Central Station - True Stories from Outback Australia

Central Station

True stories from the Australian Outback, told by the people who live them. Meet the men and women who live and work on some of Australia’s most remote cattle stations. There are tales of mustering, stock camps, working dogs, rogue cattle and hard bloody yakka, but also the fun of a bush wedding or kicking back at a rodeo. There’s the simple wonder of living in an amazing landscape, but also the downside: the ravages of flood, fire and drought. And always there’s the inherent danger of isolation – times when the Flying Doctor came to the rescue, but also times when lives have been tragically cut short. These compelling true-life stories show what outback life is really like – and why many wouldn’t live anywhere else.

  • 1 hour 15 minutes
    Ashley Dowden - Triumph after tragedy [Repost]

    One moment can change your entire life.

    Ashley Dowden learnt that lesson at age 11, when he survived an accident that claimed his mothers life and left his father with one arm.

    Ashley’s childhood was cut short as he stepped up to support his father in running the family sheep station. 

    In the 4 decades since, Ashley has continued to face his share of challenges, but his commitment to the family property has never wavered.

    In this episode Ashley shares parts of his journey, and we explore how his deep love of the land he calls home has allowed him to not just persevere through the hard times, but build a life full of joy and love.

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    10 May 2024, 7:38 am
  • 1 hour 3 minutes
    Pip Bain (Part 2) - Taking the long way around [Repost]

    The first year out of school is equally exciting and terrifying – you’re considered an adult by society, and with that comes both freedoms and responsibilities.

    With her high school experience not being the best, and her first job on a station getting off to a rocky start, Pip Bain felt like she had finally found her feet only to learn that her mother had passed away by suicide.

    The profound loss of her mother was only amplified by the shock, as Pip learnt she had been sheltered from her mother’s mental health struggles.

    In this episode Pip shares her story of how the next decade of her life would be shaped by losing her mother, and how it led her to take the long away around to find her place in this world.

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    15 April 2024, 3:30 pm
  • 1 hour 5 minutes
    Pip Bain (Part 1) - Memories of my mother & Mt Clere Station [Repost]

    The time we spend with people and places doesn’t determine the impact they can have on our lives.

    That is so very true for todays guest, Pip Bain. Although her family sold Mt Clere Station when she was just 8 years old, those 8 short years shaped Pips life and love of the land. The same goes for her mother, who passed when Pip was just 18 years old.

    In this episode, Pip recalls memories of her time at Mt Clere and how she found her way back to the land. She also speaks candidly about losing her mother through suicide and how it influenced her views on mental health.

    For our long term listeners, if any of this sounds familiar, that is because this episode was recorded and published in 2020 when the podcast was fairly new. Pips story is so compelling that I thought it deserved a second run. Be sure to tune in next week for a follow up episode with Pip.

    If you are experiencing depression or are suicidal, or know someone who is, help is available. Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 Lifeline: 13 11 14 www.lifeline.com.au Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636 www.beyondblue.org.au/ Mindspot: 1800 61 44 34 http://mindspot.org.au/ Men’s Shed: www.mensheds.org.au

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    8 April 2024, 3:30 pm
  • 1 hour 12 minutes
    Nick Ormsby - Self made

    Nick Ormsby has flipped the script on what it means to be a "high school dropout". Despite leaving school at just 14 and having his teachers tell him he'd never make it, Nick's proved them dead wrong.

    Now, before he's even hit 40, Nick's running the show with not one, not two, but three companies in horticulture, agriculture, and forestry up in the Northern Territory.

    But Nick's journey hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows. In this episode, he's taking us back to where it all began. We're talking about the setbacks, the challenges and the opportunities he's had along the way.

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    1 April 2024, 3:30 pm
  • 1 hour 2 minutes
    Paddy Heatley (Part 1) - A story like no other

    Paddy Heatley had a fairly unconventional childhood. By the time he left home at the age of 9, he’d already dropped out of school – foregoing learning to read and write. At the age of 12, he was smuggling tobacco, alcohol and cattle from South to North Ireland. And, at the age of 16, with his mother’s signature forged, he climbed aboard a ship bound for Australia.

    In this episode, Paddy share’s yarns for his early days in Ireland, and his first few years in Australia. He speaks about meeting his future bride, the time he was almost charged with attempted murder, his day working with, and sometimes walking on, crocodiles, to settling in the Northern Territory as a cattle truck driver. Paddy sure has lived life to the fullest. As you can imagine, there was no way we could fit his whole story into one episode, so keep your ears out for more in the coming months.


