Nicola – Cattle Kween

Posted: June 4, 2018 by The Sprink

This is Nic. She has spent her life living on the family cattle station in QLD which was handed down through 5 generations, over 156 years. She has 90,000 acres, 6,500 head of cattle, four kids and a husband. And some chooks.

How remote are you?
The closest school is 90km away so a round trip was 2hours for the kids. Closest neighbour is a 50min drive. We can’t get mobile reception unless we drive 2 hours east, but it still cuts in and out.

What if someone gets hurt?
We have a two-way radio at the homestead (it’s the only way to communicate) so first I would have to assess the situation verbally with the person injured, then I would call the Royal Flying Doctors who give me permission to use the medical kit which is locked up in a safe at my house (because of the drugs that are in it eg morphine).

Do people get hurt heaps?
Sht yeah. Last year a 78 yr old who wanted to get away from town and come out mustering, rolled his motorbike, broke three ribs and punctured a lung. I had to monitor him for 5hours giving him needles and painkillers, until the Queensland Medical Emergency chopper came to get him. We have an airstrip but it’s too short for the Royal Flying Doctor plane by 20meters DONT GET ME STARTED.
Also my cousin was working her farm once putting in a new fence, and got pulled into the machine by her glove. Even turning the machine off, the shaft kept going and it ripped her arm off. You can read about it here.

What the hell? What happens when there is a fire?
The last fire we had my husband and I were in town Christmas shopping and we got a call from our caretaker. By the time we made it home we had lost 20,000 acres. It started on a neighbour’s property, jumped the highway to burned ours. The cattle were ok though.

Do you live export?
No way – it’s too cruel. I love my cattle. But I still eat them because they’re grass fed / organic.

How do you heard them all?
I go out on horseback, but we also get Sam a local musterer who has his own helicopter to help move them from the air.

How did you meet your husb?
I was teaching kids in town to swim and at night time I worked in the Youngaburra pub. Perry came in for a beer – he was a cabinet maker by trade but had cattle of his own, so while not as country as me, he was still country enough for me to like him. He grew on me as a mate until one day he asked me out for dinner.  We were both nervous as, but then he held my hand. We got married a year later.

You guys had four kids under four WHAT was a normal day like?
430 – wake up to make breakfast for the kids, put the washing on, do school lunches then put food out for the ringers who would eat and then take my horse out with them.
600 – wake up the kids, feed the kids, feed the chooks and the other animals, hang out the washing, take the kids 16km away to the school bus.
730 – get back home from the school run and call the helicopter to pick me up, Sam would drop me off with the rest of the ringers and my husband, then we’d spend the day mustering.
1500 – Sam would drop me back off home in the chopper, I’d get back in the car to get the kids from the bus stop, drive back, fold the washing, do homework and bath them all.
1800 – I would feed the kids and put them to bed.
1900 – the men would come for dinner #2, I would clean up and then go to bed. And repeat the next day.

Could you ever live in a city?
Nah, no one says g’day and they never look happy. I went to Melbourne once for a holiday – a week was enough. They have some funny way of turning their car there – thank God I wasn’t driving.

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