Host: Eva Downs Station
So why Eva? What makes Eva special to us? Well like any station I seem to go to, I get attached to the place for many of different reasons: horses, land, people. Everything seems to factor in to make a station so good that you return the next year!
So first things first – the people I guess!
Cody was the bore runner last year, but this year he joins stock camp.
In 2016, Eva Downs has a new boss to lead the way. Nick Handley is taking over from Willy Brown to lead the team. Nick’s partner Sally Caldwell also joins the Eva team. Being the operations manager of Eva Downs means holding Eva up and afloat for the year. Managing all aspects of Eva Downs is like you’re the town mayor, it’s Nick and Sally’s job to make sure Eva runs smoothly as it can.
This year the stock camp has a lot of new faces. A team of 7 makes up stock camp for this year with two people from last year and the rest are new and fresh to Eva. Joe Daly is the fierce new team commander (also known as our new Head-stockman).
The stock camp’s job is to muster, process, and handle all aspects of cattle work, along with general station maintenance and whatever else needs doing. To be in the stockcamp is to be a master of all trades as you never know what you will be doing some days when you wake up that morning.
On Eva, we use horses, bikes, and a helicopter to muster. Once yarded, the cows are pregnancy tested and drafted (sorted) accordingly, and weaners are pulled off to be processed later. Once all the cattle are in their relevant mobs, they may then be walked or trucked back out to paddocks. Weaners get taken to our main weaner yards (“O” bore) where they are weaner broken (trained) and tailed, and then branded and tagged accordingly.
Along with the cattle work, the stock camp does a huge amount of station maintenance, as well as putting lick (mineral supplement) out in the later half of the season (when the nutritional value of the pasture decreases).
Last years stock camp members Luke and Blu
We also have our head chief-commander of water (bore runner), and that’s me! I’m making the move from stock camp last year to bore running this year. My job means I go around to all of our bores, and I start and service motors that pump the water from the ground to fill tanks or turkey nests to water our many thirsty cattle. This means I can travel hundreds of kilometres in a day all to make sure water is flowing for cattle to drink.
Me, Kathy, this years bore runner
A legend is what follows – our next team member has a name you’ll never forget once meeting this man. Barry Walter Henderson – Bazz as we fondly call him – is our solo grader operator on Eva. Bazz sits in a grader treadling it along day-in-day-out making roads and tracks for us. Grading roads is up there for importance, as a smooth road makes a happy bore runner, and also happy road train drivers… there is nothing worse than a rough road! Bazz does it all from grading the roads to fighting fires (a massive part of our lives at the end of the year).
Bazz is also our number one man because when all of us head to a campdraft, Bazz is always more than happy to stay behind and keep Eva ticking over until we return. Bazz has worked on Eva for 6 years now and has worked for AAco for over 15 years. We just celebrated Bazz’s 52nd birthday here and it was a good night to remember.
Barry, the man, the legend.
Along with these key members of the team we have a girl called Georgie. Georgie runs a section of Eva called the “R&Ds”. This is a special section of Eva where currently a trial is going on. Georgie does many things in her day, from collecting data to checking waters, mustering, and chasing poo… yes poo! You’ll hear from Georgie in a following article and find out about “R&Ds” and what they mean to Eva and AACo.
Our Head Chef – yes, the food lady – is arguably the most important person on the station! This person provides us with all our food from breakfast to smoko, lunch, and dinner. There’s always someone in the kitchen cooking up a storm and providing yummy tucker to all the hard workers. Who is she? Well at the moment it’s me, and everyone on stock camp rotating in and out! Our cook doesn’t start till after you all read this so at the moment it’s all a bit of experimenting going on in the Eva kitchen!