Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Outback Women Profile featuring Emily

Emily McCullagh decided to take a gap year and go and work in the outback. One year has turned into two years and Emily hasn’t looked back.
Mt Leonard Station (Emily McCullagh)
Emily lives and works on Mt Leonard Station, a cattle station 170km east of Birdsville. She is the governess on the station which means she is in the schoolroom from Monday to Friday. This year Emily only has one child in the schoolroom – Jacob who is in grade 4. Last year she had two children, Jacob who was in grade 3 and Leah who was in grade 7. This year Leah moved to boarding school and the schoolroom has certainly changed with only the one child now. As the governess Emily’s main job is to teach the kids through Mt Isa School of the Air. They often try to finish our work early so they are able to go fishing, play sport or do art. However, their favourite thing to do is get outside and help the men with cattle work. As if this doesn’t keep Emily busy enough, she has recently joined the Channel Country Ladies Day Committee.

Cattle work (Emily McCullagh)

Leah, Emily and Jacob (Lorraine Kath)
This is Emily’s second year living in the outback. She graduated from high school in 2012 and moved out at the start of 2013 for a gap year. Emily has returned to continue her adventure. She couldn’t stand leaving this part of the world and the lifestyle just yet!
View from Mt Leonard Hill (Lorraine Kath)

Emily loves living in the outback because of all the things you can do and see out here that you don’t get the chance to in the city. The amazing landscapes and big skies are indescribable. She had grown up in the city and the country’s laid back lifestyle is something that really stands out along with the huge open spaces. There are so many people out here and one of Emily’s favourite things to do is just sit and have a yarn with someone and hear their story. By taking the time to listen to people you learn so much and everywhere you go there is someone else’s story to be heard. Since moving out here Emily has learnt to ride horses, motorbikes, help with cattle work, and so much more – all which she absolutely loves. She loves the small community feel where everyone knows everyone (mind you sometimes this isn’t always good! It’s amazing how fast the bush telegraph works!) and how they all come together when there is an event. It is amazing how much station kids know and how much you learn from them. Emily has have often thought that she would have loved to grow up on a station – She am so glad she am experiencing it now though!   
Learning a new skill (Emily McCullagh)

Betoota Gymkhana was Emily’s first outback event and it was ‘their’ event because it is in Mt Leonard’s “backyard”. This is one of her favourite memories because it was the first time she saw the community come together and enjoy a weekend of fun which was amazing and she loved being a part of that. She had such a good time and it made her fall in love with all the events out here – now Emily hates missing out on them when they are on! Emily loves attending the different events (especially rodeos!) out here when there’s music and everyone is having a night at the bar at the event grounds. Ladies Day last year was amazing also! It was great to see all the women of the country come together for a weekend of fun. Learning to ride a horse was also awesome. There are just too many favourite memories!

Emily has never really considered herself to have a role model but if she had to say someone she looks up to it would be her older sister Georgia. Georgia is such an outgoing and strong person. She has never cared what people think of her and has always followed her heart and done her own thing. When Emily was trying to decide if she should take the leap and come out to the outback not knowing anything, with no experience and so young, Georgia was the one who she talked to and she reassured her that it would be a great experience and worth it. She was certainly right! She has always been there to talk things through and if she wasn’t there Emily’s not sure if she would have had the guts to do many of the things I have. Emily is so thankful to have her; she is her rock.    
Emily and Georgia at Jundah jump up (Emily McCullagh)
If given the opportunity to share her outback experience over dinner with anyone, Emily would invite her Ninnie and Pa (her grandparents). Unfortunately Emily has very little memories left of her Ninnie and Pa. Her Pa died when she was 6 and soon after that Ninnie was diagnosed with dementia and since then her condition has deteriorated quite severely. Emily would have so loved to show them where she living and what she is doing and introduce them to this incredible part of the world.
Big sky country (Emily McCullagh)
Old signs (Lorraine Kath)

1 comment:

  1. Loved reading about Emily and her introduction to outback life. Isn't it funny how you fall in love with it and don't want to leave it behind.