Proud, passionate and determined, and with access to technologies their forebears could not have imagined, a new generation of young Aussies is tackling head on the challenges in the bush.
Story By Nathan Dyer
She may not be flash, but out here on the dusty tracks of Queensland’s Channel Country where temperatures hover around 40 degrees Celsius for weeks on end and a well-maintained bore can be the difference between life and death, Charlie Roberts’ 75 Series LandCruiser is a sight for sore eyes.
“I’ve been driving LandCruisers and breaking them ever since I was
16, so I know how to fix them,” says the Boulia boreman, while taking a break in the shade from another scorcher.
Since moving from Bundaberg a decade ago, Charlie has made the Channel Country his home, workplace and playground.
Establishing his own bore and windmill maintenance business back in 2008 after six years working for wages on nearby Glenormiston Station, Charlie has built a name for himself with expertise in remote-controlled bores and old-fashioned windmill maintenance. “I’ve got a foot on either side of the fence; I’m up with all the new technology, all the latest and greatest, and I still service the old stuff,” he says.
Adding to Charlie’s growing business success, sales from his online store are steadily growing.
“I’ve even sold to America when the dollar was high; they could buy their windmill buckets cheaper from me,” he says.
Last year, Charlie and the Cruiser rattled over 40,000 kilometres to service bores and windmills across the local shire. He’s also president of the Boulia Turf Club. Not bad for a 30-year-old who stopped home schooling at 16.
Charlie’s explanation is matter-of-fact. “I don’t have a school education. I'm not a brilliant man, but out here I can be somebody."
This story excerpt is from Issue #94
Outback Magazine: Apr/May 2014