Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


A belief in beef

Story Sue Neales
Photos John Elliott


Gregory Hadjieleftheriadis and son Andreas.

"The old oak tree spreads its shady branches above Gregory Hadjieleftheriadis as he sits on the green lawn in front of Bolaro Station's stately homestead, watching the coffee and muffins being wheeled across the grass.

Here at historic Bolaro Station near Adaminaby in the Snowy Mountains it is one of those late summer days when time seems to stand still.

The fledgling Murrumbidgee River is gurgling away at the bottom of the hill, the sounds of grazing sheep drift through the old cyprus pines that ring the homestead, and the three flags above the little white cottage are fluttering away in picturesque symmetry.

Yet it seems not much of this pastoral contentment has filtered through to the Greek shipping magnate with the unpronounceable name sitting solidly in his wicker chair.

Wearing a checked flannel shirt and sheepskin vest, and with a cane propped against his leg, Gregory Hadjieleftheriadis, 64, is becoming increasingly agitated. The reason is not the sun, the coffee or the jet lag from his flight from Athens the previous day.

ImageIt's the state of Australian agriculture and his passionate belief that farmers and politicians here undersell the value and quality of their rural produce.

"Australia produces the most beautiful beef in the world. Yet, when I brought our first Queensland cattle property, Fitzroy Vale, in 1992, farmers were being paid just $300 for a beautiful animal that had taken nearly three years of care and attention to produce," says an impassioned Gregory.

"And everyone was doing the same thing - selling their beef to the meatworks for hamburgers. This was the leanest, most healthy, tender and delicious beef in the world. It was so obvious to me that this was wrong, that something was missing. I said it had to stop." Story end

Full story: Issue 23, June /July 2002

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