Host: Koordarrie Station
Written by Pip – Au Pair, Koordarrie Station.
So I’m Pip the Au Pair (or Nanny but it sounds like an old goat) at Koordarrie Station.
My mission is to look after Kristie and Rory’s three kids.
Luckily for me they are awesome kids and provide my day with lots of laughs, smelly nappies and only a few grey hairs.
I grew up on a station in the Gascoyne as a kid before moving to farming land east of Geraldton. Red dirt was well and truly in my veins by then and that stuff stains your blood worse than it stains your favourite white shirt!
Ever since I left Ag School in 2009 I have been working on stations or on the home farm to earn enough fuel money to move onto the next place. I have worked as a station hand/cook here in the Pilbara when I first left school, NAP Co. in the Northern Territory, a Governess in QLD and a rouseabout/station hand in the west Gascoyne. As well as a few harvest seasons on the chaser bin and a with a bit of seeding at home my last three years have been pretty flat out. That is why I ended up at Koordarrie. My passion for stations mixed with my love for kids with a hint of “lets try something new” and “some thing that doesn’t include cows”!
My day starts at about 6.30 am, by this time the kids are usually out of bed and running circles around us adults who are still trying to wake up. The oldest kid starts school at 8 am with Kristie and I look after the two youngest ones. We do all sorts of fun things like painting, play dough, exploring, horse riding (gymkhana practice), cooking and gardening! In between all this I also try and get as many household jobs done as I can to take the load off Kristie. These include washing, dishes, preparing meals, watering and cleaning. I’m pretty much a wife in training, minus the husband!
There are days when I put on my jillaroo boots and hat and go out with the blokes to give a hand with mustering, yard work or get a killer (a beast we kill for our own meat). I have my own horses up here so they keep me entertained on weekends and quiet afternoons when all the jobs are done.
My days are rewarding, in a different way to stock work though. I mean there is no better feeling at the end of the day to see that mob of cattle in the yards after some encouragement, or after a day of yard work to be able to let all the bush cows and calves back out into their paddocks, only to disappear into the never never for another year. At the end of an au pairs day it is nice to sit down with the boss, drink in hand, dinner either ready or doing its own thing in the oven, donkeys (a 44 gallon drum over a fire to provide hot water for a shower) lit, kids running around wearing off any extra energy and watch the sun set.
I hope to walk away from this job at the end of the year with a head full of knowledge on how to raise kids, have the world’s best chocolate cake (and icing) recipe memorised and be able to speak fluent 2 year old!
What I will walk away with is the experience. Maybe not how to wheel a beast or fix a flat tyre, but the experience that most people would only get once they have had their own kids, owned on a station and cooked for 10 men by themselves. Also a worn out pair of boots, happy memories and a dirty ute!