Photographer, drover, author

Alice’s book, The Drover, is the product of being months on the road droving 18,000 cattle from Queensland to New South Wales. She shares her unique experience of being part of the epic Brinkworth drove through the lens of her camera.
Alice’s book, The Drover, is the product of being months on the road droving 18,000 cattle from Queensland to New South Wales. She shares her unique experience of being part of the epic Brinkworth drove through the lens of her camera.
Alice Mabin.

Alice Mabin.

Photographer Alice Mabin has captured her unique experience of cattle droving in her book titled ‘The Drover’. 

Alice set out on a journey from June last year, which covered a distance of 2000km over two states, from Queensland to New South Wales. 

Alice, who resigned from her job, went out for a day expecting to drive along and take a few snaps, but to her surprise, she found herself saddling up a horse and joining the drove. 

After tracking down the phone number of head drover Bill Little she asked if she could take photo’s of the drove one weekend. 

Alice, who hails from New Zealand, is a Kiwi living and working in outback Australia. 

She has worked at various properties around the country, including properties in South Australia, where she’s managed a lot of animal health programmes for property operations. 

After last year’s severe drought South Australian farmer  Tom Brinkworth purchased 18, 000 cattle. 

The $8 million transaction was the largest single purchase in the history of Elders Livestock. 

Having purchased the cattle, the next concern was how to transport them down from Winton in Central Queensland to Brinkworth’s Station, Uardry, near Hay in New South Wales. 

After tallying the sums, it worked out the cost of trucking the cattle was roughly the same amount as walking them down. 

The drove which lasted nine months, consisted of nine mobs that trekked thousands of kilometres.

Alice spendt time with all nine mobs over a five month period on and off, where she captured the photos that are presented in her first self published book. 

Alice said it was a challenge. 

“Droving the cattle was a new experience for me, something I’d never done before.

“Some of the challenges that arose were where the farmers couldn’t drove their cattle for feed and water, due to various council regulations.”

Another challenge that Alice found difficult was the people. 

Some farmers thought she was part of the media, however, after much persuasion and a talk over a cup of coffee, they eventually came around and became comfortable with what she was doing.  

The drove came through Parkes and Forbes,  via the outskirts of the area, into Bogan Gate, and Condobolin. 

These local areas were some of the places Alice says they found difficult finding feed for the cattle.  

“The enjoyable part of the journey was it was great to get back on a horse and develop a relationship with the cattle.

“I definitely had my favourites,” she said. 

Alice wanted to tell the story to make sure everyone’s efforts in the drove was documented  and everyone could be appreciated. 

‘The Drover’ is now selling at Parkes Newsagency. 

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