Once a drover, Kevin ‘KJ’ Costello has been delivering the mail to station people around Quilpie, western Queensland, for more than half a century – and he’s trained a few prizewinning racehorses as well.

Story & photos by Danielle Lancaster

Kevin ‘KJ’ Costello sounds the horn long and hard as he drives towards his first stop, Whynot Station, west of Quilpie, Queensland. He’s running late this week as rain has held him up, and he isn’t a man who likes to let people down. He changes the gears of his HiLux, carefully manoeuvring it through the red gluggy sand, and states that a good mailman is always dependable, though he adds, “You can’t force the hand of Mother Nature”. “The rain is better now than later – it’ll give the mulga a go – I don’t like seeing it cut down,” he says.
Jan Borthwick greets KJ and his Australia Post bag with an enormous smile – she’s eager to hear news of how much rain has fallen and where, and ensure the safe dispatch of this week’s mail into the hands of the man who has carried her mail, and almost anything else she needs from town, for more than 50 years.

This story excerpt is from Issue #44

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2006