|A Taste of the Outback with the Duke of Edinburgh Award - 21 February 2019|
As part of my Gold Duke of Edinburgh award, I embarked on a Central Queensland journey over the summer holidays. This residential project had to be for a minimum of five days away from home.
When I arrived on Monday 3 December, I spent the week studying different aspects of agriculture and farm technology. At the Emerald Pastural College, everyone was surprised when I told them I lived in Brisbane. Everyone else came from rural Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria. Most of them had never even been to Brisbane and wanted to know more about my city life.
At the Pastural College, I learned many different aspects of agriculture such as; farm skills, welding, horse equine, motorcycle riding, and 4x4 operation.
On the Tuesday, we caught a bus out to the College’s cattle property, Burrigurra, which was a 70km drive east. There, I learned to brand and mark cows. We also learned about the future of farming and flew drones! This cattle station visit was my favourite part of the journey as it felt most like my family farm in southern Victoria.
On the Wednesday, we drove for 4 hour and arrived in Longreach where we were introduced to biosecurity checks. We drove 4x4s around the property and were amazed by how dry it all was, seeing firsthand the toll the drought was taking on the stock.
We returned to Emerald on the Friday and it was time to say goodbye. I was sad to leave my new friends and it was tough to realise we were the last group to participate in the program as both the Longreach and Emerald campuses will stop running at the end of this year.
I was fortunate to be able to go on this journey. It’s an experience that will stay with me for life.
Written by Grace Hudson
Duke of Edinburgh Gold Participant