2010, People, Stories and Articles

Libby Stace

Rosewood Station, The Duncan Rd, NT
“The Lure of the Duncan Road.”

Libby is employed at Rosewood Station, working for manager, Doug Struber. She hasn’t moved far, having spent the three previous years at Spring Creek Station “just down the road”, working for Mike Shaw. She laughingly refers to it as “the lure of the Duncan Road”. She appreciated the time she spent at Spring Creek …. “Mike Shaw is a great teacher and communicator, and generally a good bloke”.

She’s one of the more ‘mature’ stock workers (sorry Libby!) staying in the industry since leaving school. We never know when and where we’ll meet up with people we’ve met before, and we’re always delighted to see Libby again – a bit shy, and when she smiles … those dimples are memorable!

Libby’s early years were spent at Pingelly, south east of Perth,where she “always had horses”. She also had the questionable honour of being the oldest and the only girl in the family, with 4 young brothers who “now they’re older, have begun to look out for me!”

“I’ve worked in the Pilbara, and other places, and I love this area. Altogether, it’s a great lifestyle… riding horses… I couldn’t work anywhere there weren’t horses … I also love being outdoors; I can’t bear the thought of being locked up in an office all day”

Doug Struber’s respected reputation as a breeder of top quality Brahman cattle makes Rosewood Station a beneficial teaching environment for people like Libby, who are keen to learn more about breeding and genetics. “I’ve always found that subject interesting… for both horses and cattle, and I’d like to maybe get into Agribusiness, do some more study, … exercise my brain a bit more!”
Meantime, Libby, an experienced horse woman, loves working with the Rosewood bred horses, and the Brahman cattle… “I love Brahmans; to me they look like cows should look!” At Rosewood,the workers spend a fair amount of time working away from the homestead complex, and Libby admits that she’s a bit over camping out. “I love a bed and a hot shower!” However, she’s adamant that being part of a stock camp is a beneficial experience. “Everyone should do it; its a productive thing to do,and even if you don’t stay in the industry, you take things from it… like learning responsibility for your own actions. It’s a great foundation for life.”

Libby is proud to be a woman working in the cattle industry, and believes that women are steady, quiet, and patient when handling stock. “I think women have an ability to think a way around a problem instead of bashing a way through the middle of it!” Doug Struber recognises this competency, and has established an all girls weaner camp. Libby endorses this… “Absolutely! It’s great in the weaner camp, with just us girls. Everything gets done.”

Libby purchased a Kent Saddle in 2008 and describes it as “fantastic!” Her brother Darcy, who works at Spring Creek Station, was trying it out and complained, “You didn’t get it big enough for me!” Libby responded “No….it fits me exactly right!” What other comment would he expect from his big sister?

When we began travelling in 1991,there were very few females in the stockcamps. Since then, the number of women employed in the industry has increased dramatically, and although we hear continuing debate about the benefits or otherwise of ‘girls in the stockcamp’,the employers who encourage women into the industry are satisfied, and keen to include them.

Image captions:

1) Libby in her Kent Saddle on
“Dinkum” a ‘Rosewood’ – bred mare

2) Rosewood Heifers

3) Rosewood Country