Ruth gets a buzz from helping out in the bush

21 September 2011

The retired teacher from Bellevue Heights in Adelaide travelled six hours to lend a hand to a family on a sheep and cattle station in the Flinders Rangers.

“I had a wow of a time,” said Mrs Simpson.

The 65-year-old was there to provide an extra pair of hands at a station north of Wilpena Pound.  After years of drought, the station was opened to visitors as a tourism venture. Meanwhile, good rainfall has meant the farming side of the business has picked up.

Mrs Simpson was there to help them manage the physical demands of their jobs while both the owners recovered from illness.  During her stay, she worked through loads of washing and ironing and was able to help with minding children.

When some trade workers came to complete various jobs, they actually stayed on the station, as the nearest town, Hawker, is 70km away. Feeding the workers became a priority. Mrs Simpson helped out where she could.

“It wasn’t a sense of benevolence - one person giving and another receiving - it was a ‘we can do this together’,” Mrs Simpson said. “They valued me as a person and my contribution.”  She shared meals with the family and accompanied them on various outings and jobs in the community.

“They let me into their lives and that’s always a privilege. I came home on a buzz.”  Mrs Simpson said she was initially hesitant to volunteer as she did not know what she skills she could offer.

“I found out I have been of use and I’m rearing to go again,” she said.