The Aussie Bushman

The Australians have their own tough cowboys and farmers as well – in Outback Rural Australia where wheat is farmed, cattle and sheep are raised. The rural Aussies call their old sheep station shearing (i.e. cutting the sheeps’ wool off their backs) circuits lovingly as the “Wallaby Track”.

Ten-year droughts, Biblical-style floods, bush-fires whistling through the scrub – these are some of the rough challenges that the rural Australian bush farmers and bush cowboys face in the tough rural Aussie terrain. Life is hard and unpredictable. Yet despite all this, none ever gives up. They stick to the land, aided by a peculiar brand of black humour and the solace of Saturday night at the Outback pub. In the face of common hardships and shared struggle, the Australian ethos of “fair go” and “give it a go” – a mixture of mateship, recklessness and initiative, rings very true in rural Australia.

While most Australians in the cities rise each morning to spend another comfortable day at the office or factory, many a “Aussie city slicker” still harbour an obscure fantasy of living in the bush, with a faithful blue-heeler dog padding along beside them. Of course, these city folks would rarely actually go there. That’s what makes the people in the bush a breed apart.

Many of the old clichés about laconic, resourceful, friendly country people are true. There’s a helpfulness with the country bush people which is not immediately apparent, thanks to a little bush mischief on the side. Any enquiry for directions, for instance, can be met with a slow heavy Aussie-accented “buggered-if-I-know” reply, followed almost immediately with a complicated series of precise directions. Australians out in the bush would never deliberately misdirect visitors, for in the Outback, misdirections may result in death by bushfires or thirsts.


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