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Deep and meaningful


Three generations of the Hayes family - Bill (left) with Billy and grandsons Tom and Luke.

Sweating amid the dust as they muster their cattle into steel-framed cattle yards at sunset, three generations of Hayes men are silhouetted against a vast and varied pastoral landscape.

Much like their forefathers, they yard the cattle with ease and grace, born to the country that surrounds them.

The only generation definer is that the lowing of the cattle is broken not by the sound of horses hooves, but the hum of quad bikes and the over-accelerated rev of a station utility as its driver pushes the mob to the yards.


The next generation enjoys time in the cattleyards.

There is a tasty sense of history surrounding this scene and members of the Hayes family who feature in it.

Although the mechanics of their operation differ from those who grazed cattle on this land before them, time-proven traditions of hard work and cattle breeding live on in this central Australian pastoral entity. Indeed, the Hayes family is legendary in the Northern Territory pastoral industry, known and loved for its spirit, stock management and for resilience.

Six generations of Hayes have cut their teeth and bred cattle in the country around Alice Springs and the family continues with three surviving generations who live and work on Deep Well Station, the original run acquired by William Hayes in the late 1880s. Story end

Full story: Issue 24,August/ September 2002

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