2012, People, Stories and Articles

Josh Abbott

Josh Abbott
Gumbalanya, Oenpelli Arnhem Land NT

“Good to get back to horses”

Talk about people moving from one side of the country to the other! So, we’ll talk about Josh and Elaine Abbott, and their two darling daughters Sharna and Kailey.

Josh and Elaine are currently working at Gunbalanya, where Jay and Anna Gook are assisting the Indigenous people in establishing a cattle production and meat processing venture.

Lyle and Helen first met Josh at Meda Station near Derby, Western Australia. He was nineteen years old, and had worked with race horses for two and a half years before coming to Meda. Perth is his home town, and he cheerfully admits, “I’m a city slicker originally.”

Josh then met Elaine; she was working at Kimberley Downs Station, run in conjunction with Meda. He worked his way up to headstockman at Meda, a position he filled for four years, before taking on the Overseer role at Kimberley Downs for a year. In a move that sounds rather like going to the ends of the earth, Josh and Elaine and baby daughter Sharna then “went to the desert for two years.” However, Carnegie Station is in Western Australia’s ‘Interior’, and is a tourist destination with an approximate four thousand cars coming and going from May til September/October each year. Josh is grateful that he “learned a lot; we did a lot of windmill work, and now I know a bit more about mechanics. It was all bull buggies and motorbikes at Carnegie …. It’s good to get back to horses.”

For Josh and Elaine, the long journey from Western Australia to Arnhem Land (this time with two little girls), was a deliberate move. Josh is quietly optimistic, “It’s a mission. I really want to be out here, and helping to get Indigenous Aussies back in the saddle.” It’s obvious that he enjoys working alongside Jay and Anna, and the Gunbalanya stockmen.

Purchasing a new Kent bridle may have been a confirmation of Josh’s ambition ‘to get back to horses’. His ‘old’ original bridle was purchased at Meda in 2003, and as Josh puts it, “it’s sorta been ….hammered, definitely done its time. It’s lasted eight years, and I reckon it’d keep on going another three to four years easy, but I just thought, “I’ll update now.”