One car, one bag, one swag

Host: Yeeda Pastoral
Written by Emma – Station Hand, Yeeda Pastoral Company.

Born and bred in the Snowy Mountain Region of New South Wales, I have always been partial to mountains. Living and working in the Canadian Rockies, growing up in the foothills of the Snowy’s and riding on horseback through some of the most spectacular mountain country, it’s hard to imagine why the Kimberley would appeal to me. Being used to lush alpine country and cooler climates, coming to the land of red dirt and Pindan was certainly a huge contrast.

After returning home from a two year working holiday in Canada, I spent some time at home breaking in horses then decided it was time to move on again. Myself and a good friend packed up and hit the road with no idea where we were headed. One mate, one dog, one lamb, one car, one bag, and one swag we set off. We ventured to Northern New South Wales, to a place called Dorrigo and stayed with some friends.

One week soon turned into six weeks for me, as the people where amazing and offered me an incredible experience helping save brumbies, Australia’s heritage horses (Guy Fawkes Heritage Horse Association). I soon found work harvesting spuds on a nearby property and worked with the horses in my time off. I began searching for station jobs, as it was something I had always wanted to do. I applied right across Australia: New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia, and Western Australia. I received a call for a job in WA in the West Kimberley region. Having never been to the area, I thought why not. So I packed up and took off again.

Raised on a beef farm, where at home we were considered to be large landholders, I was obviously unprepared for the massive amount of land and stock over here. Soon after arriving, I quickly learned our four properties in New South Wales combined, were smaller than the horse paddock, practically the size of the backyard here. And one yard up was most times larger than our whole herd.

Having always immersed myself in agriculture, especially the beef industry, I was blown away but was immediately excited and ready for the challenge. I shrugged my shoulders and thought it’ll be just like working cattle at home but on a lot larger scale. I have now been over here for almost two years working for Yeeda Pastoral Company and absolutely love my job. I have learnt so much and had many great experiences/challenges and met some amazing people. I’m very passionate about my job and love every aspect of it, working cattle definitely being my favourite.

3.4 Emma at work

3.5 Emma in the yards pre knee injuryEmma at work pre knee injury. Credit

Unfortunately this year, my season has been cut short due to a knee injury. One unlucky kick in the knee by a cow and I now require surgery and a long road to recovery. I have never been off my feet this long in my life and am absolutely devastated that I won’t be back in the yards for a while. I have been to the yards a few times since being out to keep numbers and am so frustrated I can’t be out there running around, but it is what it is. Since being out of action, I have been focusing and researching possible future opportunities in the beef industry with Yeeda Pastoral Co, and being back on the land and working cattle. I can certainly see myself getting very comfortable here in the Kimberley and look forward to my next challenge.