All in Lives Well Lived

Eric adding colour to Cue

Just a couple of kilometres from Cue we started spotting life-size metal cutouts of blue sheep, and red dogs on kayaks. A little further down the road we saw Eric, sporting a crazy hat and obviously trying to get some phone reception, as he paced around his quad bike complete with Aussie flag, proudly fluttering in the wind. I’d barely started asking the question, and Steve was already slowing down to do a U-turn!

Tim in Marble Bar

Pretty much everyone we got to know in Marble Bar, we met in the Iron Clad Hotel, including Tim. Like so many people in this outback town, gold is in Tim’s blood. While Tim uses a metal detector his mother Katie used a yandi. Shallow multi-purpose dishes, yandis were traditionally used by Aboriginal women to carry water and bush tucker, but they could also use them to sort chaff from seeds, and in these parts, to separate gold from dirt.

Wyndham's Honest John

…Welcoming me inside, I was introduced to Elizabeth - the beautiful and fashionable mannequin standing in his kitchen. “I was hoping she’d clean and cook” said Honest John, “But she doesn’t lift a finger.” Elizabeth was a souvenir from his days as “fashion advisor to the ladies of the Kimberley” when he had “a boutique” in downtown Wyndham. One of many businesses he’s owned and operated around the town, from all accounts…

Home schooling with Kamali

I’ve been enjoying catching up with my old friend Kamali while we’ve been in Broome, and so have the children from the #thenomadicsmob - the offspring of musicians Dave Mann and Bec Schofield who are currently up at Kooljaman Resort at Cape Leveque playing beautiful music to holiday makers each night. Here they are on the back of Kamali’s house truck creating with clay - a pretty special art class for these home-schooled kids.

President of the Old Bastards

It turns out you don’t need to be old to be an Old Bastard. We’d been told that John Wheelock has been the president of Carnarvon’s Old Bastards since its inception in 1982. A quick google revealed that the Australasian Order of the Old Bastards is an Australia-wide organisation, far less organised than the Rotary Club or the Lions, but just as effective where fund-raising is concerned…

Dr Harry in Carnarvon

It seems the whole of Carnarvon knows Dr Harry Sneddon. For many years he was the town’s vet treating creatures great and small. A quietly spoken, gentle man - a gentleman in its truest sense - it’s not hard to imagine him tenderly handling someone’s fur child at his practice in town, or horse whispering out on a cattle station. More recently he’s owned and operated the general store just out of the town centre to keep himself busy in his retirement.

Wheatbelt mother and son

Neighbours to Robin and Robert, Margaret Scally lives in Goodlands, on the northern edge of the Wheatbelt in Western Australia with her two sons. It’s not the easiest place to find but we spotted their ‘mailboxes’ next to the road sign bearing their name. Standing at her back door with views across to ‘the hills’, Mt Singleton and Mt Gibson, Margaret told us of her earliest memory - aged around five, being given the last rites by the priest when she had “the black measles”.

Wheatbelt father and son portraits

Now 77, Robin’s life has not always been easy but it’s been full of love. Emerging from the school principal’s office after getting “the cuts” for wolf-whistling at her, Robin first saw his “Princess”, Kaye as she walked across the schoolyard. “You know when you’ve seen an angel” he told me. Knowing he’d got a keeper, Robin asked her father if he could marry her six times before he gained approval…