Custodians of a pair of Western Australian cattle properties – one in the Pilbara and one in the Gascoyne – the Percy family exhibits the resilience and commitment needed to succeed on the land.

Story & photos by John Denman

Michael Percy’s gaze takes in the country that stretches out in all directions from the yards he is checking. “It’s not too hard to muster this country now we’ve got helicopters,” he says, knocking some dust off his hat. “The thing is you normally know where to look for the cattle, and they never have to go far from water here.” All around the yards, Flinders and Mitchell grass move gently in the wind. As the preferred paddock feed in most of the outback, there seems to be no lack of either on Yalleen Station.
The Percy family knows only too well how capricious the country can be and, like many of their neighbours, made the switch to cattle away from wool some time ago. Michael runs Yalleen in the Pilbara, not far from Pannawonica, WA, while his brother, John Percy, known as ‘Johnno’ to his family, is the owner and custodian of Williambury Station, south of Yalleen in the Gascoyne district of WA.

This story excerpt is from Issue #46

Outback Magazine: Apr/May 2006