Meet the Katherine Outback Experience Team
Name: Bradley John Kammann aka BJ
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Manjimup aka “Manji” in the south west of WA, about 3hrs south of Perth. Manji is known for cherries, truffles and forests as well as for raining nine months of the year and dripping off the trees for the other 3 months of the year. I lived here until I was ten then we moved to Carnamah, about 3hrs north of Perth. Carnamah is part of the Midwest Wheat belt which consists mainly of sheep and cropping farming. We ran shorthorn cattle here and my parents owned an earthmoving business.
What have you done previously?
It will probably be shorter to answer what I haven’t done…
I trained and worked as a stock agent and auctioneer for Elders and Westcoast Livestock for a few years. I also started an apprenticeship as a Butcher however unfortunately had to give this away due to complications caused by a former injury. I have also done station work and was a labourer for a concreter, electrician and carpenter –a bitza – a bit of everything!
How did you end up at Katherine Outback Experience?
While Campdrafting in the southwest of WA, Annabel had casually mentioned to contact her if I was ever looking for work in the NT. I had thought that would be cool but at the time was considering heading east. When that plan fell through I got a job on a station 4hrs south of Katherine. During my first week there I had an accident where I broke ribs and had swelling on my brain. This hit home for me as a few years ago I had a serious accident off a bronc where I got kicked in the head which fractured my skull. I had a subdural hematoma which caused bleeding on the brain. I now have plates in my head and suffer from regular headaches. Being 4 hours from medical help made me realise I’m not quite as indestructible as I thought I was.
I was in town for a check-up and knew Tom and Belsie had got back the night before so I gave them a call to catch up. Over dinner we got talking about the accident and I mentioned mum and dad were pretty worried about how far I was from hospital if something went wrong. Annabel and Tom offered me the job and I started a few weeks later. The company I was working for were really understanding and supportive of my decision to move closer to town.
What is your role at Katherine Outback Experience?
A ‘bitza!’ I do a bit of everything. A ‘normal’ day usually starts with running the dogs. Tom and I will then spend the morning training young horses and dogs. I will then sometimes head into town to do a flyer drop around local caravan parks to let travellers know when the next show is. We knock off for around an hour over lunch while Tom catches up on some office work or town jobs. I don’t like to sit still for too long so I will often do some general site maintenance like a rubbish run, mow the lawns or trim/ shoe some horses. From 3pm we start getting organised for the Katherine Outback Experience show which involves preparing animals and making sure everything is neatly presented or put away, washing pups, moving sprinklers etc. I then get changed into a clean shirt in time for when guests start arriving around 4:15pm. The show kicks off at 4:30pm and finishes around 6:20pm following which we pack up, put all the animals and gear away and then head up to the kitchen for dinner. Every day is different, sometimes we have school groups or film crews here, others days we have events to attend or Annabel gets us to help her with some of the business side of things.
What do you hope to get out of working at Katherine Outback Experience?
I’m really keen to get more experience in training dogs and horses and just becoming a better horseman.
What have you learnt so far?
Quite a lot of things including:
- Training dogs to go left/ right/ sit/ jump
- Working with young horses – particularly the psychology side of things
- Trimming and shoeing horses
- Put a saddle in a gear bag (had never used a gear bag in my life before KOE)
- Hogging a horse and brushing tales (never done this either)
- Doing IV injections
- Poaching eggs (thanks to Annabel)
- Singing (with actions) nursery rhymes
What do enjoy most about working at Katherine Outback Experience?
The people, hands down, best bosses out! No seriously we all work hard, those two don’t stop but I love it. It’s a great work atmosphere, we share lots of laughs and are doing something different every day from training animals to performing in the show, speaking to tourists and meeting people. Tom and Annabel put a big emphasis on team work and lead by example.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Either an astronaut or Batman. I don’t intend to grow up anytime soon.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Planning is not my strong point – I take each day as it comes and see where I end up. In all seriousness, I have always enjoyed auctioneering and could see myself doing more here.
Full Give it –Tom Curtain
Favourite song/ musician:
Any parting words:
Make the most of each day. Smile! You never know what’s around the corner.