Kelsey Neilson lives on a remote cattle station in the western Queensland Shire of Boulia. Along with her husband and two sons, she has experienced great joy on the land, as well as the devastating despair that comes with a decade long drought. But regardless of the seasons, she would never want to live anywhere else! Kelsey is a passionate advocate of the keepers of the bush, the resilient – dedicated people who make the outback their home and their heritage. As Deputy Mayor of the Boulia Shire Council Kelsey leads a busy life and is a strong believer that anything is achievable if you want it bad enough.
When Kelsey’s two boys were both under five, the Neilsons walked a mob of cattle from the Northern Territory Queensland border to an agistment property to the north. Two men and two children under ten on bikes and two women in vehicles took the herd of 1200 head of cattle 80 kms, including a dry stage, to their destination.
In 2008 Kelsey and her family were forced to completely destock their Boulia property due to extended drought. They purchased another property in the Longreach Shire and had to transport their herd over 800kms to keep their breeders alive. This move meant constant mustering and trucking and driving ten hours in front of the trucks overnight after starting the day before daylight, in order to be at the property to receive the stock the next day and put them on to pasture. This procedure was repeated several times in succession before the whole herd had been relocated. The hard work and long hours was rewarded when the cows and calves were settled, contented and full of grass.