Host: Liveringa Station
Written by Christine Dillon – Mother of Staff and Gillian Sirl – Photographer, Liveringa Station.
I love this short piece written by the mother of one of our ringers this year. I think it reflects how mums feel everywhere when their babies grow up, leave home, and enter the workforce. . . and a life mum may no longer be so involved in . . .
One of the family, leaving for a new job, often remote, sometimes overseas, maybe for more than a year. We’ve helped with getting the gear together, counted down those last few days, and cooked the final, favourite dinner. Last hug, off they go.
Whatever the age, wherever the destination, watching the ute disappear down the track is hard.
If there’s a bit of a drive, like a six day solo drive through three states and the Territory, a phone call is most welcome. “Arrived fine, no worries, Bye Mum”! It might be the last call you get for a while but it’s a good one.
Having visited beautiful Liveringa Station we have seen for ourselves how good it is to be in the Kimberley, working with Jed, Karen, and Chris in one of the country’s most important industries. It’s a great opportunity to learn and gain more skills as part of the team.
And maybe, next time the ute is loaded up again, “Bye” won’t be quite so hard!
Gill is a visitor to Liveringa, staying with her friend Chris, our Head Stockman. She has spent weeks following Chris out to stock camp and photographing much of what takes place out there. She is a budding photographer (with her own Facebook page) and we are fortunate to have been able to use many of her photos throughout all our articles this week.
These are her impressions of life here . . .
An experience at Liveringa Station
By Gillian Sirl
I grew up on an Angus Beef Cattle property in Bega, NSW (A small property compared to the stations of Australia). I have operated earthmoving equipment within my brother’s business, operated dump trucks within the Western Australian Mining Industry, worked as a safety advisor within the Western Australian Mining Industry, and I am a hairstylist by trade. For now I am taking up a position behind the lens of the camera.
After traveling a bit over 2500 km’s from Perth, with a few stops in between, I arrive at Liveringa Station in the Kimberleys and greeted by Chris Morrow the Head Stockman, who is an old friend from NSW. It was a brief stop at Inkarta (the homestead and surroundings) then back on the road, out to Hardman’s Stock camp.
Wow, an hour later we arrive at camp. To put it into perspective (for people from home!) it was like driving from Bega to Cooma, probably be the same distance too . . . the vegetation varied along the route from scrub to fertile flood flats with a hint of the beautiful rocky escarpments, and the glimpse of the historic flood irrigation project which was constructed in the 1960’s and was damaged in the 1980’s flood.
The ringers arrived back at the camp . . . following them is a cloud of dust. Looks like they have had a hard day in the yard; they’re sweaty and covered in dust. Slumping into their camp chairs, putting their feet up on grey milk crates, they relax for a few minutes.
‘Wash time’, vaulting into the bull catcher the ringers make their way up to the bore. Stoking the fire under the Donkey (bush Shower) to enjoy a never ending hot shower. Bliss.
Waking to the humming of the generator. How spectacular . . . sunrise in the Kimberley. Kettle whistling, tea spoons ting on enamel mugs, the smell of toast cooking, a little joking in the gypsy wagon (portable kitchen), then off to the yards. The notable Liveringa Ringers (Zarrah Blackwell, Rach O’Connell, Quita Cortez, Tom Robertson, Glenn Staines, Max Dillon, and Micky Bell) rolling up their sleeves ready for another day of heat, sweat, and dust. I must say these girls work just as hard as the guys.
Gas furnace ignited, station brand and year brand lay in the flame. Pull start the generator, powering up the Stockbook to record the herd statistics. A scalpel submerged in a container of disinfectant solution. Dehorning and ear marking equipment also lay submerged in a bucket of disinfectant solution. Marking is ready to begin.
The gate to the race swing open, weaners are wheeled around the holding pen and coached up the race. A weaner leaps into the cradle, cradle door is squeezed shut, apprehending the calf. Unclipping the cradle from its resting point, it falls, a cushioned landing onto a car tyre. A Ringer steps in, grasping the near side rear leg of the weaner. The weaner is then given the full management service. Followed by 549 more weaners. Just in a day’s work.
The camp cook (Linda Cossor) cooking up a storm in the Gypsy Wagon (kitchen). Chop, chop, chop, on the chopping board, tick, tick, tick, the stove ignites. The pot slides onto the stove. Dinner’s on. It’s not that easy, there’s a little more to it . . . wooden spoon stirred clock wise around the bowl, ingredients combined, dessert is in the oven. In amongst all the cooking Linda tends to the abandoned poddy calves. Ah, who couldn’t love a cute little poddy?
The Ringers return from the Donkey Shower (an outside shower with water warmed by fire), dinner is placed on the table in the dusty alfresco area. Food is being arranged on the plate like a piece of art work, the sound of the cutlery scraping on the plastic plates, not a word is spoken. Who’s for seconds? The ringers return not leaving an ounce of food behind. This lady (Linda) knows how to please everyone’s taste buds! Ringers voicing their satisfaction with dinner.
One by one the ringers wash their plates and they are left to dry in the dish rack. A little banter and we are ready for everybody’s highlight of the day, then a pun or two and laughter. One at a time they wander off to their abodes.
When the morning arrives it starts all over again . . .