Young Guns in WA's pastoral industry

28 Jul, 2014 02:00 AM
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I can't wait to finish university and get back up to Spring Creek!

THE Spring Creek station crew come from near and far to work on the station. JACINTA BOLSENBROEK spoke to some of them about their backgrounds and why they chose to work in WA's pastoral industry.

Carly Wright:

LONG standing jillaroo Carly Wright, from Orange in central west New South Wales has worked at Spring Creek station on and off for the last few years.

"My family are not involved in agriculture, they actually own the Exchange Hotel in Blayney," she said.

"But my mother is an excellent horse rider and I always grew up riding horses."

This love of horses and agriculture, saw Carly look at becoming a jillaroo.

"I chose to become a jillaroo because it was a great opportunity and a lifestyle that I wanted to try," she said.

"I was supposed to go to university after one gap year, which eventually became two before my parents put their foot down."

Carly now studies agricultural business management at Charles Sturt University, but tries to get back to the station at every opportunity.

"I want to finish my studies first and continue doing what I was doing. There is still so much I want to learn and I think Mike is the best person to learn it off," she said.

"I started working for Mike in 2011 and then went back home for my studies.

"But I can't wait to finish university and get back up to Spring Creek!"

Ben Wells:

BENJAMIN Wells has been around horses and cattle his whole life.

Originally from a small dairy town called Albion Park on the New South Wales coast, Ben said he has had links to agriculture his whole life.

"My cousins have a sheep and cattle station at Cobar, NSW and my grandparents had a cattle station until 1987," he said.

"I've been riding rope and cutting horses all my life and I also rode bucking horses for seven years up until I got hurt."

Being a master farrier by trade, Ben's skills are pretty handy around the place.

"I'm a ringer, because I think I'm a little too old to be a jackaroo," he said.

"I've worked with cattle and horses all my life it's what I love I wouldn't change it for all the money in the world.

"We have long days, but when you're doing what you love time flys by.

"You get paid for it too, so what could be better."

Julia Marquardt:

STATION life is very different if you're a German backpacker.

Rolling up to Spring Creek was the first time Julia Marquardt set foot on a station.

"I grew up in Hamburg, where the population is 1.8 million," she said.

"So I'm more a city girl and have no background in agriculture or farming."

But this hasn't held Julia back.

She has been saddling up horses, mustering and helping out with the fencing.

"After school I decided to study physiotherapy for premature babies, which I love," she said.

"But last year I thought it was a good idea to travel, to improve my English and to see more of the world."

Her first job was in Brisbane, in the Kent Saddlery in Stanthorpe, Queensland.

She said she learnt a lot about leather work from her father, who was a saddler for more than 25 years.

After that she travelled for three months through Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, to Fiji, Melbourne, across to Perth and up to Broome.

"I then travelled from Broome to Kununurra," she said.

"Once I got to Kununurra I called my old boss Lyle Kent from Kent Saddlery and asked him if he knew a cattle station, that would take backpackers.

"He gave me Mike Shaw's number at Spring Creek. I called and got a job!"

Although Julia has only been at the station for two months, she said she has found it an amazing and interesting life.

"I have learnt so many new things," she said.

"My favourite work is fencing by myself or floodgate work, and Mike flys us in the helicopter from gate to gate, which is pretty cool.

"Mike teaches us a lot, I'm a backpacker but he taught me to drive a truck, to castrate a calf and all the work around cattle in the working yards, and also how to muster cattle."

In mid-August Julia is due to leave the station and will spend the remaining eight weeks travelling before she has to leave Australia and return home.

But this won't be the last time she sees Australia and she is already hoping to get a second year visa and come back.

Andrea Peraundo:

ITALIAN Andrea Peraundo loves the outdoors and can't get enough of station life.

A life of six months mustering in Australia and the other six months of the year in Italy as a ski instructor in the Alps, would be a dream for most people.

Andrea has been living the dream for almost 30 years.

"This is my first season in WA," he said.

"I normally go to Queensland, but I like seeing new places and thought why not."

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