Host: Liveringa Station
Managers: Peter and Karen O’Brien
Region: The Kimberley, WA
Nearest town for shopping, doctors etc: Looma community clinic for minor medical issues (20 mins) otherwise Derby for shopping/doctor (1 hr, 15 mins)
Nearest roadhouse: Willare
Number of cattle: 12,500 breeding cows. Total 20,000 head
Number of staff: 30
Size of station: 265,000 hectares / 2650 km2 or 654,000 acres
How often and how the mail is delivered: Regularly, by whoever heads into town from the station!
How often and how the stores shopping is done: Once a week the station cook drives into town for fresh fruit/veg shop at Woolies. Fortnightly dry and frozen goods are delivered by truck.
How far off the bitumen you are: 17kms
Website: Liveringa Station
Comprising about 265,000 hectares- 2,650 square kilometres (larger than the ACT just to put it in perspective!), Liveringa is situated 120kms southeast of Derby, with the mighty Fitzroy River forming more than 100 kms of its southern boundary. We are a large cattle holding with 14,000 breeding cows and 22,000 total head.
Liveringa is a diverse Station with a cross breeding program which enables us to access a number of different markets; allowing us to feel slightly less vulnerable than some others in the wake of the live export ban and its subsequent negative effects. Liveringa also has three centre pivot irrigators where we grow fodder for our livestock, the feedlot, the trucking yard and sale.
The Station employs five permanent staff (Jed and I, a Head Stockman, a boreman, a cropping manager and a mechanic) and acquires around twenty casual staff during ‘the season’(suitable mustering months)…as well as several live-in contractors throughout the year; including a chopper pilot.
Liveringa has been our home since 2010. My husband, Peter (Jed) O’Brien is the Manager and together with our four young children, we are fortunate to be able to ‘live the dream’ (as Jed likes to remind me on my less enthusiastic days).
A bit about us…
Jed grew up on a cattle farm in the Snowy Mountain region, NSW, then went on to study an Ag Science degree in WaggaWagga, before heading ‘North’ to become a ‘ringer’. He spent about fifteen years in the NT, working in various roles within the cattle industry – culminating in the Management of a Department of Ag Research Station for approximately eight years before coming here.
I was a Secondary school teacher, living and working on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, when I met Jed on holidays in Darwin. A couple of years later, I moved north to be with him…always with the view to return closer to home one day…thirteen years (no career and four children) later, here we are – slightly further west, but still, undeniably very North!
When it is our turn to share ‘a week in the life’ of our Station, we would like to introduce readers/viewers to the diverse range of jobs, workers and challenges we have here…to give you a taste of what is our day to day reality.
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Paxton Pullford – Ringer, Liveringa Station. Every year for Central Station I ask at least one of the new station hands to write down their thoughts about life as a ‘ringer’ in the Kimberley. Paxton is 19. He finished Year 12 at Kings College, Sydney last year. He comes from […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Woodrow (Glenn Staines) – Head Stockman, Liveringa Station. How do you break in a horse? As the saying goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat – as is with horse breaking. After all, how do you convince a 500kg animal that out-does you in size and strength, […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Desi Turner – Gardener, Liveringa Station. Clive and Desi joined us this year to manage our workshop and gardens. We love their enduring positivity and sense of humour. – Karen, Station Manager. “Let’s live and work on a cattle station,” Clive said as we sat drinking a coldie after a […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Peter (Jed) O’Brien – Station Manager, Liveringa Station. Peter (Jed) O’Brien. A couple of years ago I had a coffee with a friend and beef industry leader in the south east. He made a jovial comment about cattle management in northern Australia, suggesting that northern cattle producers have adopted a […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Tom Robertson – Ringer, Liveringa Station. I had said my goodbyes and just as I climbed into my ute to point the steering wheel north, a wise man left me with a few parting words: “Go, have the time of your life, but make sure you come back.” After pondering […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Tom Robertson – Ringer, Liveringa Station. Tom. Waking at 4.30 am to the familiar “knock, knock, knock” of the generator springing to life signals the beginning of another day at Liveringa Stock camp. No doubt today will be similar to many that came before it, and many that will […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Zarrah Blackwell – Ringer, Liveringa Station. Zarrah. Working at Liveringa Station in the Stock Camp is one of the best things I have done. There are not many industries around that you get so much variety and experience on a daily basis as what you do working on a […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Glenn Staines (‘Woodrow’) – Ringer, Liveringa Station. At Liveringa this year we have eight ‘ringers’ (station hands) including the Head Stockman, who spend a good deal of the ‘season’ (period of time it is possible/viable to process the cattle) out at either Hardman’s or MacCreas stock camps. Over the next […]
