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Short History of The Australian Stockman

Short History of The Australian Stockman

Australian Stockman

The Australian stockman is a rugged figure, often depicted in popular culture as a “rough diamond”. But the reality is that the stockman is a highly skilled worker, who has been shaped by a unique history. The first stockmen were Aboriginal Australians, who developed an intimate knowledge of the country and its animals. When British settlers arrived in the 18th century, they brought with them a new form of animal husbandry, which relied on restraint and discipline. The Aboriginal stockmen quickly adapted to these new methods, and their expertise was essential in taming the vast Australian frontier. Today, the stockman is still an important figure in Australian life, and his skills are as valuable as ever. Whether working on a remote cattle station or in a busy stockyard, the stockman is a true master of his trade.

Traditional stockmen in Australia rely on skilled dogs, stock whips, and horses to complete their jobs. It's difficult to precisely define what makes a competent stockman or woman, but they have the natural ability to handle livestock with patient knowledge and are keen observers of them. When the Blue Mountains of New South Wales were traversed in 1813, the job of the stockman emerged into prominence. With Bathurst established soon after, farmers moved in. Claiming land, drawing lines on maps with no names, and establishing farms were all part of the process. A successful company was founded on the back of a thriving industry. Outside the region, sheep were transported overland to these young properties in the early years of settlement. The Shepherds' Safety Act of three years after the Act's passage prohibited any injury to livestock when grazing on public land, making stockmen even more important. Because so many of these properties were huge and mostly unenclosed, flocks needed keeping watch over, and it was quickly recognised that stockmen were crucial to a property's success where the animal welfare was concerned.

History of the Australian Stockman

The stockman is a key figure in the Australian outback, where he is responsible for herding livestock. The stockman’s job is to keep the animals safe from predators and to ensure that they have enough food and water. In addition to their practical skills, stockmen also need to be able to navigate the often- treacherous terrain of the outback. This requires a deep knowledge of the land and its weather patterns.

The stockman’s life is not an easy one. He (or she) must be prepared for long periods of isolation, as well as extreme weather conditions. But the rewards are great. The stockman gets to experience the beauty of the Australian landscape, and he plays a vital role in the country’s economy.

If you’re interested in learning more about the stockman’s lifestyle, there are a number of books and movies that can give you a taste of it. “The Man from Snowy River” is a classic Australian film that tells the story of a young stockman who proves his worth to his doubters. “The Drover’s Wife” is a novel by Henry Lawson that gives a realistic portrayal of the stockman’s life. And “We of the Never-Never” is an autobiography by Jeannie Gunn that describes her experiences as a woman living in the outback.

Over the years, a wide-brimmed felt hat, a plaited kangaroo skin belt, brown elastic-side boots, quart-pot and saddlebag have been added to the list of standard attire for stockmen and women. Nowadays there are two-way radios and mobile phones to communicate with other musterers and helicopter pilots, motorbikes, quad runners, paddock bashers (unregistered utility vehicle or strong four-wheel drive) vying for room in this formerly horse only area. The stockman is a central figure in the Australian culture, and his/her story is an essential part of the country’s history.

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