Host: Legune Station
Written by Henry Lavender, Stockman, 2016 season.
Round yard duties.
My name is Henry Lavender or “Lav” as people seem to call me. I’m from a property 65km from Quirindi, NSW. Last year I spent my time working here at Legune station in the Northern Territory after finishing school last year. This was my gap year as in 2017 I will be heading off to Uni to continue my studies. I honestly had a great time working at Legune alongside seven other blokes in the stock camp, plus all the other Legune staff that we had. There are about 20 in total. It was been an unreal change from sitting in a classroom most days to actually doing what I enjoy doing each day – stock work. Cameron & Belinda Rasheed were great to work for and I have learnt a lot from them and also my Overseer, Matthew Markwell. I came up north mainly to learn and have a bit of fun! I didn’t realise how much of both I would really do, which has been a great outcome.
The Kimberly is an unreal place to work, mainly due to the fishing and the people! I can’t say I’ve found a better spot for fishing than Legune. Barra after Barra were caught from the day I arrived there. It doesn’t matter whose catching them it’s always good fun. As it dried up there after a few months, the fishing died down a lot but they came back on the bite later on in the year, thankfully. You can’t beat heading to a small spring after a good days work with a few mates and catching a couple of Barra with a gold can in your hand. The only things to watch out for are the crocs! Usually we would bring a couple of Barra back and fillet them for our wonderful chef Julie to cook for dinner. It’s great having a feed of fish once every blue moon for a change instead of beef.
Best fishing ever.
Early morning start.
I met many great people from the fellas that I worked with, to the mates I made at campdrafts and rodeos. It was been great working just 130km from Kununurra as we did get time to go into town fairly often and usually see a couple of other stations getting about. It’s surprising how social it really is up there! Last year we were even been able to get a bit of skiing in on the weekends which was awesome.
One weekend, Tom Hickman and I were lucky enough to be the barmen for the Ladies Day function Belinda puts together in Kununurra at the Artopia Art Gallery. Tom and I had an unreal time serving the ladies Champagne from 10.30 am until 3.30pm with us being the only blokes there, as you can probably imagine it was a very interesting experience. The Champagne was flowing and the girls had us working non-stop behind the bar.
Putting up a couple kilometres of new fence on a salt flat was something I don’t think I will ever have to experience again (thank god). It ended up taking a lot longer than we thought it would as one morning you would be fencing away and within minutes have water up around your knees as the tide comes in from the coast. The tractor was bogged too many times to count, trying to drive around and knock strainer posts in on the salty black soil flats. They are a bottomless pit once they are wet. We would have to let the ground dry out for a couple days before we could get anything done and of course, another king tide would come in overnight and soak everything again. I remember being very surprised one day mustering when we were walking out on horseback across a paddock when the tide came in with pace behind us. This made for an interesting trip home again that afternoon.
From mustering, working in the yards, branding weaners, working at the station or in town it’s all good fun with good company. It was an unreal season and I was really sad to see it come to an end.