Host: Myroodah Station
Written by Brenda Gibbs & Pam Daniell.
Albert Watson, better known as Redman, has had a long association with Myroodah Station. His grandparents lived on Myroodah where his grandfather was employed as a Ringer. His mother was born here, as was his uncle. During the day while his grandfather worked, his grandmother would often walk her family to neighbouring station Luluigui to visit relatives. This walk would have been close to 25 kilometres. Redman’s family were one of the last to leave Myroodah following the introduction of equal pay for Aboriginal people in the late 1960’s. This resulted in very few Indigenous stockmen being retained and families who had been living on this land for many generations having to move on.
Redman was born in Derby and grew up in Looma Community which is situated within 20km of Myroodah. He attended the Looma School up until year 10. Not every day did he make it to school though. From the early age of 12 when the station manager from Myroodah came in to the community to pick up workers, more times than not, Redman would jump in too. It was only natural that when he turned 15 he left school and became a full time stockman on Myroodah for the next four seasons.
West Kimberley map showing the location of Myroodah, Luluigui and Liveringa Stations, Derby and Looma Community.
After setting up house with his schoolyard sweetheart Jehanne (Bianca) Broome, followed by the birth of their son Lane in 2005, Redman felt he should work closer to home. He took a job with the Shire of Derby Aboriginal Environmental Health team where he helped look after properties and with dog control and plumbing issues.
Station work was in his blood, so after two years with the Health team Redman left and took up a stockman job at neighbouring Liveringa station for a season. 2008 saw the arrival of their daughter Dahney and another change in jobs. Redman joined a fencing contractor followed by three years with the Municipal Services team involved in cleaning up the communities.
The next job move was with local bull catcher Robert Gray. Redman enjoyed this job immensely – particularly the thrill of the chase. He recalls a chase that could have had a disastrous end, but fortunately for Redman and his son Lane, this wasn’t the case.
Lane, 7 at the time, went out with Redman catching bulls one weekend and as they were chasing a bull they skidded on a clay pan and then hit soft sand which lifted the bull catcher sideways on to two wheels and Redman saw the ground closing in. Somehow the bull catcher returned to all four wheels and Lane said “Dad we nearly tipped”. Redman not wanting to scare him replied, “No mate, I had full control”. It wasn’t till later when Lane asked again and Redman had recovered from the ordeal he told him “Yes we nearly tipped”. This incident didn’t deter Lane from going out on these adventures with his dad again though.
In 2014 Redman returned to his roots and joined the Myroodah team as a Boreman. At the age of 29, he already has a wealth of experience and has witnessed a fair amount of change and development on the station in his lifetime.
Redman is an asset to the business as he can turn his hand to almost anything. He is a hard worker, reliable and genuinely wants to help in keeping the station running smoothly. If we’re a truck driver or machinery operator down, Redman is quick to offer his services. His stockmanship skills are exceptional and he is very capable at leading other staff when required.
There are some beautiful local families we’ve had the pleasure of meeting in the area and Redman and Bianca, along with children Lane and Dahney definitely fit this description. Bianca is employed fulltime at the local medical clinic and the children both attend the Looma Community School.
Redman has experienced an extraordinary lot that life can throw at you in under 30 years, but it is his determination, strong will and good heart that keeps him forging along in the right direction. He’s an amazing bloke to know, an absolute pleasure to employ, and if there’s a celebration to be had, Redman is always the life of the party!
Redman with Myroodah Station manager Chris Daniell.
“The life of the party” – Redman centre with Myroodah staff having a night off.