As sixth-generation graziers in south-west Queensland, twins Catherine and Candice Roberts have an eye to the future while being guided by their family history.

Story By Annabelle Brayley

It’s 8am on a late summer morning and the blanketing heat of the day already grips the landscape as 27-year-old Candice Roberts rides a motorbike into the shed looking for her twin sister, Catherine. She’s been out on a water run and found a broken pipe. Even though they’ve had some good rain over summer and most of their dams are full, precious water is never to be squandered. Any relief rain is only as good as the follow up.
Wasting few words, Candice tells Catherine what equipment is needed. Catherine is quick to gather up the fittings and jump into one of the work vehicles with her sister. It’s a pattern they’ve fallen into easily since they came home to help their father work the family property, Victoria Downs, in the Morven district of south-west Queensland. When they’re both home, whichever twin identifies the job leads. Catherine is the elder by 15 minutes and the bossier by nature. She’s also the one who lives there full-time, so Candice generally considers her the one ‘in charge’, even though, technically, they both defer to their father Will.
While they wait for their turn at running the family business, they have some clear ideas about the future though no formal plans. With a shrug, Catherine says, “If we were boys it would be easier because when we found partners they’d probably come here. We might end up living somewhere else, but we still want this, so we’d have to think about how that would work,” Catherine says. Whatever happens, it is their intention, when Will is ready, to take up the guardianship of Victoria Downs.

This Story is from Issue #102

Outback Magazine: Aug/Sept 2015