Flat out as a family of contributors

I lived my childhood life in Jamestown, I am the eldest of three, my Dad (Chook Richardson) was the local postie and Mum was a domestic cleaner at the Jamestown Hospital (Rene nee Hier).

Whenever school holidays rolled around I can remember the drive over to my grandparents’ farm at Koongawa on the Eyre Peninsula (between Kimba and Kyancutta), catching up with cousins, aunties and uncles.

I heard of a job in 1991 for governessing up in the Northern Territory, so in 1992 off I went, 92 kilometres south of Alice Springs on a lucerne farm supervising a boy aged nine on Alice Springs School of the Air via radio.

I spent two years governessing Duane, but I also began dating his older brother Glenn. After two years at Hugh River Holdings I decided I would move onto another property still home tutoring but this time a five-year-old girl whose property was 415km north of Alice Springs. 

I stayed on Murray Downs Station for three years before I became engaged to Glenn. We married in Jamestown in January 1998 and we began our married life on Hugh River Holdings. Yes, back where my first job in the NT began. I started working across the road at the Camel Farm serving breakfast to tourists on their way to Ayers Rock.

I became pregnant with our first child and at the beginning of October 1999 Charlie James was born in Alice Springs. Three years later our second child, Jorja Bree was born at the end of October 2002. Charlie began School of the Air and now the children were online speaking with their teachers...gone were the radios!

We sold the farm but stayed on to manage it. In March 2009 we moved to South Australia. Glenn found a farm hand job on a farm in the Kapinnie area on the Eyre Peninsula.

The kids went from schooling on School of the Air to travelling to school by bus. In August 2009 Glenn was involved in a shooting and for a few months our world was turned upside down.

We started getting back on track but only to be knocked for another six with Charlie being diagnosed, in March 2010, with type one diabetes. Charlie and I were flown to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and spent the next week learning how to live with diabetes. To Charlie’s credit he took everything in his stride and has never looked back!

In January 2013 Glenn and I decided to purchase the local butcher shop in Cummins. We had no qualification/skills but six years later we are still going strong and have a great respect for the Cummins community. In 2016 we were awarded Business of the Year and this showed us how much Cummins had welcomed us into the community.

During my time here I have volunteered my time at the school listening to children read along with following our kids with their sports. I have coached junior netball teams with Cummins-Kapinnie Netball Club as well as manageressing teams and volunteering on the netball committee.

Life is still flat out, Charlie has been employed at Cummins Area School as an Student Support Officer and he has just been awarded Young Citizen of the Year, Jorja is going into year 11 and Glenn and I have survived yet another busy Christmas. Bring on 2019.

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