“Trade in my belt …not the lifestyle.’’
At the end of 2006, when school leaver Peter Raleigh set out from Cootamundra, NSW “maybe to do a twelve month thing,” he was travelling to Kamilaroi Station, North of Cloncurry, Qld. He needed a belt, a watch and pouch and knife pouches and ordered them from Kent Saddlery. Six years later, Peter remains in the Outback and has the responsibility of the position of Headstockman at Brunchilly Station, North of Tennant Creek, N.T.
“When Lyle and Helen visited the station, Peter decided it was time to trade in his six year old belt for a new one and he commented, “I certainly got a good run out of it; it’s had a hard life too… strapped up a few calves and weaners. It never got greased much either… couldn’t find the time for some unknown reason!”
It’s Peters’ third year as Headstockman at Brunchilly, working along side Manager Ben McGlynn. Both young men have been given the opportunity to take on leadership roles quite early in their careers and Peter is appreciative of Ben’s encouragement and expertise. Peter derives “huge satisfaction from working with the young fellas in the stockcamp and showing them what I’ve learned; establishing team work and routine to a point where I don’t have to say anything.” Horses are used extensively for mustering at Brunchilly and Peter is keen to teach and train the horses and the riders in working with the cattle, and for camp drafting.
Although he was ready after six years to trade in his old belt for a new one, Peter is adamant; “I wouldn’t trade this lifestyle for anything.” Asked if he has long term plans to continue in the industry, he responds immediately, “Yeah, definitely.”