara and south to the Goldfields and the Nullarbor Plain.
But this year, Mr Camp swapped air travel for a long journey along the dusty pindan roads to the Kimberley.
He arrived in Broome on December 14 to encourage local residents to get involved in the election and recruit staff for the March 9 election.Voter enrolments close on February 14.