“BACK TO THE RED DIRT’’
It was a “ dream come true’’ for Nick Gangell and Renae Austin when they arrived for work at Killarney Station in 2009; Renae as cook and Nick, station maintenance. Nick didn’t once pick up a hammer and went straight to the stock camp. Renae soon followed and they loved the experience.
In 2011, the couple returned to a family farm in the South West of West Australia Renae had “ always wanted to be a farmer, just like my Grandad,’’ but by mid 2012 they felt compelled to return to Killarney. “The Northern Territory had grabbed us, and wouldn’t let go. We realized we needed to get back to red dirt, dust, horses and cows.”
They were especially happy to return to Killarney under the management of Stumpy Fickling and Tania Cake. “We’ve got a lot of respect for them ….it’s a good station; lots of horse work and low stress cattle handling.’’ In 2009/10 they’d learned some roping skills from Phillipino workers at Killarney. “It’s not as easy as they made it look,” laughs Nick , “… good fun.’’
During the time down South they received the Kent Saddlery Catalogue. “It was our sanity, our T.V., our viewing panel to the Territory and memories.’’
They’d arrived back at Killarney on a Saturday afternoon, planning to celebrate at a BBQ that night, maybe sleep in and unpack on Sunday and start work Monday. Stumpy put an end to that plan with news of a Sunday muster. No worries! Nick and Renae responded by stocking up with bridles and reins, excited and satisfied to be back in the midst of the station life once more.