Last year we got a call from our farmers Bronwyn and Gordon in a state of panic when they suddenly realised they weren’t going to be able to make their very own son’s wedding. Relying on friends and family wasn’t an option and there was no-one they could think of trustworthy enough to look after their farm whilst they were away for an extra-long weekend. They had come to the resolution that it just wouldn’t be possible to see their son wed his new bride on his special day.
When all seemed lost, Bronwyn and Gordon suddenly had a brainwave to contact our Outback Links team on the off-chance that the amazing lady who had volunteered previously on their farm would be available to once again assist in this hour of need. Lo and behold the volunteer in question, Bernie Reed was available! So guess who answered the call and made their way out to ensure Bronwyn and Gordon didn’t have to miss their son’s big day?
There was only one catch to the whole plan going off without a hitch. As the wedding day was fast approaching, it became apparent that up to 25 cows were going to be calving, smack bang in the middle of the wedding! How was one person going to make sure every calf was safely born without a major catastrophe occurring? Fortunately, Bernie had been raised on a cattle station and told us she would be more than OK looking after the property on her own. Coupled with the fact she had already volunteered and met Bronwyn and Gordon meant she was familiar with the property and her surroundings. Bernie told us she knew what to do if anything major occurred, “I had the names and numbers of neighbours who could get there in under half an hour if anything went drastically wrong.” But Gordon was certain that the property was in good hands. As he and Bronwyn headed off he told Bernie, “We don’t have to worry about anything, we know you’ll do what you need to.”
The maternity ward in full flight!
And he was right. Whilst Bronwyn and Gordon were away enjoying their son’s special day, a number of calves were born in what Bernie affectionately dubbed ‘the maternity ward’. And while the calving went off without a hitch, Bernie still managed to have quite an adventure while she looked after the farm. Feeding the animals one morning, she entered the chook pen to find one of the roosters wasn’t happy about her unexpected visit. Thinking he could rule the roost, Bernie tells us that he went for her leg and wouldn’t let go. “I eventually had to show him who was boss,” she chuckles. “After that he certainly didn’t give me any more trouble!”
One plucky rooster who didn’t want to be messed with!
When we ask Bernie what keeps her coming back to Frontier Services to volunteer she tells us of her own experience living on a cattle station whilst in drought. The memories of what that was like are what motivate her to give back to those doing it tough in the bush. “I remember having no money,” she tells us, “I remember the absolute despair.” She recalls seeing her Dad have to shoot the cattle because they were so poorly. Bernie tells us that with that experience, she knows she can help those who are in the same situation.
“You see the change in the farmers when you show up as an Outback Links volunteer,” she told us, “It’s so nice to see them happy.”