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Warwick woman swaps swags for show bags

FORMER JILLAROO: Warwick Show and Rodeo Society treasurer Sarah Bourke has had a major change of scenery after working in the Northern Territory.
FORMER JILLAROO: Warwick Show and Rodeo Society treasurer Sarah Bourke has had a major change of scenery after working in the Northern Territory. Jonno Colfs

COMPARED to her previous job, Sarah Bourke has it relatively cosy here in her role as Warwick Show and Rodeo Society treasurer.

In the lead up to the one of the busiest weeks of the year, Miss Bourke took a look back at how she got to where she is now.

"As I was finishing school at Scots College in 2014, I was wondering what I should do with myself," Miss Bourke said.

"I remember a past student had come to school a few years earlier and talked to the students about her experiences working on a cattle station in the Northern Territory, so I started looking into it."

Miss Bourke said family friends owned a property up that way and found her a job in a cattle mustering team on the neighbouring Brunette Downs Station.

The station is the second largest in the Northern Territory and covers a staggering 12,212 square kilometres.

"So off I went and became part of a ten person team," Miss Bourke said.

"The station was home to about 100,000 head of cattle and we'd muster them from paddocks into yards for pregnancy testing and for shipping off for live export.

"I spent about nine months living out of my swag and only saw civilisation twice that year.

"Once a fortnight a truck would deliver food to us out at our camp."

Miss Bourke said it was a big big eye opener for her.

"We'd muster using horses, motorbikes and a couple of choppers," she said.

"I had to learn a few things the hard way, that's for sure.

"I loved it but some mornings waking up to the freezing temperatures of the Barkly Tablelands, I wished I could be at home in bed.

"But I really miss those days now."

Upon her return to Warwick, Miss Bourke applied for a trainee position at the Warwick Show and Rodeo Society, got the job and then in August took over the treasurer's role.

Miss Bourke said it was a very exciting time to be working in the position.

"Obviously it's so busy and exciting at the moment with the rodeo kicking off in a few days," she said.

"But even looking past that there's so much to be excited about.

"We've got the New Years Rodeo, we're starting a barrel racing series in January, we've got the 150th Warwick Show in March and we're also looking to start a Next Gen committee for locals under 30.

"As a young person in the industry, I'd highly recommend anyone with a passion for our region, show, rodeo and agriculture to get involved."

Topics:  community people warwick show and rodeo society



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