Warragul grandparents lend a hand in the outback

05 December 2011

You cannot question the commitment of Warragul’s Denis and June Bright to provide a helping hand.

The grandparents travelled some 2500km to help ease the load for a family in outback north Queensland.

The Brights are volunteers with the Frontier Services Outback Links program which provides support for families in remote parts of Australia.

They spent three weeks on a 77,000 acre cattle station, west of Townsville, providing some much needed help for a young family during an exceptionally busy time of the year.

Mrs Bright said they loved travelling in the outback but they wanted to do something meaningful as part of an extended trip up north in August.

“We have visited the area before but not living on a station like this,” she said. “There are no latte machines out there, I can assure you.”

“I think you realise when you’re out there - shops, medical facilities – all of that is so far away.”

During their stay, Mrs Bright was a great help for the mother who was juggling numerous responsibilities - mustering cattle, doing the book work for the business, caring for four small children as well as working a second job off the station to help supplement their income.

“It was a really busy time for the mother. I did some of the household chores, just helping out wherever I could,” said Mrs Bright.

Mr Bright, a retired civil engineer, did all sorts of odd jobs around the house and spent a large amount of time cleaning up in the garden.

The property was struck by Cyclone Yasi earlier in the year.

“They are still waiting for builders to come and repair the houses and sheds. I did a lot of cleaning in the garden where the dirt had been washed away,” he said.

The Brights were sad to say goodbye but have continued to stay in touch with the family.

Mrs Bright said: “It was six for them, half a dozen for us; they really appreciated our help and we had so much fun as well.”

The mother, Marissa Jonsson, was enormously grateful to Mr and Mrs Bright.

“The best thing was having the support at a time that really was very busy for us.  You couldn’t have improved on Denis and June – they were perfect,” she said. 

Outback Links volunteers come with all kinds of skills. The only requirement is a willingness to pitch in wherever needed.

Find out more about Outback Links.