Cham­pion of hard work

Man­ager fo­cuses on clear goals

Central and North Rural Weekly - - STATION LIFE - AN­DREA DAVY An­drea.davy@ru­ral­ WAITE PHOTO: RICHARD

WITHIN two years Dave Young ticked off a string of mile­stones – he be­came sta­tion man­ager, ob­tained his he­li­copter li­cence, mar­ried his wife and be­came a father.

Al­though it sounds like suc­cess came quickly, he’ll tell you it has taken his whole life.

In fact, his ad­vice to any­one keen on ca­reer in the beef in­dus­try is to not “ex­pect it to hap­pen overnight”.

Mr Young started off work­ing along­side his fam­ily on Chatsworth Sta­tion, near Clon­curry in north­west Queens­land.

He joined the Con­sol­i­dated Pas­toral Com­pany (CPC) in 2008 on Man­bul­loo Sta­tion, had a stint away work­ing in the Gulf coun­try, then slowly climbed the ranks from ringer to lead­ing hand, to head stock­man and then to over­seer.

In 2017 he be­came the man­ager on Newry Sta­tion.

This week, Dave caught up with the Ru­ral Weekly to talk about what life is like on Newry, a cat­tle prop­erty 20km east of the West Aus­tralian bor­der in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory and 70km out­side of Ku­nunurra.

In a good year, Newry can run more than 20,500 head across its 246,700ha. It has a mix of black soil and stoney-ridge coun­try, run­ning mostly brah­mans.

“We are ba­si­cally just breed­ing factory,” Mr Young said.

“Our job is to pro­duce as many ki­los on the ground, and as many calves on the ground as we can.”

My Young runs the prop­erty along­side his wife Eloise and eight-month-old daugh­ter Lacey.

There are seven peo­ple work­ing in the stock camp, a bore run­ner and an ad­min­is­tra­tion as­sis­tant, who dou­bles as the sta­tion gar­dener and an­i­mal carer.

Like the ad­min as­sis­tant’s work­load, Mr Young de­scribed his role as be­ing var­ied and a con­stant “jug­gle”.

“Each year there is a lot to try and achieve and a lot to or­gan­ise. It’s a job that keeps you on your toes and keeps your mind mov­ing,” he said.

Newry sends its steers to Ar­gyle Downs to grow out, which is an­other CPC sta­tion bor­der­ing the prop­erty’s south­ern side.

It hasn’t been the best of sea­sons this year, but Mr Young said hope­fully some early wet-sea­son storms would of­fer some re­lief.

“We are just a lit­tle bit dry at the mo­ment and are feel­ing the pinch in the back end of the sea­son,” he said.

“We are in the build-up sea­son at the mo­ment so it’s fairly or­di­nary out­side, it’s hot and hu­mid but that should break shortly and we will start to get some storms rolling through.”

Be­fore chat­ting to the Ru­ral Weekly, Mr Young spent most of the pre­vi­ous evening fight­ing fires.

In a ca­sual tone he shrugged off the blazes as noth­ing more than “a cou­ple of early light­ning strikes rais­ing a bit of havoc”.

“It’s sea­sonal here. Some years we will have a good run, and only have one or two fires,” he said.

“This is more just this back end of the sea­son. There is a lot of dry grass and the winds are chop­ping and chang­ing, so it’s ideal con­di­tions for bush­fires.”

Mr Young de­scribed the team on Newry as a “great bunch of peo­ple”.

He said with more women en­ter­ing the in­dus­try it wasn’t too much trou­ble get­ting the staff he needed for the sea­son.

“I have three or four young ladies work­ing here,” he said.

“Everyone in the camp has come from a pas­toral back­ground, so they know the out­line of what we are do­ing.

“There are a lot of good young peo­ple com­ing into the in­dus­try, and I am start­ing to find peo­ple are hang­ing around longer than they did in pre­vi­ous years.”

While Mr Young had no­ticed more peo­ple keen on longer-term stints within the beef in­dus­try, he de­scribed the se­cret to a “happy camp” as be­ing a “mil­lion dol­lar ques­tion”.

“That’s the big chal­lenge... I sup­pose you have to try and help them as much as they are help­ing you,” he said.

“They have to be get­ting some­thing out of it.

“You have to find a way to keep them in­ter­ested and hun­gry.

“It’s not al­ways easy, with so many staff, but if you can get them to out­line their goals at the start of the sea­son, we can tick them off as the year goes on. This gives them some re­spon­si­bil­ity, and it’s some­thing we can achieve at the end of the year.”

Mr Young sets goals for him­self, and one of those was gain­ing his he­li­copter li­cence.

“I have al­ways been fairly pas­sion­ate with avi­a­tion. I have had my plane li­cence for a few years and al­ways wanted to fly he­li­copters,” he said.

“Luck­ily enough, CPC said they would base a he­li­copter here if I wanted to do it.”

Be­ing able to see Newry from the sky was a vi­tal tool for Mr Young’s man­age­ment.

While there are more of­fice-based tasks to his role, it was im­por­tant for him to still be hands on with mus­ter­ing and do­ing some of the “hard yards”.

“For me I think I have to be there as I want to see the con­di­tion of the cat­tle. I can see that when they are walk­ing along,” he said.

“I try not to in­ter­fere with my head stock­man and try to leave camp alone as much as I can.

“But I want to be able to check the live­stock, and it helps me with for­ward plan­ning and fore­cast­ing – to help map out fu­ture cat­tle move­ments down the track. I can see all of that from the air.”

For any­one keen to tackle a sta­tion job next year, Mr Young’s ad­vice was sim­ple: “have a go”.

“Don’t be scared of get­ting off your dung hill and try­ing dif­fer­ent things,” he said.

“Hope­fully, you can try and look at it as a ca­reer. Don’t try and get to the top in the first cou­ple of years.

“It’s like any­thing, it’s still a job where you have to work hard to get any­where.

“It won’t hap­pen overnight but good things come. Just try and get as much ex­pe­ri­ence as you can in your early years.”

Now that he is a fam­ily man, with the ar­rival Lacey on Jan­uary 23, Mr Young said the big­gest chal­lenge this year was bal­anc­ing time for his fam­ily with work and his sta­tion fam­ily.


ob­tained his Young man­ager David Newry Sta­tion this year. he­li­copter li­cence BIG PROP­ERTY: North­ern Ter­ri­tory prop­erty Newry Sta­tion has a car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity of more than 20,000 head.It’s the build-up sea­son on Newry Sta­tion, so it’s hot and hu­mid.

FAM­ILY TIME: Lacey, Eloise and Dave Young of Newry Sta­tion in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

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