Kingsley Moore-Ward – Keeroongooloo Station, Channel Country QLD

Kingsley Moore-Ward - Keeroongooloo Station, Channel Country QLD 1

“So yeah”

The following is a good news story; one of many worth the telling and coming from within the stock camps of Outback Australia. It’s the account of a young man who has found a place in cattle station life and along the way discovered a sense of identity, self confidence, and a definite hope for the future.

At age thirteen, Kingsley Moore-Ward was living in the western suburbs of Sydney, and headed downhill. His parents had split up when he was two, and Kingsley then shifted from his birthplace in Buderim Qld to Sydney. It was there that he “… sorta got hung up in the wrong crowd”.

A decision was made for Kingsley to shift back to Qld to be with his Dad. The move didn’t result in a positive change. Kingsley remembers; “Obviously, having a bit of a chip on my shoulder, I wasn’t doing as I was told; I was running away from home and I ended up living at a mate’s house. I was getting into drugs and so on and I’m not proud of it at all. Its just where I ended up.”

His Dad worked with a truckie who drove to far South West Qld. He suggested to Kingsley that “I might get work on a cattle station to pull my head in a bit and get my life back on track.”

Kingsley admits that he was wary about going all that way, but after giving the idea some thought he came to Keeroongooloo in February 2011. “I didn’t know anything to do with anything out here … I barely knew what a bullock was. I thought you just ate cows and bulls!” Adjusting to a completely different lifestyle was difficult for the teenager. Restless, he returned to the coast to begin a mechanics apprenticeship but soon found that “living back on the coast, I was back into my old ways; so after a couple of months, I came back out here.”

Keeroongooloo’s manager, David Cross and his wife Megan had a big part to play in Kingsleys transition from feeling like a misfit to “loving the lifestyle, and loving the people out here. Crossy has been such a good bloke to me; he’s taught me everything I know.” The young ringer has progressed to a level of skills where he is confident and able to compete in campdrafts on the horse he’s been riding ever since he came to Keeroongooloo. “I love horses, definitely. She’s a real good little horse I reckon and so people have told me.”

In August 2013, Kingsley was looking forward to attending a two day Bronc Riding School in Longreach, and participating in a Rodeo on the Friday night … after which he was headed to Stonehenge for a Stockmans Challenge (a test of various riding skills) and another Rodeo to top it all off. He laughs “I’ll be sore by the end of it!”

Kingsley recognises that the hopeful life he now has at Keeroongooloo is a far cry from his previous downhill existence and he wants to encourage others who find themselves in the same predicament. “Personally, I’d like to see more people from the city come out here … those who are hanging with the wrong crowd. I’m a perfect example … how far I’ve come; how much I’ve changed. A lot of people here tell me that. I’ve learned so much, I’ve knocked that chip off my shoulder; I know I’ve become a better person so, yeah.”


“Cattle Station Life”

Kingsley is one of the thousands of young people we’ve met during our cattle station visits, beginning in 1991.

They come from diverse backgrounds; some hoping for a different gap year experience between school and University and others fulfilling a dream to make a career in the cattle industry.

Backpackers from all over the world often have cattle station work on their itinerary and for numbers of young people, like Kingsley, it’s an opportunity for a new beginning away from a negative lifestyle.