The Big Picture

Host: Myroodah Station
Written by Chris Daniell – Manager, Myroodah.

Someone said to me today they just had the worst day of their life! “That’s a big call I answered”, thinking the worst. After I inquired further it was quickly downgraded to “well maybe not the worst day but pretty bloody bad!” About eight hours earlier someone else had a similar situation, stressed to the eyeballs and struggling to breathe. But by the end of the day, the pair of them had smiles on their faces and life was all okay. In fact you could feel the pride in the second man’s voice of how they had everything under control. My wife would probably agree that this sounds just like me every other day!

I recently came upon a short phrase on the bottom of someone’s signature line on their email that read –

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the PAST better than it was, the PRESENT worse than it is and the FUTURE less resolved than it will be.”

It is so easy to get caught up in the small things that present themselves each day, that we lose sight of the big picture most of the time.

Since we started our mustering season this year in March, I (Myroodah Station’s Manager), have been so focussed on keeping everything on target that I need the occasional moment to just take a breath and ask the question WHY? Whenever I ask this question it doesn’t take long for the answer to unfold before me.

Late last year, my wife Pam and I were fortunate enough to be contacted by Marilynne Paspaley, who was organising the Pinctada Cable Beach Polo event in Broome in May 2014. We were asked to put forward two suitable Indigenous people from within our organisation to be the trailblazers for a new scholarship that would see them in New Zealand for three months learning everything they could about the game of polo. This would not only give these young people an opportunity to travel and experience things they could only dream of, but it would also give them a job for the wet season when they would normally be unemployed and spending their hard earned savings.

I would be lying if I told you the logistics of getting two inexperienced travellers that didn’t have passports from two separate remote areas of the Australian bush in the middle of the wet season to New Zealand with two weeks’ notice was a piece of cake! Don’t you worry, there were plenty of moments when we asked ourselves WHY? Like when one of the boys called at 3am saying he had just missed the only daily bus going through town 48 hours before the flight out of the country! Admittedly his lift hadn’t shown up and he was trying to walk about 5km through the pouring rain in the dark to get there only to see the tail lights of the bus heading the 1500km for Darwin.

So with only 24 hours on the clock one of them needed to pick up the passports and the other needed to travel 1500km to get on the plane. As you can imagine we didn’t sleep that night.

Pam, I don’t know how you did it! How good was it to get the call that they were standing on Kiwi soil?! Now there’s the first big picture moment. Even at that point it was a bit blurry, remember we still had three months to go, but we had all passed a huge milestone, just getting them there!

The three months went by quickly and by all reports they have done us proud. They returned to Myroodah the day before the first muster and haven’t missed a beat.

So here we are two weeks after the Pinctada Cable Beach Polo event and six months after it all started, the boys have had numerous interviews for both TV and newspapers about their story. Plans are taking shape already for their second wet season in New Zealand. This time they will be accompanied by another two of their teammates and staying for five months and playing in numerous polo events across New Zealand.

Every flood starts with a single drop of rain. My big picture just went from two young Indigenous men stepping outside of their comfort zone to an Indigenous polo team touring the planet!!

6.1Some of our 2014 staff L-R: Gary Clancy, Austin Riley, Terrance Long (Head Stockman), Chanston Rivers, Carl Manfong and Kamis Johnson.

6.2“Making Plans” – Manager Chris Daniell chats to Myroodah Head Stockman Terrance Long.

6.3Sun sets behind the old Shearing Shed on Myroodah Station.