Phelan epitomised the best qualities of the scores of photographers who served on Australia's first pictorial daily, The Sun News-Pictorial, later to become the Herald Sun. He was considered a great all-round lensman, able to cover any subject, as well as a fine teacher of young photographers, especially as Pictorial Editor. Terry's most memorable picture was his 1966 Walkley-winning shot of US President Lyndon Johnson's bodyguard, Rufus Youngblood, spattered in paint during an anti-war demonstration in Melbourne. A sequence of shots of a crash at a country trots meeting won him first prize at the World Press Photo Awards.
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