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IN THIS ISSUE...
|And they're racing »|
It’s mid-August, and 85-year-old Jack Mills is watching the weather forecast. He’s worried. In a fortnight he’s due at Innamincka, in the dusty north-eastern corner of South Australia, but the clouds are coming. “In that country, if there comes a big rain you don’t move for a number of days,” he says, and chuckles. “But I don’t know if you can trust...
|A big country »|
In high summer on Commonwealth Hill Station, inflatable swimming pools are all the go. The station manager inflates one in his garden, so does the overseer and his wife, and the cook, modest Mary Blackmore. Mary, who’s inclined to ‘melt’ when the mercury hits 40 degrees Celsius, sets hers up on the verandah of her quarters. She stays submerged in her four square metres of...
|Darwin reborn »|
My Christmas afternoon in 1974 was spent mostly on the phone, attempting to determine the full extent of the disaster of Cyclone Tracy. There were calls to police, government officials and, most importantly of all, to the airlines, which were providing the only transport link into the stricken city of Darwin.
Credentials established, and, with a promise to bring personal provisions –...
|Transport chief »|
In a muddy truck yard on the outskirts of Narrabri, in Northern New South Wales, sits rows of polished and shining road trains waiting for the next load. So many trucks sitting idle is an uncommon sight for this pioneer trucking business, the domain and home of Lex Gordon, better known as The Chief. “The rain has slowed us up a bit, but it also means a good winter crop this year...
|Hot topic »|
When Ralph Hunt goes to fight fires around New South Wales as president of the Armidale-Dumaresq Brigade of the Rural Fire Service (RFS), he’s often fighting alongside former students of his.
Since 1997, Ralph, an English teacher at The Armidale School (TAS), New England, NSW, has been the Master in Charge of an RFS program that every year trains up to eighteen Year 11 TAS students to...
|Rodeo school »|
At 13, Izayah Gilby has a clear vision of his future. “When I grow up I’d like to be a bull-riding champion and travel around Australia doing all the rodeos,” he says. The Birdsville Year 7 student was the youngest of 28 fledgling roughriders who attended the inaugural Mount Isa Rodeo School in August. Held over two days in the week leading up to the 2014 Mount Isa Mines Rotary...
|Salt-lake country »|
On South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, the harsh beauty of the outback starts near the coast.
Just 30 kilometres north of Ceduna, near a farm called Lone Oak, wheatfields are replaced by mallee scrub. This marks the border of the Yumbarra Conservation Park that becomes the Yellabinna Regional Reserve further north. These two nature parks protect what is sometimes quite accurately...
|Vital links »|
Jackie Jarvis’s first job was as a teenager in a commercial vegetable garden at Wanneroo, WA, and she remembers vividly sitting alongside her mother, both of them behind a machine that planted cauliflower. “Mum and I would sit on a seat each and put the seedling in a little arm, which would plant it,” she says. “I remember one thrilling school holiday, me and a bunch...
|A future in fishing »|
It took less than an hour for 15-year-old John Wonaeamirri to decide his future: two mangrove jacks and a small barramundi were enough to convince the young Tiwi Islander that he would become a fishing guide. “This is the life for me,” he says with a wide smile as he casts a lure close to the mangroves. Even more poignant for John is that he is fishing Goose Creek on Melville Island,...