In keeping with our commitment to deliver a full and diverse range of ‘voices’ from our case study landscapes, here, below, is Peter Bevan’s reflection on life on the land.
Peter has lived in Western NSW his whole life. His parents, Albert and Linda Bevan took up the lease of Sturt’s Meadows sheep and cattle station in 1951. The property was originally ounded in 1863 (20 years before Broken Hill) but Abraham and Matilda Wallace.
88 kilometres from Broken Hill, Sturt’s Meadows is 75,000 hectares of undulating country with some hilly Barrier Range Country and flood-out flats.
Peter and his wife Mary Bevan, former managers of the station, have now retired. They live in Broken Hill and the property is run by their son, Randall and his wife Josephine.
Sturt’s Meadow’s closest neighbour is 30 kilometres away.
A pastoral view
In the far corners of the Western Division some people come; others go but we are the constant – the ones that stay, forever linked to our sense of place.
We have invested in physical things; made tracks and repaired them. Mostly, the signposts and landmarks are ours; we know the terrain – others use maps.
It is our phone, our shearers’ quarters; our workshop to fix breakdowns; our airstip, our first aid on the scene; our help from the bog.
Our water, and the tea to put in it, served at our kitchen table, whilst we share our mutual interest in the great West of New South Wales.
However, we can’t and we do not claim the West to the exclusion of all others or even to the exclusion of some. Our activities require the above listed features for our use of the land to be tenable. Other groups have different activities, goals, knowledge and needs.
We should, we must be inclusive to the mutual benefit of all who have a Western Division affinity. If people do not come to our area, stay in our area, the services we all need will be diminished.
In the end, what is needed is activity because without ongoing interest and activity the Division may be declared dead.