Rosewood Station, Duncan Highway, NT

Doug and Joanne Struber have spent 10 years at Rosewood, situated on the Duncan Highway, 100 kms from Kununurra, and in that time have dedicated time and energy to its success as a highly viable cattle station producing prime cattle.

Doug is committed to the use of horses in everyday work and recreational use, and provides plenty of opportunities for both pursuits. He encourages the ringers to be involved with the colt challenge, and to improve their riding skills after the work is done. To this end an extensive round yard has recently been built. Australian stock horses are the preferred breed at Rosewood, with an infusion of quarter horses.

Doug is also passionate about the history of Rosewood, and during the demolition of the old homestead was delighted to discover an historical and comprehensive horse book dating back to 1934. The Kilfoyle family first settled at Rosewood in the 1880’s, and Doug and Joanne have records of that time.

There are always a swag of workers at Rosewood – with consistent numbers of workers returning each year. An effective roster system is in place in which individuals are given responsibility for a variety of jobs eg. being in charge of the drafting at a particular set of yards.

In 2007, we witnessed the efficiency of an all female weaner camp. They were all keen, and obviously proud of the task entrusted to them.

Joanne, like so many mothers on cattle stations, has combined child rearing with bookkeeping, teaching, and the organising involved to ensure the smooth running of life at the station complex. She admits that educating their three children Shaun, Cameron and Kayla, through School of the Air was often hard, but is quick to point out the advantages of their children’s ability to think for themselves, and not be subject to peer pressure.

When asked what is the most enjoyable thing about managing Rosewood, Doug responds with conviction, “To have good cattle, good horses, and a well run property – to have pride and do well in everything you do.”

Rosewood Station is situated on the Eastern side of Lake Argyle with many creeks draining into the Lake, with the result that the staff are kept very busy during the Wet, checking flood gates.

We’ve been going to Rosewood for many years, and our youngest son Paul worked there for two seasons in 1998 and 1999. It’s often our first port of call on our way down the Duncan Highway, and Doug and Joanne have always extended friendship and provided generous hospitality during our visits. In 2007 it was satisfying to see the new station homestead for which they’d been waiting. Joanne in particular, is appreciating the comfort and workable design of their new home.

Commenting on the relationship Kent Saddlery has had with Rosewood since we first began going there, Doug says “The camp look forward to seeing your truck coming in, and at the expected time each year begin to ask, “When is the Kent Saddlery truck coming?” Kent Saddlery provides a service that workers on stations do need; things they need to have.”