Thanks, you ripper bush kids

The Land pays homage to our bush kids in the 'little hands, big hearts' edition


News
Laura Finch and her her husband Luke run Monolon Station, White Cliffs, with their three children Stella, 12, Harrison, 10, and Hamish, 6. Photo by Rachael Webb.

Laura Finch and her her husband Luke run Monolon Station, White Cliffs, with their three children Stella, 12, Harrison, 10, and Hamish, 6. Photo by Rachael Webb.

Aa

They are our bush kids, the unsung heroes of this drought with "little hands and big hearts" who have stepped up to help their parents in this dry.

Aa

A young boy surrounded by a stark landscape with his hands by his side wears an Akubra more akin to someone who is a seasoned bushie.

But perhaps that still rings true given the work he does.

His hat is worn from days under the sun.

Its colour has lost its crispness from layers of dust.

And it has sweat strains from feeding livestock and checking water troughs.

At 10 he knows what a hard days work is all about.

But there among the cracks that line the paddocks, his beautiful smile shines through.

It was this image of Jack Siemer that resonated around Australia encapsulating the hope and resilience of our weather beaten communities.

This image of Jack Siemer from Coally Station appeared on The Land's front cover on April 25 that resonated around the nation. Photo by Tennille Siemer.

This image of Jack Siemer from Coally Station appeared on The Land's front cover on April 25 that resonated around the nation. Photo by Tennille Siemer.

But he is not alone. He is among hundreds of children from across the state who are far more than gate openers.

They are our bush kids, the unsung heroes of this drought with "little hands and big hearts" who have stepped up to help their parents in this dry.

This has inspired us at The Land to dedicate this 16-page tribute to our bush kids, where we celebrate the work they do helping their mums and dads on the farm. In the following pages (you might need a tissue) parents have opened their hearts to tell their children's stories and share their beautiful faces.

Our bush kids are champions and should be acknowledged, thankyou - Erica Smith

Through these words and images you will see how proud these parents are of their children who can fix a fence. They can muster and hand-feed livestock. They can check water.

They are handy roustabouts in the shearing sheds. And it's always with a smile on their face, without complaint.

And it's always while they are right by their parent's side.

Tennille and Sam Siemer, who run Coally Station north of Milparinka are among the parents who proud of their children (Jack, 10, Ned, 8, Finn, 6, and Archie, 3).

A letter written by 13-year-old Stella Finch, who appears on our back page (photo Rachael Webb) with her brothers Harrison and Hamish.

A letter written by 13-year-old Stella Finch, who appears on our back page (photo Rachael Webb) with her brothers Harrison and Hamish.

"I can't explain how proud we are of them, it makes me a bit emotional talking about it," Mrs Siemer said.

But it's not all work for these kids. They know how to make their own fun and use whatever they can find in their own backyard, albeit among thousands of acres.

They can even be a little cheeky playing practical jokes on their parents.

West Wyalong farmer Craig Johnsonsays it's the funny things his kids Brumby, Billy and Sophie do around the farm that make life easier.

"Our kids make it fun, it makes the day a little smoother especially when they do funny things," Mr Johnston said.

"And the things that come out of their mouths make you laugh.

"Brumby hadn't seen one of our workers for a while and when he saw him down the street, he went up to him and said 'g'day haven't seen you for a while, how have you been'.

"You'd think he was 25 not five-years-old."

Like everyone across the state, Mr Johnston is waiting for rain.

"We are no different to anyone else," he said.

"Every day is a day closer to rain and there is someone out there worse off that me. My kids and Tessa keep me going, and the knowledge this drought will break soon."

Mother of five Erica Smith aptly sums up how proud we are of our bush kids; "I bet if you asked everyone of them they would say they love where they live and what they do, even in drought.

"Droughts are really tough and this one has been the hardest that we have experienced.

"But if I could take positives out, I would say that it does build resilience and determination.

"It is character building and creates a good work ethic for your kids but most of all, it really binds you together as a family as each one does their part to get through.

"It will come to an end. It is only when you go through these hard times that you can really appreciate the good and we are looking forward to when we can celebrate.

"Our bush kids are champions and should be acknowledged, thankyou." We at The Land couldn't agree more.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by