Host: Blina Station
Written by – Ann Hallen, Blina Station.
Ellendale is an outstation to Blina and is located between Derby and Fitzroy Crossing on the Great Northern Highway.
The Hallen family have been employed by the Jumbuck Pastoral Company for four years.
Andy’s role at Ellendale is primarily as overseer and boreman. Andy’s job is to maintain watering points for the cattle, which consists of driving many kilometers a week to check/fix bores and windmills as well as keeping troughs clean and pulling out bogged cattle in dams.
He also disperses tons of lick toward the end of the dry season to certain breeder paddocks. Towards the end of the dry, the nutrient value of the ground fodder drops off. This lick helps maintain the breeder cows condition while calf is at foot, allowing her to cycle again quicker.
Andy, as many station folk is a “Jack of all Trades” and also
• Erects and repairs fences
• Fire fighting and back burning
• Driving machinery when needed
• Keeping all machinery serviced and running
As well as the never ceasing odd jobs that pop up around the homestead!!
Whilst Andy is bringing home the bacon, I his wife Ann, maintain the homestead gardens as well as educating Jack – 12, Saskia – eight, and Kiera – five through Kimberley School of the Air. This is a challenging job to say the least and tests your patience in more ways than one!! But also very rewarding watching the children learn and grow knowing you’ve done your best to set them up for life.
Our eldest, Brody – 15 commutes by bus to Fitzroy Valley High School, which is a 180 km round trip. There are also the family pets to be looked after like chooks, pigs, poddy calves, horses, and guinea pigs, as well as chasing off the unwanted visitors like crows, goannas, and snakes. The kids find plenty to keep them busy from riding bikes and horses to swimming and climbing trees. There is also the dreaded technology of computers and TV. But switching off the generator works a treat to shepherding them outside. On days off our family loves nothing more than chilling in the bush camping and fishing.
We have been lucky enough to have been provided with a Govy/house keeper which makes my life a lot easier.
My name is Sharna and I’m the governess/housekeeper at Ellendale.
In February 2012 I came across from Townsville, QLD, not knowing what to expect about the lifestyle of living in the bush. This is my second year back, teaching pre primary and housekeeping for the Hallen family. I’m loving it out here!
It’s the best decision I made and an awesome experience. I’ve met many wonderful people and the team at KSOTA ( Kimberley School of the Air) are amazing. I’ve learnt so much being out here, one in particular that the Kimberley people are amazing.
I’ve conquered fears I never imagined thanks to my time in the bush, living the lifestyle!!!!