Category: About Us
- Published on Monday, 14 November 2011 09:49
- Written by Super User
- Hits: 2276
From drovers to poets, priests to Aboriginal artists and historians to town carriers, the outback locals have one thing in common and that is they are proudly Queensland and want to sit down and share their real life experience with travellers from around Australia or across the globe. Every place has local characters but in the outback we’re blessed to have the best. Get more information on our characters!
Doug came to Cunnamulla in 1929 when he was only three weeks old. His father was building fences and that is what brought his family right here. Later his father owned the Town Delivery Service which Doug and his brother took over when he was 11 years old, because his father joined the Army in World War II. When Dougs father came back from war he took over the Town Delivery Service again. In 1942 Doug left school, at the age of 13 to drive a truck and help with the Service. Education obviously was not that important as a pair of strong hands.
At that time you could get your drivers license at age of 16. Doug was only 13 years old when he went to the drivers license department to get his license. The guy from the drivers license department saw the truck Doug came with and noticed that there were no breaks and no doors. So he figured Doug could get his license right away.
Doug took the Town Delivery Service over in 1951 and build it up to a bigger business in which he worked for about 25 years. In 1968 he sold the truck and the trailor and got a job in the railway department and worked there for 24 years before he retired on 30.09.1992.
One Christmas night during his time working for the railway department Doug met Hilda. They got married in September 1953.
Doug is the historian of his family because of his great memory and the way he tells his stories. People come from everywhere to see Doug to find out about their families and history.
Doug lived through all the progress Cunnamulla experienced through the years. Without him Cunnamulla would not be the same today. Doug McGreggor helped to build Cunnamulla.
John Roberts was born in Miles and spend his teenage years in Quilpie. He came to Cunnamulla in 1971 and worked in the district for a couple of years and got married. He did general station work, built cattle and sheep yards. John spent many years managing properties in the district and has been an active member of the SES (State Emergency Service) for more than 30 years.
These days John is the School officer at that the Cunnamulla State School and everybody knows him.
John is passionate about the Australian bush and the bush way of life and combines this passion with his other love which is bush poetry.
John has won awards for his written poetry which is inspired by real life experiences and he is currently writing and publishing his first book that will feature some of his favorite poems.
On a nightly basis John performs at Out the Back Australia Campfire Dinner where tourists experience firsthand not just his poetry, but real life stories, politics, and jokes and of course Cunnamulla.
Sandra Grimshaw is a local and the granddaughter of “King Willie Widgell” of Badjiri Tribe the last known Aboriginal King in the area.
Sandra was raised on the South Camp Reserve Cunnamulla and has learnt some of the traditional ways and culture of her aboriginal heritage, kinship and family values, over the years.
Sandra learnt to make and smoke Jonny Cakes as they are a tradition when someone passes away and now Sandra uses that particular skill to make them for tourists around the campfire on Out the Back Australia Tours.
Jonny Cakes are a favourite among Aboriginal people and when making them they joke between each other asking if they are punching the dough.
Traditionally when Aboriginal people lived on the land they made Jonny Cakes from seeds of some native grasses that they ground to flour.
Today availability of flour and off the shelf foods makes the task of cooking the Jonny cakes much easier and less labour intensive.
A qualified teacher, mother of seven children and after a number of careers and jobs Sandra is focussed on her Christian faith and teaching interested children and members of the community about her beliefs and the value of getting a good education and respecting the people and things we have been blessed with and is thankful to be born in Cunnamulla.
A great identity and popular local character Roderick Taylor is passionate about Cunnamulla’s past, present and future. Having lived in Cunnamulla for more than 60 years on “Adgingbong” his family property Roderick has seen his fair share of changes being the third generation of his family to manage the property over the past one hundred and eighteen years.
Rods Grandfather Walter Alexander Ivory came to the area in 1892 to manage Charlotte Plains, which was 340,000 acres and carried 100,000 sheep at that time. In 1927 after thirty five years managing the property Walter retired and was given 16,000 acres as a bonus for his years of service to the owners.
That property was named “Adgingbong” and became part of the Taylor legacy in the region. Roderick took over from his father in 1973 and today “Adgingbong” is 75,000 acres running 12,000 sheep and 1,000 head of cattle.
General operations of the property have changed significantly since Roderick’s grandfather ran the place where they did most of the work on horseback. Today the same work is completed in a fraction of the time with the use of a plane for mustering with motorbikes and radio’s on the ground. With three children Roderick hopes there will be a fourth generation of Taylor’s on the property at some time in the future. He can then look forward to his retirement which he plans to unfold on the banks of the magnificent Warrego River in Cunnamulla where he has a beautiful home on acreage waiting for him.
