Anna Cotton is the sixth generation of her family to work on Kelvedon Estate, Tas.

Story + Photos Cormac Hanrahan

From a young age Anna Cotton knew she wanted to work with sheep. As a sixth-generation woolgrower on Tasmania’s east coast, she didn’t have far to go to find out. “I love the wool,” Anna says. “I love the feel of it in your hands, the lanolin, the smell, even the ammonia in the shed.”

In 1829 Anna’s ancestors settled at 5300ha Kelvedon Estate, 10km south of Swansea. It runs from bushy hills to the coast, with spectacular views over Oyster Bay to the Freycinet Peninsula.

Alongside her father Jack, Anna runs 7500 superfine Merinos and grows 9ha of wine grapes. “I love being back on the farm because every day is different,” she says. “Things always pop up. You’ve got to fix a fence or drench a mob of ewes – there’s always a challenge. It’s a fantastic environment to work in.”

With the beach at her door and the bush at her back, it was no wonder Anna was keen to return home after three years studying at Marcus Oldham College. “It’s been a successful family farm for nearly 200 years and I wanted to keep that tradition running, so I got a Bachelor in Business because I think it’s important to have those skills, too,” Anna says. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #132

Outback Magazine: Aug/Sep 2020