News of September 2020

“… If it was true, we would not be talking about anything else…”

Greta Thunberg 

Dear Friends and Family


Dry and heating up, but pleasant at night, September also brought us lovely visitors who participated in day to day activities.


Slaughtering, butchering, fishing, fencing, gardening, watering, cooking, collecting firewood, making fire for hot showers… the days slipped by and camp-life was filled with the sounds of children. Russell and Amy with Evie and Eddie, Joe and Laurence with Pippa and Harper, we hope to see you back again soon.

Christian and Owen sought adventure and found that too.


We are happy to have found an owner for ‘Boundary Bullock’. Boundary Bullock is a young steer of locally adapted genetics whose behaviour caught our attention. He is always to be found at the edge of the herd testing the boundaries. He was obviously clever enough to evade dingos whilst growing up and remains smart enough to respect fences. May he have many years ahead of him to continue to provide environmental services! (The “Kachana Eco-bullock Project” remains at an embryonic stage. Further updates on this and on other environmental proactivity can be found on a new web-page that we have been working on: kachana pastoral company uncensored).

September was also a month of wedding preparations.

Plan-A had been for Kristina and Dan to have had their great day in Kununurra 4th July 2020.

Corona-politics made this impossible. Plan-D thus became the final plan: ‘The Old Station’ (inland of Rockhampton, Queensland) 29th September.

Sadly, Dan’s family (being stuck in Victoria) were unable to attend. We hope to celebrate with them and all other guests at a later date on Kachana.

The Corona-police gave Bec, Bob, Jacqueline and Chris an exemption.

This meant preparing to leave Kachana at a time of year when fire danger is acute. Fortunately, Fettes and Mike braved the heat and held fire-watch, fed the duck, dogs and chickens and moved the sprinklers. Thank you!

The Big Boss even sent us 12mm of rain the day before we left. We took this blessing to be a good omen. Middle Level Management was given work that required no higher form of supervision in an area with water, shade and sufficient feed.   -   We were free to fly to the wedding!


It was a memorable week and the actual wedding was of course the highlight.

Our flight too was memorable, but for different reasons. One of them being the health of the land; Greta Thunberg’s statement jumps to mind (see the quote at the top of the page).

Here the report: A 5254-kilometre low-level flight across northern Australia, October 2020.


Wishing you all the best for what remains of October.


Greetings from Kachana

Photos of the Month

News & Views

‘Animal welfare’ will remain a challenge for as long as humans interact with animals.


As somebody who emphasises the need for many, many, many more large herbivores to revitalise Australian landscapes, ‘animal welfare’ is an area I feel strongly about.


“Where knowledge ends, violence begins” is a caveat that comes with Low Stress Stockhandling


We will always hear about individuals who inspire with new levels of achievement, but sadly there are also those who fail themselves as well as the animals they work with. Being aware of context often explains a particular situation, but that does not always excuse what takes place in some instances.


The astute manager aims high and encourages the team to do likewise. Yet accidents will happen and sometimes fingers get pointed. Transparency is a good way to keep people honest, however virtual connectedness has allowed finger pointing to reach extremes. Taken out of context this can cripple the best of intentions.


To those who would wish to contribute to improved animal-welfare outcomes, the message is simple: put your money where your mouth is and support people engaged in regenerative practices; keep the feed-back coming, but keep it constructive.

To onlookers who feel strongly enough to demand “action” with regard to improving animal welfare on cattle stations, the thinking/advice of J B Peterson might be helpful:

  • Tidy up your own room first before you try and change the world.
  • Compare yourself to the person who you were yesterday.
  • Despite flaws, current Western democracies offer more freedoms and opportunity to a greater percentage of the population than at any other time in history. Do not compare current failings to some utopia that has never yet existed; rather compare where we are today with where we have come from.


This thinking can well be applied to our North Australian pastoral industry. It appears to me that leaders (not everybody) in the pastoral industry have been acting on such notions for some time.

In 1978 a former boss had to shoot healthy stock because he was fully stocked and sale-prices at the time & place would not even cover freight! (That decision impacted his business.)


A fact we face today (just watch the news or visit a recent post) is that the Australian continent is drying out faster than we had wanted to believe. (This impacts all Australians.)


When water is scarce, life can at times get hard, dangerous and sometimes cruel (to all involved).


Despite escalating ecological, social and financial challenges since 1979, I have seen incredible and undisputable progress in the animal-welfare sector. Mistakes and accidents still happen, but remember this is not a man-made factory we work in, we live and perform at the interphase between the natural world and human society. Forces we contend with are stronger than us, things change and we are forever learning.


If you have not already seen it, here the story of one special Australian farmer:

How the regenerative farming movement transformed Charles Massy's sheep station

Link of the Month