Australia: Cristina's visit to Lucy Creek Station - family life in remote Australia
Last Updated: 7 September 2015

Accountants need to truly understand their clients and we try to visit our clients as often as we can. In July I visited Allan and Jo Fogarty out at Lucy Creek Station which is located approximately 600kms north east of Alice Springs. Unlike my last NT trip I didn't get up at 4am to load cattle, but I certainly got to experience what family life is like in remote Australia.

There is always something to do and I now understand when our rural clients say "some things just have to wait" especially when trucks loaded with fat cattle are rolling into the homestead paddock. Everything stops, bookwork, emails, returning calls, etc nothing is more important than drafting freshly mustered cattle ready for sale.

Allan and his staff were mustering during the week and were at stock camp for most nights. One afternoon Jo and I drove out to Bore Number 6 (250 kms from the Queensland border) which is where they had set up for stock camp. It was approximately one and half hour drive from the homestead. Upon arrival no-one was to be seen except for what felt like thousands of cockatoos swarming around, obviously alarmed by our arrival. Smoke was drifting from the camp fire so we knew they couldn't be far.

The first things I noticed were the solar panels, bores and water tanks that appear on the depreciation schedule. I mentioned to Jo "If I ever get questioned by the ATO at least I can honestly say that I have seen them!" After looking around for a while and putting more tree wood on the camp fire ready for dinner, we could see a cloud of red soil dust in the distance. The herd was heading into the paddock and just like loading a cattle truck or driving through remote back tracks, I got the chance to experience things from my clients perspective and be hands on in daily station activities - an opportunity that most accountants would never have.

We hid behind the water tank so we didn't scare the cattle and cause them to turn back from the yards. It was like something out of a movie with hundreds of cattle being herded into the yards, the staff covered in red dust yahooing and whooping at the cattle and Allan giving instructions from the quadbike (another item on the depreciation schedule). It is something I don't think I will ever forget.

The weather was absolutely superb, crystal blue sky with the sun shining down at approximately 18 degrees. It was beautiful and warm, even though the Fogarty's thought it was freezing - they obviously hadn't travelled to Adelaide over the winter. The kids were home on holidays and when they weren't doing their chores they would be practicing horse jumping out in the middle of a patch of bare scrub or guiding me around the station. If you ever want to experience a good Aussie beef roast or succulent beef steak just visit one of our rural stations and it will be a meal you will never forget.

As a city girl born and bred, it's not every day I get to appreciate the picturesque outback of Australia and experience what truly is the backbone of our country! We believe it's important to get up close and personal with our clients and there is something about bush hospitality. Thanks to Allan, Jo and all the staff out at Lucy Creek.

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