Station manager Gavin Miller has trained and influenced many young Australians in the northern beef industry.

Story Annabelle Brayley  Photo Shannon Rae

In the past four decades, Gavin Miller has managed some of the best known cattle stations in northern Australia: Flora Valley, Walhallow, Alroy Downs, Helen Springs, Davenport Downs, Fort Constantine, Rocklands, Inverway and Riveren. For the past two and half years, he’s managed the famous Wave Hill, just east of Kalkarindji. When Wave Hill was sold to Jumbuck Pastoral earlier this year, Gavin and his wife Narelle agreed to stay on to oversee the transition, but are now looking forward to living in the home they built a few years ago, south of Toowoomba, Qld. Definitely not ready to retire, he’d like to move into a new role in the cattle industry.

Gavin is a fifth-generation cattleman. His ancestors owned land on the Lachlan until his great-grandfather moved to Queensland. Then his grandfather Blake drove cattle for Sid Kidman, and in 1904 became the first person to bring 1000 head safely, west to east, across the infamous Murranji Track. Gavin’s father Robey drove cattle for Rocklands Pty Ltd at Camooweal until they offered him the management of Rocklands Station. When Stanbroke bought Rocklands 20 years later, Robey continued on in the role.  

Heavily influenced by his father and three uncles, all of whom were in the cattle business, Gavin aspired to station management. He was destined for Marcus Oldham College at Geelong after boarding school, but a gap year building flood fencing for Stanbroke at Davenport canned the plan. Thrown in the deep end when the overseer and the cook both pulled the pin, leaving him on his own, Gavin showed his reliability and work ethic as he carried on fencing, then segued into stock camps. He never looked back. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #140

Outback Magazine: December/January 2022