My name is Phoebe Yabsley and I graduated in the KRB class of 2020. A year on from completing Year 12 and I am currently living and working in Northern Queensland on a remote cattle station, Iffley. Iffley Station is just over 1 million acres in size and is located 160km south of Normanton, and 240km North of Julia Creek.
I made the choice to take a gap year as I was unsure of my university offers and not certain of the course I wanted to study. My sister Hilary (Class of 2019) was also working in Qld, on a station, and constantly told me what an amazing experience and opportunity it was to travel and work in Qld. So, I applied to a few stations and was fortunate enough to receive a position at Iffley.
I work in a mixed workforce of girls, and boys – working hours before and after the sun. I am involved in the daily jobs of mustering cattle on horses and motorbikes, replacing and fixing fences, putting lick blocks out, drafting and processing cattle, fixing mechanical problems and branding and transporting weaners. On days off from work, our station often attends and participates in local camp-drafts, rodeos and races as well as many other annual events where I have been able to broaden my social network.
2021, for most people has been tough. Being fortunate enough to be a boarder at KRB I was able to have experienced living away from home. This year has been the longest time I have not seen my family and friends since I left home at the start of March. Also, my parents have not been able to visit Hilary or I due to the Qld/NSW border closures.
The opportunity I have received to live and work at Iffley has enhanced my independence, broadened my social network as well as continued to help me grow and develop as an individual. I have loved the challenges and hard work as well as moving to a location where I didn’t know anyone. I have also loved living and working in a mixed gender workforce and the excitement and satisfaction felt from completing a job you thought was unachievable. My plans for 2022 will be to return to Iffley Station for another year and hopefully by 2023 I will be at university, studying Events Management in Sydney.