By Sandy Bauer – Country to Canberra Teen Blogger
Well this is my first ever blog as a member of the ‘Country to Canberra’ blogger team. I have spent the last few days thinking about what I would write about first, there are so many topics close to my heart!
To put it simply, what I am going to do is – “attempt to paint a picture using words, I say ‘attempt’ because I am more of a picture speaks a 1000 words kind of girl.” My name is Sandy Bauer and I am a photographer and a jillaroo from the Northern Territory.
I appreciate a good image which has good composition, colour and focus. Especially focus, I truly believe that there is nothing more important in life, than focus. I tend to live off the idea of ‘A dream is not a dream without a goal, and a goal cannot be achieved without the will to focus on the steps to achieve that dream.’
After hours of thinking while I was out in the paddock doing the usual bore run with dad, I decided my first blog topic should be ‘Rural Living Provides a Sense of Freedom.’
This particular day was the kind where you can’t help but look out the window into the open spaces, we had one song on repeat in the ute because it just completed the scene. None of the lyrics were even relevant to our rural lifestyle that we have lived for so long, but that didn’t matter.
That exact moment was topped off when dad turned from looking out the window to face me, saying ‘This is my favourite time of day, I just love it.”
After that I just couldn’t stop smiling. I think I found the true reason as to why I love rural life despite the many downsides set out to challenge us. The reason I truly love rural life is because it is the most beautiful thing you could possibly ever witness.
Despite the 5am wake ups and the endless jobs and challenges presented, the idea of getting to wake up an hour earlier to live an hour more always plays over in my mind. I believe that I am truly one of the luckiest people on earth. I get to witness every sunrise and sunset and I get to work every day giving to an industry that I am passionate about. I get to literally, live a dream.
I am a city girl by birth and country girl by heart. I moved to Brunchilly Station situated in the centre of the Northern Territory when I was just six. My parents wanted to pursue the lifestyle that my dad was brought up in – one where every sunrise was cherished, one where you were always surrounded by animals, and one where you had to learn to use your brain and all your skills to get a job done.
I am truly grateful for their courage to chase their dreams and this year represents our 11th year here and also our last year. In May my parents are moving to a property in Queensland called Springvale, which is situated next door to where my sister is working at Davenport. As for me, a year 12 completer who is not yet ‘finished’ with my time in the Northern Territory, I’m off to another station which is a little more isolated and run by a different company. After all, where else would you rather be when you have a good home, fantastic job and open plains for you to ride horses and motorbikes whenever you please???
From the age of six I have been lucky enough to watch an entire station, owned by Sidney Kidman & Co which runs approximately 32,000 head of beef cattle; grow, change and develop into the iconic property it is today.
I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to participate in many different trials that have been run throughout the station such as a phosphorus trial and the cash cow project, both of which have helped to develop how the station is run today.
I am a strong believer and advocate for the fact that growing up on a station, or even just working on a station can provide you with valuable life skills. In just one year you learn things about cattle husbandry, fencing, general station maintenance, right down to leadership skills – cause let’s face it, sometimes you have to work alongside people you don’t particularly like. You know what, that’s life. You learn how to modify yourself to work alongside people that try out your patience and knowledge.
One of the biggest life skills you will ever learn is having to witness the deaths and struggles of the livestock which we take care of each day, 24/7, all year. We have to be the ones to decide their final fate when they are struggling for their lives and we have to weigh up the pros and cons as to whether that particular individual is strong enough to struggle through a few more weeks with the chance of possibly getting better, or if it would be better to put it out of its misery. That is not an easy choice.
I have had so many people come up to me and say I’m too remote and I needed to go to boarding school to be able to achieve my dreams and to be able to achieve anything in life. To be honest, I don’t believe this is true and I will say it over and over again. The only limitation to any dream is yourself, you build your own brick walls. If anything, living remotely has helped me to shape myself into the person I am today, and it has helped me to appreciate every small detail in life – even if it is through the shutter of my lens.
To me I will always feel a sense of openness, because I believe rural living provides a sense of freedom that I couldn’t get anywhere else.