How it started for Bobbie: an Outback Links veteran
At 85, Bobbie is one of our most active volunteers and an Outback Links veteran. When her second husband passed away, she decided to take up driving lessons in a 4WD. This was one day after her 69th birthday. And since then, there has been no looking back. Bobbie has completed 32 placements since her first placement as an Outback Links volunteer in 2006.
Bobbie knew she was in for an exciting ride when arriving in Australia from America at the age of 34. Since then she has travelled thousands of kilometres around the great Outback. This is over the course of more than half a century. And her connection with the land is well and truly alive and kicking.
Bobbie tells us, “After my second husband passed away, I asked Lord ‘What do you want me to do now’?” Having travelled extensively around rural and remote Australia during both her previous marriages, Bobbie decided it was now time for her to make best use of her familiarity with the land, and make a difference in the lives of people that lived in far-flung cattle stations.
“I had done a volunteering trip with Frontier Services back in 1999 to Kununurra in WA. When I was ready to go back again, I contacted the Outback Links team and received my first solo placement in February 2006”, says Bobbie and then goes on to add, “Though I had been a city girl all my life, my heart belonged in the country. I wanted to help the women on the stations with house work and everyday chores.”
She says the experiences have taught her things too, “I learnt so much and I did things that I never knew I could do. I saw first-hand the difference it made to their lives.”
A message for future Outback Links veterans
Every bit of help goes a long way on these remote properties, where the women are working day and night to support their husbands, take care of the kids, manage the house and look after the animals. This is all while battling nature’s fury, including drought, bushfires, flood!
As a certified Outback Links veteran, Bobbie has an inspiring message. She says, “Helping with daily chores can free up the lady of the station to pursue other important things. It takes a lot of pressure off them, so that they can turn their attention to the books, learn new skills, or just be able to help their husbands out on the land. I even helped to look after the animals – the working dogs, goats and the chooks and even watered the grass. These small gestures help the family take much-needed respite or just attend to a family emergency.”
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer like Bobbie, we would love to hear from you! We need skilled and unskilled volunteers to help assist those living and working on the land. All you need to begin the process is some time, some compassion, and commitment. We will support you through and be there beginning, middle and end.