Millie’s experience on a station across WA, QLD & NT
What station did you go to, why that station and how did you apply?
I worked at a private company that owned seven stations at the time across the Kimberley, Barkly Tablelands and Western Queensland areas. I got the contact through a family friend who had been up there the previous year, which was super helpful. Because it was private, the application process was straightforward and just involved a phone call, but I know many stations often require a resume and an interview.
What made you want to work on a station for a year?
I grew up on a small property in South Australia producing black Angus beef cattle. I always loved being involved in the farm as well as riding horses. I thought going up north would be adventurous and a different experience, as well as an excellent opportunity to see a different part of Australia.
What does a day on a station look like?
The day started with cooked brekkie, usually around 5:30am. Workdays would be spent drafting and then branding cattle, which involved desexing, dehorning and tagging the unprocessed cattle. Mustering was done with motorbikes and a helicopter or two. We also spent a lot of time educating the weaners on horseback, teaching them to calmly move through the yards and desensitising them in a way. We would love a few cold beers at the end of the day, followed by a hearty dinner from our lovely cook Cass.
What was your role?
My role was just a station hand or ‘ringer’. I absolutely loved working up there. Being able to move around between the different properties was a highlight for me, as well as travelling around the top end of Australia. The crew became very close friends, and we got to spend a few days off in Broome which was very special.
What did you get out of the experience?
Without my gap year up north, I wouldn’t have studied agriculture at university, which I have absolutely loved. I definitely learnt a lot about myself working up there and would recommend it to anyone looking to take a gap year!