From 40 degree to Negative Three
Let’s get serious, who has dreamt of living the Jillaroo lifestyle? I know I certainly have.
I caught up with Hannah Burrows, a former Jillaroo who grew up in a small country town called Sutton Forest population of around 400 people. Hannah openly admits that she wasn’t one for school, though there was one subject that she thrived in, and there began her career in Agriculture. Growing up on a property herself, Hannah knew it was a lifestyle she wanted to live.
Hannah moved to Longreach, Queensland where she would Jillaroo for two years. “I did some research, I found that Longreach had Australian Agriculture College Corporation, so I was able to study and Jillaroo at the same time, I was taken to different properties each couple of months which was great because you got to understand all different types of enterprises.”
“A typical day involved waking up at 3.30am, breakfast served at 4.30am and there we would find out what needed to be done for the day. After breakfast we would head to the stables, saddle up the horses and head off... all of that before sun even started to rise. It was such a peaceful time, we didn’t really talk much at that time of the morning, we just took it in... I think it was due to the fact we couldn’t really see the extreme conditions and the damage the drought had brought; it was peaceful and the best part of my day.”
“We’d go mustering for days on end in 30+ degree heat, and we camped a lot of the time,” Hannah continued, “I’ve never seen so much dust, the land was so dry it was unbelievable... the pictures really don’t give it justice as we didn’t have time to take lots of photos it was really life or death. It was a huge eye-opener.”
“In terms of a social life, my friends were the ones I worked with, well, they became family, we were all there to support each other. If ever I just needed a break, I would take my dog out on a bike and literally chill in a paddock underneath a tree and draw or read a book.”
Fast forward eight years later, Hannah moved to Orange in 2011, after deciding she needed a tree change, “I moved from 40-degree heat, to negative three in Orange,” Hannah laughed.
“I started university here at CSU. Now a qualified Teacher in Agriculture, I would love the opportunity to educate young kids in primary school about the importance of Agriculture, from the impacts of droughts to buying local produce in order to reduce food miles. The ultimate dream would be to have a travelling classroom which incorporates all aspects of paddock to plate”.
“I remember reading a study when I was at university that 60% of kids form the city thought that cotton came from a sheep and vegetables came from a supermarket, that was a massive eye opener from me, growing up on a farm I didn’t think twice about where my food came from.”
“It’s our future, whether you live in the city or in the country you should know about the impacts of drought and the impact it has on our farmers, shops, and schools. Unless you live in these areas you aren’t aware of it, so by having a travelling classroom I would like to educate the people in the metropolitan areas.
“I think the biggest thing my Jillaroo’ing experience taught me was that it made me aware of the impact of drought, and still to this day... its massive, it impacts us all and that’s why I’m extremely passionate about supporting local businesses.”
“I try to get myself involved in as many things as possible, in my spare time, I love to get creative! I love building things, designing things and baking/decorating. I also love playing Women’s AFL, I play for the Orange Tigers, they are all such supportive and great women to be around and I like that I’m able to take any stress/anger out on the field. The best part of my day however, is visiting my best mate, Mr Darcy, a four-year-old Moodle (Maltese x Toy Poodle).”