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Outback Ringer

Season 3


Mum, wife and bull catcher are roles you don’t often see on the same resume. But my guest today does all three in the Northern Territory. Liz Cook is an outback ringer, which means she wrangles feral cattle for a living. Bull catching can be a lucrative business with hundreds of thousands of wild bulls and buffalo wandering remote properties across the country unclaimed. It is tough, it’s dangerous and it’s isolated. To learn more about this high stakes world, Liz Cook joins me now to discuss:

  • Liz is based on Bauhinia (bo-hin-ya) Downs Station and, her favourite place on the land.

  • The distance is vast, for some perspective, the closest shop Darwin is more than 10 hours away.

  • Originally from New Zealand, Liz shares how she became a ringer in outback Australia.

  • Liz and her husband, lease land for the right to catch feral bulls and ultimately are able to make a living that way.

  • We’re given a picture of how the feral buffalo, cattle and wild horses got there and, why there is a need to catch them.

  • The environmental impact of these feral cattle herds is huge, particularly in our National Parks where they roam free.

  • These animals have never seen humans before and therefore can be quite dangerous and, the best-case scenarios for capturing them.

  • These animals need to be in good condition if Liz is going to then raise and then sell them. She shares how they define these characteristics.

  • The community is in need of this service, and Liz explains who they contract to.

  • What Liz loves most about this lifestyle.

  • The most unexpected thing to happen in her time as an Outback Ringer.

  • A common misconception about her work.

  • The ultimate dream for the future for Liz and her family.

We hope to see you back on the road soon, to learn more about how Australia grows on the next episode of Australian Farmers with Angie Asimus.

 

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