Top-End horse dentist Bobbie Murphy swapped horse saliva for a tiara and high heels in the name of fundraising.
Story By Freda Nicholls
For 29-year-old Bobbie Murphy, going into a Mrs Australia Globe competition was just a bit of fun, a good way to meet people, have a bit of a laugh and raise some money for a couple of charities. But to take out the title of Mrs Australasia, awarded to the most successful and enthusiastic fundraiser in the Australian competition, was an unexpected bonus to this energetic outback woman.
“I had seen a letter sent to R.M. Williams OUTBACK magazine from a past contestant who suggested that more rural women get involved, that it is a great way to make friends and it’s a good experience, and I thought, ‘Well, you can’t get any more rural than this’,” Bobbie says with a laugh.
Bobbie is a travelling horse dentist, The Equine ToothFairy being the name of her business. She and husband Ed, a carpenter, work through Far North Queensland and the Northern Territory through the dry season. They travel about 50,000 kilometres a year, with Bobbie now having regular clientele of hundreds of station horses and campdrafters. “I’m not a beauty pageant kind of girl,” Bobbie says. “I’m usually covered in horse saliva!”
Bobbie and Ed live out of a gooseneck trailer, and wherever it is parked is home. “I know it sounds strange, but sometimes we can wake up with the most amazing views of Australia just outside our window, depending on where we parked the night before,” Bobbie says. “For the wet season we tend to travel Australia or overseas and visit family and friends who we don’t get to see during the nine months that we are working.
“I entered Mrs Australia Globe and then said to Ed, ‘I think I’ve just done something weird’,” she laughs. “I didn’t think it would go any further as they have hundreds of entrants. I was amazed to be a finalist, and then to be named in the top seven, and then, Mrs Australasia, was incredible.”
Bobbie says the event is not a beauty pageant. “Though there are some stunning women in it, it is all based on fundraising, so these women have their heads screwed on straight and they want to make a difference,” she says. “But it is still nerve-racking walking down a catwalk in high heels and a long gown!”
This story excerpt is from Issue #82
Outback Magazine: Apr/May 2012