Senior Garawa man Uncle Frank Shadforth from Seven Emu Station in the Northern Territory. