Editorial: Top job at Burke & Wills Rodeo

The outback hospitality truck was pressed into service at the Burke & Wills Rodeo dinner on Monday night.
The outback hospitality truck was pressed into service at the Burke & Wills Rodeo dinner on Monday night.

The equestrian theme of recent days continues.

On Tuesday I used this space to write about the Aussie bush racing institution that is Maxwelton Races which I attended on Saturday.

On Monday I was on the road again to another dot on the landscape, this time the Burke & Wills Fourways Junction which is normally just the home of a fine roadhouse but not much more.

This weekend however the gateway to the Gulf was its own destination as the world of campdraft descended on the arena for the annual Burke & Wills campdraft which doubled as the final event for the national titles.

That meant it carried double points for the titles and attracted the best riders in the country.

It also meant the club hosted the dinner and 280 people dressed up to enjoy a great dinner in what was an impressive feat of logistics.

The club hired the truck belonging to the Outback College of Hospitality which doubles as a trade training centre doing the roads of central Queensland schools in Longreach, Barcaldine, Winton, Blackall and Aramac.

Hamish Griffin from Cloncurry Discovery Park somehow marshalled the outback cooking and an army of young volunteers cheerfully brought the excellent tucker out to table.

It was food worthy of a fine city restaurant and here it was being served up in the middle of an outback paddock 200km from the nearest town.

The weather gods were kind too with black clouds gathering ominously to the south but passing Burke and Wills by, a lack of rain gift which was welcomed for once.

Ben Stanger and his team at the Burke & Wills Sports Club deserve all the plaudits for putting on such a great event.

The grounds were looking in great shape, the lines of cattle from AA Co Canobie and Herbert Hall were first class and everyone there commented on what a great time they were having.

It was yet another top event that stamps out our region as one of the great parts of Queensland and Australia. Now roll on Dirt N Dust this weekend as the action moves from four legs to two. – Derek Barry