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 the ringers are working, whenever they are, I am always super impressed with the kindness and good humour shown towards them.
Today we’d like to introduce you to the rest of our ringers: Jo, Brent, Emma, Jake and Dave . . .
I went to school in Melbourne and grew up on the beach – looking at the map, it is as far away from the Kimberleys as you can get.
I caught the bug for horses at an early age which I’ve never gotten rid of – much to my parents’ apprehension. I’ve always dreamt of working on a cattle station, so once I completed my Bachelor of Agriculture at Melbourne University, I decided to fulfil my dream and started applying for positions as a stationhand. Not long after applying I got a phone call from Jed who convinced me that Liveringa was the right place for me.
Working and living on a station is an experience to say the least, one that will stay with me forever. Someone said before I left home to come up here, “it sorts the men from the boys” and he’s not wrong. I think there might be a recipe to thriving rather than surviving on a station, which is: one part physical strength, one part mental determination and a whole lot of humour.
Stock camp was the most hyped about thing amongst the other station hands when I started at Liveringa. We were all very keen to get out into the bush. Some of my favourite things after being out at camp for several months are: sleeping under the stars, watching the sunrise and sunset which looks like paint splashed across the sky, getting back to camp covered in dirt and absolutely exhausted from a hard day at the yards, watching the chopper bring in a mob of cattle (it never gets old) and having a good chat with everyone over our camp cook’s delicious food.
There are some jobs on the station that are definitely less enjoyable than others however considering I get to live in this amazing place with a great group of people I can easily overlook the downsides of the job.
Brent has been on Liveringa almost as long as we have (longer, if you count his time on our company’s other Station; Nerrima!) From my point of view (it’s Karen here again by the way), Brent is part of the furniture here and the day he leaves for ‘good’ will be a really sad one.
Brent comes from Esperence; south of Perth. He began his cattle work in Central WA, in the Gascoyne area. He enjoys working with both cattle and horses – and loves all aspects of his job, even the parts he hates . . . (did that make sense to anyone other than him?)
When I asked him why he ‘keeps coming back’ to Liveringa he said “I love it here because I like the lifestyle on a northern cattle station – the isolation, the size and the wildness to its (relatively) untouched landscape.” He also loves the fact that Inkata (the main residential area on the Station) is very close to the Fitzroy River where he spends a lot of his spare time fishing.
Despite the lack of photographic evidence, Brent does occasionally WORK here!
I grew up on a beef cattle property surrounded by dairy farms in the heart of cheese country, Bega, New South Wales. Having always had the cattle gene in me, I dreamt of working on a cattle station since I was little. Horses have been a big part of my life through work at home and camp drafting for fun, so I relished the opportunity to come to Liveringa.
Through a family friend working at Liveringa and the right timing, I found myself driving the 17km down the wet and windy driveway, catching the end of the humid wet season.
My previous job as a receptionist in a lawyer’s office had me pulling my hair out craving for a glimpse of the outdoors. A cattle station is much more suited to my style of living.
I love the solitude of being out here on a million acres, watching the sunsets and sunrises (although having a sleep in would be better!) and being the resident hairdresser with the least qualifications possible!
The people here are amazing and over the year involving many practical jokes, funny stories, and bizarre situations that has us in stitches every other day they have become like family. People who I hope will remain in my life for a long time to come . . .
Hi, my name’s David Milton or as I’m better known to most of the others around this area – Beanie. I’m currently working at Liveringa Station as a Ringer/Stockman. I’ve been working here for almost four years now; started my time here the start of 2010 and haven’t wanted to leave.
A little bit of history on myself . . .
I’m 27 and I grew up in a small town called Cumnock in NSW. I attended High School in Orange; after I graduated year 10, I started an apprenticeship as a Boilermaker in 2003, became a tradesman and continued my time until I came to the Kimberley at the start of 2010.
I came up here not knowing what to expect, not knowing if I would be able to handle it and not knowing anything about Station life. The only experience I had with cattle was seeing the ones I drove past on the side of the road and horses I’d held a bit of feed for over a fence a few times.
In the last four years of being here I’ve learnt everything from branding calves to coach mustering mobs of cattle on horseback – and nearly every day has been a rush; getting chased around by mad cows, bucked off fresh horses, galloping after break away bulls and scruffing weaners.
Originally I came up here for a season to experience the life I’ve heard all about, but after being here for a few months I was impelled to stay and learn more, develop my skills in this unreal industry and find out what the term that’s used around here a lot “Living The Dream” is all about!
Here’s a couple pictures of some of my time here you might enjoy:
Well there’s a few of my fun moments during my life at Liveringa Station and looking to have a lot more! Anyone looking to get out, get their hands dirty and experience station life I recommend giving it a go.
A week ago, late on a Friday night, Jake handed me (Jed) his submission for Central Station. I put it in my shirt pocket then promptly went home and popped the shirt in the wash.
Our Jake is a poet, a story teller and an entertainer; but a genius cannot produce two works of art in one week . . .
A talented poet was Jake,
A poem he set out to make.
He gave it to me
with no way to foresee
it would go through the wash by mistake.
Jake came to us from Temora in NSW. He left a position in a feedlot to join our team. He is a handy horseman and an energetic and versatile hand.
As with everyone else in the camp, I would so love to have seen his prose . . .
Well done if you’ve made it to day three . . . thanks for staying with us!
Tomorrow (if you hang around) you will meet Lucy, our Home Tutor and Lauren, our Office Manager . . . and if you’re really lucky (and he gets back from town in time) you can go on a bore run with Pigsy!
Karen and Jed O’Brien.