Wilkins as a young cinematographer. For 50 years he would carry a movie camera on his adventures (Copyright: Ohio State University)
George Hubert Wilkins was born on 31 October 1888 at Mount Bryan, South Australia, 100 miles north of Adelaide. He was the youngest of 13 children. His upbringing, on the lonely farm at the edge of the Australian outback where he witnessed devastating droughts, was a motivation for his life's work. In 1903 his parents moved to Adelaide and Wilkins enrolled in the University but never completed his courses. He became interested in cinematography and moved to Sydney where he worked in Australia's pioneer film industry. He then left for England to work as a newsreel cinematographer for Gaumont.