Host: Anna Plains Station
Written by Helen Stoate – Owner, Anna Plains Station.
A few years ago I packed my backpack and left home for what I thought was a gap year between high school and University. Home was in the United Kingdom and I was on a journey that would change my whole life but I didn’t know it then. I was headed to Australia on a working holiday visa.
I worked at Anna Plains for three months as a jackaroo. It is appropriate that the title “jackaroo” has the word “jack” in it – you really do learn to be a jack of all trades. From fencing, to grading roads, driving trucks, making hay, and of course all the work with cattle.
I learned some great skills and loved working with the cattle. After my stint at Anna Plains I embarked on a holiday and doing what most travellers do – enjoying all the fruits that Australia has to offer.
I returned to the United Kingdom and commenced studies at University but my yearning was for the cattle industry and the wide open spaces of Australia. I knew my skills and experience from working on farms in the United Kingdom and Australia were needed and I could make a strong contribution to the business and the cattle industry in general.
In 2013, the yearning became too much and I returned to Anna Plains and commenced work where I had left off a few years previously. My daily tasks included fencing, maintaining bores and troughs, mustering cattle, and operating machinery around the station.
In 2014, armed with an extended visa, I had the opportunity to take on the role of Livestock Manager. With it came a load of new responsibility. Instead of waking up and receiving daily jobs from the boss, I am now issuing daily jobs to the crew. I am now responsible for making sure all the crew have the skills to deal with cattle safely and in the best interests of the herd. The job is 24 x 7 but I love it.