Category: About Us
- Published on Monday, 14 November 2011 09:39
- Written by Super User
- Hits: 2245
At Out the Back Australia we pride ourselves on the quality of our staff. Every member of our team is a true outback character with a lifetime of experience in the culture and nature surrounding the outback and most were born in Cunnamulla. Our tour guides make it their mission to ensure your tour in Australia exceeds your expectations. Nothing beats local knowledge and that’s how our tour guides guarantee travellers a wonderful insight into the nature and wildlife that will take you on an adventure giving you the tourist the ultimate travel experience. Get more information on our tour guides!
Peieta Mills - Managing Director
Born in Cunnamulla in 1968 Peieta Mills spent all of her early years there before moving to Brisbane to pursue employment opportunities for fifteen years.
In 2001 Peieta and sister Stephanie opened a photography gallery in Cunnamulla and later added a gift & homewares store & café restaurant.
In 2007 Peieta returned to Cunnamulla. Determined to make a difference to a once thriving and positive community Peieta moved back to Cunnamulla to develop a tourism business.
The opportunities for real life Australian Outback experience, encounters with nature, and access to unique attractions and people is endless and almost untouched in the area so with a group of like minded locals Peieta set up a range of tours for families, backpackers and FIT travelers not available in other areas and commenced marketing them across Australia and in the UK and Europe.
Cunnamulla people are passionate about their town, they love their lifestyle and everyone involved in our tours is committed to creating an industry that can turn around the town’s economic decline and population shift. To do that you have to offer people a “SPECIAL” experience “UNIQUE” opportunities to touch and feel things and to really experience the “PEOPLE” which is the true soul of the Australia Outback.
Peieta has a vision for Cunnamulla to become a hub for domestic and international tourism exposing Queensland’s Outback in particular Cunnamulla, Eulo & Yowah their unique attractions, nature and people to the world and says, “working with family, friends, a large group of like minded locals and transport providers to the area is just the icing on the cake”.
Everyone involved in the tours is local with many third or fourth generations from the area. They are personal for the guides and they are personal for the travelers which has created a recipe for success with passengers consistently giving feedback at the conclusion of the tours that they are amazed and excited with their trip way beyond their expectations which can been seen on the website under testimonials in writing or on video.
Carla Mills – Admin and Finance Manager
Hi, my name is Carla Mills. I have lived in Cunnamulla all my life. I completed my schooling in Cunnamulla starting at the Sacred Heart Parish School in my primary schooling then completed high school in 1995 at the Cunnamulla State School. Once leaving school I had various jobs all relating to hospitality and tourism or clerical. I commenced work for Stephanie Mills Gallery, which is now known as Out the Back Australia in 2004 until now.
I am married and have 3 children named Blake, Paige and Gemma. They certainly keep my hands full.
I love the relaxed lifestyle of living in Cunnamulla, Everything is just around the corner, or up the road so to speak. It doesn't take much to do anything and everything.
I like working at Out the Back Australia because of the opportunities that it creates both for myself, the tourism industry in Cunnamulla, the Paroo Shire and our communities on a whole. Many people are involved and participate in the operating of the tours that Out the Back Australia provides these people benefit also. It has been exciting to have been involved for a long time and to be part of the changes and development that have offered many opportunities.
John Mills – Keen Fisherman & Tour Guide
John Mills a born and bred local says it’s pretty easy to take people out and share a part of our area that we love and that we feel lucky to have in our backyard.
Most if not all locals love the river and have spent most of their childhood and much of their spare time as adults enjoying activities in or on the Warrego River at Cunnamulla. Swimming, water skiing, fishing for Yellow Belly or the ever elusive Murray Cod the river is a place to relax and enjoy on your own, with mates or with the whole family.
Like all fisherman there are plenty of stories to share from the one that got away or the leaky tinny in the middle of winter, but I would have to say there is nothing as exciting as catching a Murray Cod in the Warrego River.
Trevor Wighton – Tour Guide & Bus Driver
Trevor Wighton was born and raised in Brisbane. In 1961 he and his family moved to Cunnamulla for the schooling for the kids. Trevor’s first job in Cunnamulla was the Water Officer for the Paroo Shire Council. There he learnt how to fly and became the chief Pilot for Goss Air Taxi. When Bob, the owner of Goss Air Taxi died, all the employees were out of a job.
Trevor operated his own plumbing business trading as Wighton’s Western Plumbing Services for about 20 years before he retired.
Trevor is an active member of the community and regularly participates in sporting events which has gained him the title of “The Man from Krypton” from tourists who have been amazed at his fitness level.
Trevor is an all round good bloke and a valuable member of the team at Out the Back Australia that is always there to lend a hand when needed.
Trevor is a helping hand whenever and wherever we need him. His knowledge of the area and people through his experience being the Local Controller SES (State Emergency Service) over many decades offers traveller’s a unique insight into aspects of living in remote Outback Australia that very few people could impart.