Host: Montejinni Station
Written by Amanda Brown – Managers Assistant, Montejinni Station.
OK so what about everyone else? We often talk about the ringers, the head stock persons, the managers – but what about the rest, the people who are so essential to making a cattle station run successfully? Do you know who I am talking about? The cooks, bore runners, machinery operators, governesses, mechanics/maintenance people, book keepers, and even gardeners (if you are lucky enough to have one) of course.
I think we should shed some light on the unsung heroes of our industry so here is a little run down on what these legends do.
Cooks – These magnificent beings ensure that everyone on the station is well fed and nourished so they are able to perform their daily duties which include a whole lot of energy exertion. The cook generally makes four well rounded meals a day starting with brekky which is usually hot and very early, smoko (my personal fave) served up mid-morning, lunch which is normally a cold corned meat sandwich, and dinner which of course is beef 99% of the time. I like to think of the cook and the kitchen as the heart of the station, it is essential to have one with a good attitude and the ability to be flexible and creative. Can you tell I have been a cook before?
Jane, our Cook.
Bore Runner – now this person is rather important as they keep the cattle in good clean water. They drive around the station starting motors at bores so water can pump from the underground water aquifer into water troughs, they also spend a lot of time cleaning the troughs. This person spends many hours alone in their vehicle every day and they tend to like their own company more than others. Some say bore runners are a breed of their own, I make no judgement but what I do know is that they are such a necessity on a station, we could not do it without them.
Machinery operator – they are mainly responsible for grading roads so we all can get around the station to all the bores and around all the paddocks. Without them we would not be able get anywhere (especially my favourite fishing holes) in any amount of comfort really so I count them as super important. In this category I will include the truck drivers, they cart our cattle from A to B, sometimes a very long way and sometime quick paddock carting. This is a job I could never do, they spend so much time by themselves if it was me I think I would go crazy (not to mention a less than stellar driving history).
A Sticky Spot, grader pulling out a dozer at Litchfield, NT.
Loading trucks at Montejinni.
Maintenance/Mechanics – Ensuring all things work, these guys are stars, one main job is keeping motor cars on road, which not always easy with the calibre of jackaroo drivers. Other useful tasks these fellas excel at are fixing bikes, motors, lights, ovens, pumps, sprinklers, and anything else no one seems to be able to sort out. Far too often do tasks get put in the “job for maintenance” basket.
Book Keeper/Admin – I want one!!! Haha well I guess I have one, it is me, or as my husband likes to call me every time the phone rings “his secretary”, he thinks this is funny but my patience is wearing very thin. Anyways this job is pretty self-explanatory so I won’t go into detail other than to say I would enjoy my life a whole lot more if it was not me doing this job.
Governess or “govie” – The teachers of the children, this is not my field of expertise as I don’t have children but their importance is plain to see none the less. They are the bridge between school in town and the station, absolutely essential to families living on stations.
Gardener – last but not least on my list of superstar “others” is the gardener, now this is also me currently but I tell you what, I much prefer this aspect of my job than the book keeping part. This job is more important that most may think as it is essential to have a beautifully presented station with green lawns and well-kept gardens. It gives employees something nice to come home to after a hard day working in the heat and dust and it is quite nice to impress visitors.
Some of Montejinni’s gardens.
The veggie patch, my pride and joy.
Well there you have it, my little list of the ‘others”, these guys tend to come with their quirks but they do contribute to the station in an undeniable way both work related and socially and we would be totally lost without them. I think it is important to acknowledge them and say thanks because I don’t know if we do that enough.