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    25 March 2024, 3:30 pm
  • 1 hour 13 minutes
    Tammy Kruckow - A hard lesson to learn

    From the outside looking in, Tammy Kruckow was living her best life. She and her husband were managing a large cattle station for a corporate pastoral company – the perfect place to raise their three beautiful daughters. She had, as she puts it, "ticked all the boxes". 

    But, behind closed doors, things weren’t all as they seemed.

    In this episode, Tammy shares her story of coming to the Territory as a shy jillaroo, to becoming a completely different person – the person she thought she had to be not just to fit in, but to progress in her career. 

    She is incredibly candid about the impact it had on her life, and those around her. Tammy also shares how it all came to a head, and how she changed her life.

    There were many hard lessons she learnt along the way, and she does not hold back in this episode.

    Tammy and her team at Top End Leadership are dedicated to 'Setting Leaders and Teams in Agriculture up for Success.' We do this through customised face-to-face and online workshops, self-paced online programs, while offering tailored mentoring and coaching services. With our focus on practical leadership and communication skills across the three key areas of Leading—Self, Others, and Teams—we equip Leaders with the tools to build their confidence in being the leader that they aspire to be, enabling them to build high-functioning teams. Learn more at https://topendleadership.com/

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    12 March 2024, 6:15 am
  • 56 minutes 48 seconds
    Col Greenfield - Life inside the Woomera Prohibited Area, and outside the Dog Fence [Repost]

    In this episode, Steph travels to the centre of South Australia to Billa Kalina Station, which has been in the Greenfield family since 1938.

    Pastoralist Col Greenfield shares what it's like running a cattle station that is inside the Woomera Prohibited Area, and outside the dog fence.


    *This episode was first released in 2021

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    4 March 2024, 11:54 am
  • 1 hour 9 minutes
    Felicity Brown - Tales from a 1990's stockcamp [Repost]

    Felicity Brown is a milliner whose work has been featured at New York Fashion Week not once, but three times.

    Twenty years before the bright lights of the big apple called her name, Flic was working in a stock camp in the Northern Territory.

    In this episode Flic reflects on her time working on cattle stations, even though it was never a part of her plan...

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    26 February 2024, 3:30 pm
  • 1 hour 7 minutes
    Wayne Bean (Part 3) - A change of career and time for horses

    Wayne Bean spent his adult life working towards one goal - managing a cattle station. So, when he resigned from his job as the manager at Flora Valley Station after 14 years, for the first time in his life, he didn’t have a plan.

    This episode is the third and final part of our chat with Wayne, where he discusses how he navigated his first major career change at the age of 42.

    And, as many listeners have been patiently waiting for, we also discuss Wayne’s journey to becoming an accomplished horseman and campdraft competitor. From a time when he almost walked away from the sport, to how he approaches the mental side of competition, and his future goals, there is something we can all learn from Wayne in this episode.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    19 February 2024, 3:30 pm
  • 1 hour 9 minutes
    Wayne Bean (Part 2) - The Heytesbury years

    This episode is part 2 of our chat with Wayne Bean – if you haven’t listened to Part 1, you know the drill, go on, go back and listen to it first.

    In this episode Wayne recalls the 18 years he spent working for Heytesbury Pastoral, where he progressed from an overseer on the Barkly, to junior manager in the Victoria River District, and finally, his goal of senior manager in the Kimberley. 

    Throughout those years he saw the end of BTEC, gained his pilots licence, and had a front row seat to the positive changes the Heytesbury Pastoral boss, Janet Holmes à Court, put in place – not least of all the introduction of paid positions for managers wives. 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    12 February 2024, 3:30 pm
  • 48 minutes 37 seconds
    Wayne Bean (Part 1) - Just trying to get ahead

    For the longest time, Wayne Bean just wanted to get ahead. To achieve his career goal of managing a cattle station, to have his own land, and the time to pursue his passion for horses.

    And, spoiler alert, he has, by all definitions, gotten ahead. After two decades of managing stations for Heytesbury Pastoral, these days he spends his time on his own property, breeding and training horses for the sport of campdrafting, (of which he is a formidable competitor).

    So, when you see him, it’s easy to focus on the flash horse trailer, beautiful horses, and impressive scores in the campdraft arena.

    What you don’t see is the 30 plus years of hard work, patience and sacrifice Wayne has put in alongside his wife, Rachel, to get to where he is today.

    This episode is Part 1 of our chat with Wayne – where he shares stories from the early years of being a stockman with a young family, just trying to get ahead in life.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    5 February 2024, 3:30 pm
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