Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


All his own work

Story Paul Myers
Photos Steve Strike


Ken Warriner (right) with station manager, Brett Krafft.

They say great cattlemen are born, not made. Ken Warriner is an exception, regarded by his peers as one of Australia's great contemporary cattlemen.

It is an accolade not lightly bestowed, but one that recognises his success in breeding and marketing top cattle in tough environments. It would be easy - but inaccurate - to simply pass off his impact on the cattle industry to the majority of his career spent working for four proprietors with money and influence - legendary Kimberley cattleman Tom Quilty, South Australia's Byron MacLachlan, US-based King Ranch and, for the past 19 years, Kerry Packer.

Undoubtedly, each worked on the mould, but ultimately what Ken Warriner has achieved has been the result of his own efforts.

Certainly, circumstance has played some part. But so have the man's drive, determination, leadership, business acumen, an exceptional "eye" for a good animal, and his ability to use, as required, brains and brawn.

"He's probably put together one of the best studs and one of the best big herds in Australia," says Dick Wilson, Newcastle Waters Station manager from 1982-96. How does he rate as a modern-day northern cattleman? "In front of the bloody lot," Wilson fires back immediately. "There's not one other bloke running a big cattle company who's as practical or has the same experience." Story end

Full story: Issue 24, August/September 2002

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