Story:Many Aboriginal people were picked up by drovers and taken to the stations. Some were children, and some eventually became drovers themselves.
'I got pick up droving day back in 1959. I got pick up in Well 25, which is near Nyilangkurr. They took me on a camel to Billiluna, Kimberley. I went on a camel all the way down to Billiluna and I grow up in that place. I was only thirteen when they pick me up. And I go little bit of schooling old Balgo mission and I get back to the station, start working in Billiluna.' (Jeffrey James, 2007)
'My family from Fitzroy, Halls Creek, pick me up when I was bout eight or nine. They put me on a camel, come all the way along the Canning Stock Route. All the workers look after the cattle, and when the day breaks they go to another well and we come with the camel behind. And drover in the front cut another well and get the water for the cattle, and they give them a rest all day. Too hot for travelling. And later on when they cool down they go and muster them and give them water, look after them all night.' (Billy Patch (Mr. P), 2007)
'They were droving from Wiluna, stockmen. They picked me up and took me to Billiluna. Len Brown gave me a horse to ride. I put the saddle on the horse and we went mustering the cattle around the lake. Len gave me my name. He was my boss. Len told all the young fellas to come and listen. He asked if he could give me the name ‘Brandy’, like branding the cattle. They were all happy with that.' (Kamara Brandy Tjungurrayi, 2007)
'A lotta old people telling me bout how they used to drove from Billiluna straight across to Wiluna. But they’re not in the photos. They got no name. Nothing. They got to be part of this droving story.' (Jawurji Mervyn Street, 2007)
Desert people who walked into the stations usually ended up working there in exchange for rations as stock men and women.
'We had no English then. We came in from the bush. We worked there in the station doing anything for the white man. I was working in the stock camps.' (Jukuja Dolly Snell, 2007)
Dusty Stevens learnt to ride a horse on Maraminda station. He was a young man who had just come in from his Country at Jilakurru. It was a rough education, but he eventually became a head stockman.
'We don’t know which way to ride! We get chucked off. Me and my brother got a hiding off the whitefella. We can’t understand to ride now! We fall off the saddle! That whitefella said, ‘What you want to hit the horse in the eye for?’ Give me good hiding! [Laughing] He been tie me and my brothers up. We gotta sit down there all night! Jail.' (Nyulku Dusty Stevens, 2007)
Media Creator:Tim Acker
Media date: 2008
Media Description:Photograph of Kamara Brandy Tjungurrayi
Story contributor(s):Jeffrey James, Billy Patch (Mr. P), Kamara Brandy Tjungurrayi, Jawurji Mervyn Street, Jukuja Dolly Snell, Nyulku Dusty Stevens
Art Centre(s): Other
Media copyright: FORM
This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.