Thursday, March 15, 2012

Burragan and beyond...

As the first day of crutching kicks into gear, it’s probably not the best time to be starting a blog. But I’ve been given reprieve from sheep work duties this morning and so am grabbing the opportunity to write what I’ve been meaning to write for the past two weeks.

After a few years of forced and failed blogs for university assessments, I’m hoping to keep my new endeavour a bit more up to date. I wanted to get this up and running a few weeks ago, to mark our one year anniversary at Burragan, but ‘life’ got in the way. Unfortunately that means you’ll miss out on stories about deadly snakes in the laundry, injury by sheep stampede in the yards, 8.5 inches of once-in-a-lifetime rain (in an annual 12 inch rainfall region), and the great akubra massacre and miraculous sunglasses discovery of 2012 - starring our two Border Collie pups.

Perhaps I can tell you these stories another time, if they ever come up in conversation…. For now, I guess I should start with a little about Burragan and I.

Burragan is a 70,000 acre sheep and cattle property in western NSW, around 110km east of Wilcannia. My partner’s parents bought it roughly two years ago, after the previous owner, Lin, moved to a nursing home. The property was bought by Lin’s parents in the early 1900s and Lin had lived and worked here her entire life. She married, but never had children, and sadly she passed away in early March 2012. I never met her, but the stories I have heard and my experience of Burragan have built an intriguing and amazing picture.

My partner - we’ll call him ST - grew up on his mum and dad’s property, 40km south of us, which has been in his dad’s family for many generations. The four of us run wool and meat sheep on both places (and a small herd of Angus cattle), as well as a third property a bit further south again.

ST and I moved to Burragan in March 2011 after a few years in Townsville, Queensland, where I studied Journalism at Uni and later worked for the local newspaper and then a TV station. It sounds trashily romantic, but the truth is ST moved to Townsville to be with me! I had been living in Darwin in the Northern Territory for 12 months and was one week from embarking on an amazing adventure through the Kimberley region of Western Australia before moving to Townsville, when ST and his best mate sat across from a girlfriend and I on a bus, headed for the Adelaide River Races. He’d been travelling around Australia after working in Margaret River for a few years… and the rest is history! ST proposed to me up in the hills of Burragan’s back paddock last year with a bunch of hopbush and turpentine flowers; I said yes!

Before Darwin, I’d lived in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast… and grew up in a Murray River town in north western Victoria. I’m not from a farming background, but I have many a childhood memory of camping trips to visit family and friends in all corners of the country, across all industries. I love exploring Australia and the experiences that come with being in the bush.

So here’s cheers to an exceptional life at Burragan and beyond… and may you enjoy the journey with me.


  1. HAHAHA! Loved it! (And love your things in the pic... My MIL calls them Chinese riding boots and constantly reminds me of how inappropriate they are for country living! I wear them regardless...) Can't wait for the next instalment. I'm over at - The Farmer Has A Wife(or Just a few blogging tips I've picked up over the years...
    1. Definitely start a separate page 'about you' - readers love that stuff.
    2. Plain coloured backgrounds keep readers engaged in your page for longer. Although colours are pretty they can 'hurt' some readers' eyes! (I kid you not!) And...
    3. Link it to a facebook page! Your page views will go gang busters as people are more likely to check facebook than a blog! xxx
    Have fun! Jess x

  2. Great blog and look forward to reading more. Background a little busy and makes reading a tad difficult with the balls of light behind.
    Keep up the excellent work. Look forward to reading more.

  3. Love it Bessie. All the best with your new adventure. Can't wait for the next instalment.