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.