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. . . […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Linda Cossor – Station Cook, Liveringa Station. On average, our cook has 21 mouths to feed every day. That, however, doesn’t include the three pilots that we forgot to mention were coming tonight, the vet who’ll be here for three days, the ringer’s parents who are up for a visit, […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Catherine – Home Tutor, Liveringa Station. The education of our children has always been my biggest challenge whilst living this beautiful station life. We are so incredibly fortunate, though, to have had a succession of wonderful Home Tutors. Catherine, a trained teacher from the UK, is with us for the […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Jed O’Brien – Manager, Liveringa Station. Jed and I are in our sixth year here at Liveringa Station – and finally I think we can now say we know both the place and the job really well. Jed agreed to start our week of blogs with a piece on his […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Karen O’Brien – Manager, Liveringa Station. The family. Visitors often come during the dry and stay for a few days/weeks and tell us how lucky we are to be living this life. But I often think that they fail to remember that they are on holidays . . . and […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Karen O’Brien – Manager, Liveringa Station. My husband Jed can often be heard coining the phrase “living the dream” when talking about our life and work up here. I, on the other hand won’t repeat the phrase you’ll usually hear me use when describing our life! Yeah, yeah, yeah – it’s […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Karen O’Brien – Manager, Liveringa Station. Zarrah, one of our new staff members this year, writes about her move from NZ where she worked as a stock agent, to become a ‘ringer’ in the unforgiving north of Australia. Similarly, Jake, who is back at Liveringa for a second year, gives us […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Lisa – Cropping Crew, Liveringa Station. Because we wrote about most aspects of our working life here at Liveringa last year when we hosted the blog, we thought that we needed to come up with a new idea this year. We decided to focus on the ‘extremes’ of life up here. […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Jed O’Brien – Manager, Liveringa Station. Last week we embarked upon our first muster for the 2014 season. We usually start with the paddocks closest to the homestead yards; we are on high ground here, the access is good. We do a few paddocks here while we wait for the […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Karen O’Brien – Manager, Liveringa Station. The 2014 mustering season for us has just kicked off. The ‘season’ refers to those months of the year when it is cool and dry enough to muster, draft, and truck cattle around and off the station. Over the wet, jobs which we don’t […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by – Karen O’Brien, Manager, Liveringa Station. Do you remember our previous hosts Liveringa Station? True to the nature of station life, they were so busy during their hosting week they didn’t have a chance to introduce the whole crew. Now, as the season winds up Karen would like you to […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Karen O’Brien – Manager, Liveringa Station. The 2013 cropping team consists primarily of Barry Chapman (Cropping Manager) and his two hardworking offsiders Jake O’Dell and Lisa Leonhardt. Barry and his wife Bev joined the Liveringa team quite recently, and are a wonderful addition to the “Liveringa family”. Barry is a […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Karen O’Brien – Manager, Liveringa Station. I’ve found over the past couple of years that our Home Tutors have become like family members. Lucy is no exception. We all adore her – she is fun, intelligent and funny. I love her positive influence on the kids . . . and […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Jed and Karen O’Brien – Managers, Liveringa Station. On a personal note, I think we are extremely lucky here to have a gorgeous group of young workers who are understanding and inclusive when it comes to our kids. While they are not often out and about around the cattle while […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Karen O’Brien – Livestock Manager, Liveringa Station. Cattle come out of “Paradise” paddock en route to “Big Farm” yard . . . the chopper brings up those who really don’t want to leave Paradise . . . despite the fact that, as far as paddocks go, this one is about as far from […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Karen O’Brien – Manager, Liveringa Station. For several weeks at a time (and for three months of the year) our ringers go out to “stock camp”. This means dragging a trailer with supplies and the camp kitchen, otherwise known as “the gypsy wagon” (a rough kind of caravan with an oven/stove, sink, fridges, […]
Host: Liveringa Station Written by Peter (Jed) O’Brien – Livestock Manager, Liveringa Station. Comprising about 265,000 hectares of pastoral cattle lease, Liveringa is situated 120km southeast of Derby; the Fitzroy River forming more than 100km of its southern boundary. We are a large cattle holding with 14,000 breeding cows and 22,000 total head. While our main focus […]