Flora Valley, East Kimberleys WA

Life and Energy

Wayne and Rachael Bean were school sweethearts; Wayne grew up at Rosewood, near Ipswich Queensland, and Rachael 15kms up the road at Grandchester. Wayne completed a Boiler Makers trade after year ten, and after year twelve Rachael went on to pursue an Eventing career for two years. Wayne had a goal to go North, and he started work at McArthur River Station. His first Head Stockman’s position was at a Queensland bullock depot.

They were married in 1988, and shifted to Currawilla in the Channel Country. Following 18 months at Montejinni Station, Northern Territory, Wayne took on the overseers’ position at Eva Downs, owned by Heytesbury Pastoral Co. At 26 years of age Wayne was promoted to the Manager’s position at Moolooloo Station, where they stayed for four years. Flora Valley Station became home in November 1996, and Moolooloo and Flora Valley were home for Brodie and Daniel, Wayne and Rachael’s two sons, in their primary years.

Both young men have now completed secondary schooling. At the end of 2008, Wayne and Rachael left Flora Valley, and station life, to begin an independent venture based at their own 5000 acres of land near Katherine. “It’s the first time we’ve left without knowing what we’re doing”. Initially they plan to build a house, and it will be particularly satisfying for Rachael to have her own home… “It’ll be good to unpack personal stuff, put it on the mantlepiece and say “We’re here for keeps.” They will develop the land, and attend to their stud cattle and horses. A long term goal is to become more involved with competitive campdrafting, a sport which they both love.

Their twelve years at Flora Valley have been rewarding. Wayne has enjoyed the size of Flora Valley. “It’s pretty country … well balanced country, and provided you’re on top of the waters, it’s easy to run, and muster. It’s great.”

There is always a dramatic change in scenery from Halls Creek, through the hills past historic old Halls Creek, and down onto the open plains country towards Flora Valley.

Flora Valley is quite remote, and the condition of the road makes access difficult at times. However, Wayne maintains, “its right in the middle of what we like doing, campdrafting and fishing”. Kimberley time and distance is something else. ‘Right in the middle’ sometimes means a 500 – 900km drive, and Wayne appreciates a long journey. “People ask me how do I stay awake; for me, it’s time out; I can do a lot of thinking.”

Working for Heytesbury Pastoral Co, according to Wayne, has been great. “They’re a good company, and we’ve had a good working relationship.”

When asked about achievements in twelve years at lora Valley, Wayne speaks enthusiastically about the promotion of five head stockmen he has trained to management positions, “This has been very, very satisfying.”

Concerning their association with Kent Saddlery Wayne says: “We look forward to you coming. It’s like letting the kids loose in a candy store. You’ve kept hanging in there and providing a service – you’ve stuck to it, and we appreciate that. We really look forward to the photos.”

The best group photos at Flora Valley are definitely those which include Wayne and Rachael – evidence of the life and energy they’ve contributed, and the respect they’ve earned at Flora Valley. We’ve appreciated our association with Wayne and Rachael over the years, and we hope that the great plans and dreams they have for the future are realised.