Host: Warrawagine Cattle Co.
Written by Caitlin – Station Hand, and Jacinta Mills – Manager, both Warrawagine Cattle Company.
Hello my name is Caitlin and I work at Warrawagine station as a jillaroo. I grew up in Northam as a town kid and after finishing high school I decided I wanted to move as far away from home as I could so me and my mate Sarah drove 1700km to DeGrey station in the Pilbara.
Working at DeGrey where some of the best years of my life so far, while at DeGrey I learnt a lot about horsemanship and stockmanship. I also learnt a lot about life, as a 17 year old working with people that are older than you sure can be difficult at times, especially when your fresh out of Ag school and you think you are all grown up and know the ways of the world. You sure get put back in your boots pretty quickly, but you just pick your lip up and keep working hard. You soon earn the respect of the experienced stockmen and start to take on more responsibilities. Six years later and I’m still enjoying it as if it were my first day.
Robin and Lyle Mills purchased Warrawagine back in 1992, the place was completely destocked after the Tuberculosis outbreak. Now it runs approximately 23,000 head of free range Droughtmaster and Droughtmaster cross cattle for both the domestic and live export markets. There are three generations here at Warrawagine, along with Robin and Lyle, their son Scott and his wife Annette manage the station, and their son (and my boyfriend) Ben is the head stockman and helicopter pilot. All three generations are pilots, so it gets pretty hectic out mustering!!
Wallal Downs is in the South Kimberley. The property runs from 80 Mile Beach to our neighboring Great Sandy Desert. Wallal is approximately 600,000 acres, with 8,000 Brahmans roaming the coastal flats.
Robin and Lyle’s oldest son Geoffrey and wife Lynda with their daughter Jacinta manage and run Wallal.
Hi my name is Jacinta and I am a jillaroo here at Wallal Downs Station. Never in a million years would I have believed that I would be living on the coast. Having grown up in the small farming town of Dalwallinu and then spending the last 10 years living at Warrawagine, I have always thought of myself as a proper bush kid (now an adult).
At the age of 16 I was allowed to join the crew at Warrawagine and go on my first muster. Eleven years later and I have never looked back. I have gone from being a girl who couldn’t tell a cow from a bull, to a young woman with a passion for the agricultural industry.
These 11 years have taught me everything from working cattle to cooking enough scones with jam and cream to feed an army. I’ve learnt how to scramble a fence and land on my butt on the other side and how to fall off a motorbike backwards. It has also taught me that a calf is a lot quicker than I’ll ever be. Every day holds something different and I still enjoy waking up at 5am ready to face the day ahead.
Warrawagine and Wallal. The “W’s” have worked well for Robin and Lyle!
So over the next week Caitlin and myself will show you how different our days can be between the two properties, even when we are only 100km (as the crow flies) apart.