Nerrima Past and Present

Host: Nerrima Station
Written by Sally Courtney – Manager, Nerrima Station.

Nerrima Station ain’t no Hilton, but it is a home!

5.1 copyFrom the air taken in the dry season – Homestead, the workshop, the quarters, dam, the yards, and the old stables!

From March to October, Nerrima is home to six members of the stock camp, a cook/gardener, a bore man, although it’s home all year round for Mick, Sal, and the kids. Everyone has their own room, we all eat in a communal outdoor dining area, share one washing machine, three showers (one recently installed!), indoor a/c TV room, and we can take advantage of wireless internet and live a harmonious life (most of the time!). The best thing about living at Nerrima Station for me is the family atmosphere, originating from the other side of the world (UK) I enjoy the close knit lifestyle we share. Nerrima really does feel like home.

Over the wet season some staff stay on to maintain buildings, keep an eye on the bores, and build a set of yards. Well that’s what we did the last wet season! We have three sets of yards on Nerrima, house one obviously, one 8kms south of the station, and the third set approximately 35kms west of the place. Big Flow yards used to be three receiving yards and then a laboriously constructed series of panel yards, however over the wet season that all changed. It took a few weeks of design discussions, talking amongst ourselves, and drawing on ideas from other experienced cattleman before the final design was decided upon. We then set about constructing the yards, it was hard, hot, dirty work, and required assistance from the first members of the stockcamp when they arrived in March, but eventually the yards were finished, the day before our first muster into them!

5.2 copyMick and Dave welding in 40 +degree heat at the new Big Flow Yards in November last year, this went on for a few months.

Other improvements more recently include a new set of stables and a sizeable round yard with a large arena to work our horses. In fact we are still spreading the sand in the new arena and round yard. The stables have been built between rounds and are a thing of beauty, compared to the old stables anyway!

5.3 copyThe Old Stables!

5.5 copyThe finished new stables with an arena . . . this was built over three weeks . . .

The ‘Nerribar’ is also a new improvement, this was built over a weekend by everyone in 2012 as there wasn’t anywhere to have a BBQ or a drink at the end of the day. Here is where we all gather in the evening waiting for the shower, or discussing the day’s events. It is also the place to end up for drinks and a BBQ for the annual Cricket day and any other social activities that occur here. It’s where we keep the ‘Spit Board’ (not as disgusting as it sounds), the spit board keeps a tally of the number of ‘spits’ each member of the camp has. A spit is classified as falling from a horse or a motorbike, stationary or not. It also keeps a tally of everyone’s ‘Stupid Acts’, which for company policies are probably best not mentioned here. At the end of the year everyone pays $10 for each tally and we have an end of year party with the proceeds, looks like it might be a pretty big party this year . . .

Our spit tin leader board is being led by Jacob Dunn, who incidentally is one of our better horsemen this year, running a close second is Dave Milton who is our Head stockman. Thankfully though, which I’m sure our OHS man in Perth quite happy about, is that we have had no broken bones yet this year . . . month of mustering still to go and now it is getting so hot, around 40 everyday combined with the humidity starts creeping in . . . history tells us, from now on is when it’s more likely people hurt themselves and Mick traditionally gets mad . . . hopefully not the case this year . . .

5.6 copyThe Nerribar buzzing with life at last year’s Cricket day.

On many occasions, if you want something on a station, you literally have to build it yourself . . . this has been the case with a lot of things on Nerrima (similar though to all stations) mainly because getting tradesmen out here is such a pricy exercise, unless you have some good mates who will do a you a deal. They not only charge their hourly rate, but travelling time to get here, along with a price per km to drive here and of course materials . . . the more you can DYI, the more likely you will get it! Some examples include: a whole new kitchen in our house when we arrived, building a carport, renovating the quarters – knocking major wall down to open up the living area, knocking out the old bathroom, replacing all box air cons as you don’t need a sparky . . . painting inside and out, building deckings and as on any station, hot water systems, plumbing problems, you fix as much of your power/generator problems yourself without getting a sparky out here.

This blog was going to be a bit longer, but unfortunately our deadline ran out . . . It has been a reasonably big week with a number of deadlines to be met, mustered 2500 heifers on Monday, since then been madly drafting, tagging, trucking some to Liveringa, unloading trucks from Liveringa out in our paddocks along the river, we have additional roadtrains here . . . feeding out daily and at the same time half the staff include our French cook, including us have all come down with some 24 hour nasty vomiting bug that roles you for a couple days . . . everyone has had to share a number of roles this week, including getting in the kitchen and for our French gardener, even becoming nanny for a day looking after the delightful Courtney children!! That’s the way it is at Nerrima, good team work from all, long days but the job gets done!

We hope you enjoyed reading about Nerrima!

5.7 copyWe desperately needed an option for swimming and cooling off other than troughs and kids non-lasting plastic pools. The procedure usually works along the lines of, I (Sally) request something and Mick builds it! If it involves welding and working with timber, he is more than happy to do it and quite handy at it to for someone who isn’t a carpenter!

5.8 copyThe expanded quarters with an additional third donga added, three new deckings and large outdoor eating area with roofing. All work was done by staff at Nerrima!

5.9 copySome major work underway on an existing dam that desperately needed to be dug out a lot deeper to obviously increase holding capacity.

dam on sunset with birdlife and suzThe house dam . . . on sunset . . . where there is water, there is wonderful birdlife . . . and its also a convenient spot for a dip for our blue heeler Suzie!