Fox Hunting

Before we begin, a few words to calm the Greenies and the Animal Welfare Brigade - foxes are not Australian native animals - they are classed as vermin and, in fact, the Government has a hefty price on fox scalps!

Foxes were imported from England soon after the arrival of the First Fleet so the well-to-do folk could pursue their pleasures of riding to hounds ie fox hunting.

Foxes are a great concern to sheep farmers as they can do so much damage to stock and cause devasting losses.

Growing up in the bush

In 1953 my soon-to-be parents managed Glenhaughton Station, west of Taroom and adjacent the Robinson Gorge National Park in Queensland. This cattle station was a large one and my Father was unable to get away, so as the time for my birth approached, my Mother, her 8 year old daughter and a 3 year old son journeyed to Adelaide, returning to the station two months later with me in her arms.


“Where on earth is Tutye?” I gasped.

“I don’t know,” said my principal, who had delivered this news at Sunday midday. “Apparently the children there are out of control. You take over tomorrow.”

Young teachers, who hadn’t gained a permanent appointment could be sent anywhere at any time. I had been informed of my move to Mildura just three days before I began teaching there, but this was ‘a bit of a roughie’.

Sunday Nights in the 50s

The thud of the silver axe echoed through the low ranges in a monotonous beat, as it landed on the wooden chopping block. The centre of the wood revealed its rich colours as it split and fell. Barely touching the ground, gnarled hands gathered the pieces quickly and threw them into the old galvanized iron barrow. From the kitchen the children heard a familiar intermittent squeak as the father trundled the load onto the back veranda. He paused. It was the end of his working day, and he was tiring. One more chore and then he could rest.