The grey nomad with the golden heart

Host: Koordarrie Station
Written by Kristie de Pledge – Manager, Koordarrie Station.

A very important part of the busy time of year, is the contribution of help from volunteers. These people can be Grey Nomads, couples or families travelling with children. There are so many websites where your need for assistance is listed and where you can search for available volunteers as they travel Australia. We have enjoyed the company and knowledge of many volunteers as they travel through. Some stay for a week, others have stayed for ten weeks. Having someone around to fix doors, build engine sheds, collect wood, check tanks, assist with the cooking, or child minding is vital to a smooth operation in especially busy times like mustering.


Rob came to us through Outback Links, which is part of Frontier Services. He has been a cheerful and hard working member of the team since his arrival, though wet roads interrupted his plans and made removing old fences part of the work program . . . he has happily turned his hand to anything. Thanks Rob!

. . .

G’day, my name is Rob and I am a retiree from Melbourne, just passing through the Pilbara region as part of an anti-clockwise trip around Oz. I am mixing volunteer work with getting to see some of the places that I haven’t seen before or that I wanted to see more of in the trip around the country.

Regarding my volunteer activities with Outback Links, I have so far spent six weeks spread across two farms in central Queensland in the areas badly impacted by flooding earlier this year and am now at Koordarrie station (until the roads dry out bit more). While most of the Queensland work was fence recovery/rebuilding, I also spent time ploughing (about 200 acres), feeding animals and repairing damaged equipment. I also spent almost two weeks with Blazeaid in Central Queensland at about a dozen properties, all work being fence repair or recovery. If I wasn’t doing this trip I would be back in Melbourne doing volunteer work for another organization that I have spent 500-800 hours a year with since retiring, as I like helping people and it helps to keep me physically and mentally active. This year I am spending a bit more time helping someone else and mixing it with doing some site seeing as well.


While I grew up on a small farm, the nature of the work and the property management processes from those days was so different to that in Queensland and now on Koordarrie. The main differences are in the nature of the vegetation, plus the scale/size of the properties and in the case of Koordarrie, how far you have to travel even just to check bores, tanks, troughs, let alone go to town (100’s of kilometres).


On Koordarrie I have spent about half the time doing odd jobs, that may be a low priority in the owners work schedule, but still need to get done, plus the other half I have been removing old fencing, from the stations prior use as a sheep property. There is likely to be more than 100km of this old fencing so every little bit done helps as it has now become a hazard for animals and also people during mustering. It was planned for me to be at Koordarrie for a week, but the wet weather 12 days ago means that the roads are not passable by a 4WD let alone by my 2WD camper, but the extra time has been great as it has allowed me to get a better feel for the day to day activities on the station.

Outback Links provides skilled and experienced volunteers to help with day-to-day work on remote properties around Australia when families need an extra pair of hands – while a farmer recovers from injury, while harvest or muster is on, on the birth of a new child, loss of a family member or disaster recovery from floods or bushfires.

Volunteers help wherever needed. Tasks include but are not limited to: house duties (cooking, cleaning), childcare, help with school work, maintenance, gardening, plumbing, fencing, stock work or admin. Volunteers help out for short periods of time, usually around one to two weeks.

Do you know someone who needs help? Or could you do with a helping hand?

Find out more about Outback Links here.