Her presentation discussed her recent participation in an OBE women’s tour to Asia and how the ten day adventure became a professional development exercise. The tour encouraged the participants to accept challenges, step up have a go, embrace changes and think smarter.
Joyleen Booth manages Murnpeowie Station, an organic cattle property in South Australia’s far north, with her husband Frank. The Booths have two children, Fiona, 22, and Frank, 18.
Joyleen is an Aboriginal woman who has a unique and unbroken bond with the Channel Country because her ancestors lived in this area on the edge of the Simpson Desert for thousands of years. She was born and raised in Birdsville, one of Australia’s most remote towns, and is proud of her links to the surrounding land.
The property Joyleen runs with Frank is more than seven times larger than Hong Kong. Managing cattle as well as fixing fences, windmills and bores keeps Frank away from the homestead for many hours each day. Joyleen is responsible for doing chores around the homestead such as cooking, cleaning and administration. She also maintains a beautiful outback garden. Although the property is isolated, Joyleen entertains many groups such as mining and exploration companies, conservation groups and tourists that pass through the property.
Before moving to Murnpeowie Station three years ago, Joyleen and Frank managed another property for the station’s owners, Brook Proprietors. Joyleen was living in her hometown of Birdsville and Frank worked on Adria and Alton Downs stations, where he had worked for 30 years. Joyleen worked at the local primary school while studying externally for a Diploma of ATSI (Community) Education.
In this time Joyleen was elected to the local government and served for 10 years as the Diamantina’s only female councillor. Her knowledge of the challenges living in the Outback presents helped her shape council policy. She believes some of the biggest challenges faced in the bush are: sending children to boarding school, waiting for the Flying Doctor to arrive when there is a sick or injured patient, dust storms, changing four-wheel-drive tyres and driving hundreds of kilometres alone and on dirt roads.