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A special kind of home

ImageFor the Kurtijar people of the Queensland Gulf country, Delta Downs cattle station has always been home. Since its purchase in 1982, it has also become a source of income, employment and pride – plus a good source of bush tucker.

Story and photos Fiona Lake

"It's a bit like Coles - a lot of my people they go out and stock up for the rest of the week," Kurtijar elder Fred Pascoe laughs. "They take wallabies back and that's their meat for the week to feed their kids. There's plenty of bush tucker on Delta - it's good like that - plenty of turtles, goannas, pigs, wallabies and fish." Fred started work on Delta Downs as a jackaroo in 1983, and after attending Longreach Pastoral College he worked his way up to his varied current occupations, which include work for the Normanton Shire Council, an advisory position for Pasminco (owners of the Century Zinc mine) and chairman of the Morr Morr Pastoral Company Board.

ImageDelta Downs is run as a serious cattle business just like any other station, but there's a lot more to it. While one reason for the purchase of the station was to help the traditional owners gain some economic independence, the other reason was to provide access, as now there are not many stations where the local people are able to go and get bush tucker. But it involves more than that. It's where their hearts are - as Fred explains, "You ask any Kurtijar kid where they come from, and they all say 'Delta'". Story end

Full story: Issue 31, Oct-Nov 03

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