Bringing the bush to the city
IN A plush Brisbane setting, eating fancy nibbles and overlooking a ritzy golf course, a group of ladies met for something you might not expect.
They came to hear from an outback cattle station manager.
Danielle Doyle, or Miss Chardy as she is known from her popular online blog, hosted a special night in Brisbane to meet her followers.
She grew up as a 'townie', in Mudgee New South Wales, attended June Dally-Watkins Business Finishing School and headed to the Territory to spend a strict one-year stint as a governess.
The one year evolved into much more as she is now married with three children and working on Napco's Mittiebah Station - a property she was quick to describe as being "12 gates and five hours away from Mt Isa”.
Her readers on the night were a mix of city women, some bloggers themselves, and a few country ladies who made the trip just to meet her. After the guests settled in for their drinks and meals, Miss Chardy explained what life was like on an isolated cattle station.
She started with the vital stuff: how she grocery shops.
A mail plane from Tennant Creek is currently dropping off her fruit and vegies every Friday, but other stores and frozen food is a little harder to organise.
"At the moment our frozen food is getting trucked in from a store in Mt Isa, which is trucking supplies to (our neighbouring station) Alexandria,” she said.
"So it means we still have to drive an hour to pick it up. So our bread goes from being unfrozen, to frozen, to unfrozen to frozen again.
"My kids ate fresh bread for the first time the other day, and Clancy goes 'yuck, this bread tastes funny!'.”
When the station is in full swing, Miss Chardy is ordering food and stores for about 15 people.
On a 1.7 million acre property with 15,000 breeders, beef on the other hand isn't hard to find.
"We kill our own beasts, so my husband goes out with the head stockman and they make an afternoon of it,” she said.
"If it's a bush kill, they lay gum leaves in the back of the ute, they kill it out in the paddock, they take the cuts off one side then roll it over and get the other side, then it goes into the ute and is covered in leaves. So, sometimes there is gum leaf on my roast.”
It's a very different life for a lady who grew up thinking a three-hour drive to Sydney was a long way. Miss Chady laughed that her dad now wanted his money back for funding her classes at the June Dally-Watkins Business Finishing School.
However, the lessons gave her great skills in typing, which have come in handy. Feeling isolated, as her closest friend was two hours and five gates away, the online platform started as a way for her to connect with other women.
"In 2014 I was the only woman on the station for about three months. I am an extrovert, I love people, so I was starting to go mad. My friend told me I should read this blog Baby Mac,” she said.
"I just loved it.”
After googling how to write a blog and signing up for a bloggers conference, the rest is history.
Injecting much of her Miss Chardy style humour, the ladies were thoroughly entertained learning about life on the Barkly Tableland.