Kylie Harris and Julie Marshall travel outback Queensland to bring welcome support to isolated families.

Story By Darryl Cooper

Kylie Harris and Julie Marshall spend a lot of time in their lounge room – but little time at home. This is because their so-called lounge room is the Nissan Patrol they use to travel over vast areas of western Queensland visiting isolated properties for the Remote Area Families Service (RAFS). “It’s comfortable and cool and we sit and talk and tell jokes and listen to music just as you would at home,” Kylie says.
RAFS is an organisation that provides support for families in remote areas with children aged up to five years. Teams such as Kylie and Julie regularly visit isolated households, bearing toys, books, activities and information. Kylie and Julie drive 40,000-60,000 kilometres a year, depending on the duration of the northern wet season, and are on the road for three weeks of every month. They visit about 120 families spread over an area of more than 600,000 square kilometres, which is almost three times the size of Victoria. Most visits are to cattle stations, but national parks, sheep properties, mines, isolated police stations and roadhouses are also included in the women’s itinerary.

This story excerpt is from Issue #47

Outback Magazine: June/July 2006