Cat­tle in­dus­try train­ing scheme puts sta­tion worker in awards mix

Countryman - - COUNTRY LIFE -

Cally Dupe and Peter de Krui­jff As the grand­daugh­ter of a renowned East Kim­ber­ley drover, the cat­tle busi­ness runs in Dar­rylin Gor­don’s blood.

Grow­ing up on Lam­boo Sta­tion, about 50km west of Halls Creek, the 26-year-old spent her child­hood with a 360,000ha cat­tle sta­tion as a play­ground.

Af­ter com­plet­ing her school­ing and work­ing in Halls Creek, Ms Gor­don re­turned home to the sta­tion, run by the Ngun­ji­wirri Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion, a few years ago.

Th­ese days Ms Gor­don helps her un­cle Robin Yeeda to run more than 2500 head of Shorthorn Brah­man-cross cat­tle.

The pair are con­tin­u­ing a legacy set by her late grand­fa­ther, Char­lie Yeeda, who was born at Yeeda Sta­tion in 1930 and spent his life drov­ing cat­tle in the Kim­ber­ley.

Two years ago, Lam­boo Sta­tion hosted the first low-stress stock han­dling work­shop ever to take place on an Abo­rig­i­nal-run cat­tle sta­tion in the Kim­ber­ley.

Co-or­di­nated by the then de­partMs ment of agri­cul­ture and food’s In­dige­nous Land­holder Ser­vice, the work­shop at­tracted 21 par­tic­i­pants for a one-day course with Queens­land trainer Jim Lind­say.

Now, Ms Gor­don has set her sights on de­vel­op­ing an on-sta­tion com­mu­nity train­ing and em­pow­er­ment pro­gram for land man­age­ment and cat­tle pro­duc­tion.

She wants to fo­cus on build­ing self-re­spect and pride, to­gether with valu­able em­ploy­ment and life skills.

As one of four fi­nal­ists for the WA AgriFu­tures Ru­ral Women’s Award, she has the po­ten­tial to win a $10,000 busi­ness de­vel­op­ment award to make it hap­pen.

“I have al­ways been im­pas­sioned about em­pow­er­ing lo­cal Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple,” Ms Gor­don said.

Ms Gor­don said with Halls Creek hav­ing one of the high­est un­em­ploy­ment rates in the Kim­ber­ley, she was keen to help.

“The pro­gram aims to de­liver a lo­cally based place and space where we can get (the) lo­cal mob out of town and get­ting a lot of hands-on work ex­pe­ri­ence,” she said.

Gor­don won the Kim­ber­ley Girl mod­el­ling and lead­er­ship pro­gram in 2015. It was a sur­prise for the coun­try girl, who had never walked on a cat­walk be­fore.

Mov­ing back to Lam­boo was a home­com­ing of sorts for Ms Gor­don. The sta­tion is on her grand­mother’s coun­try and her un­cle, Mr Yeeda, took on the lease in 1997.

In 2015, the in­dige­nous-owned cat­tle sta­tion struck a lease ar­range­ment with a ma­jor pas­toral com­pany to take over a sub­stan­tial por­tion of the prop­erty.

Un­der the agree­ment, Ngun­ji­wirri Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion, leased about two-thirds of its prop­erty to Yougawalla Ser­vices on a five-year term.

The sub­lease ar­range­ment of­fered in­creased lease in­come for the own­ers and paved the way for fur­ther in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments on the prop­erty, which has new, state-of-the-art cat­tle yards.

It was part of a se­ries of steps which have helped the prop­erty trans­form since the early 2000s when it was a strug­gling lease with lim­ited in­fra­struc­ture and poorqual­ity cat­tle.

Pic­ture: Robin Yeeda

Dar­rylin Gor­don at Lam­boo Sta­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.