For two decades, Ruby Gamble has brought south-western Queensland the mail and a shoulder on which to lean.

Story + Photos Nathan Dyer

At the back door of the Cunnamulla Post Office, Ruby Gamble is collecting her mailbags for tomorrow’s bush run. By the end of the week, she’ll have clocked up almost 1700 kilometres. “You definitely need a beer by Friday,” laughs the veteran bush postie, as she loads the canvas bags into the back of her ute.

For the past two decades Ruby has been friend, confidant and news source for the families on her Cunnamulla mail runs. “Sometimes I’m the only contact between them and civilisation from one week to the next,” the 66 year old says. “I see them at their best and I see them at their worst, and I don’t find any of them that haven’t got a heart of gold. They’re all special – the whole lot.”

From Tuesday to Friday, Ruby is on the road covering the mail runs west to Eulo, north to Wyandra, east to the Nebine River and everywhere in between. Along with the mail, delivery of medicines, newspapers, groceries and general station supplies is part of the service she provides.

And although she loves a chat, Ruby says there’s one golden rule. “What happens on the mail run stays there,” she says.

This story excerpt is from Issue #118

Outback Magazine: April/May 2018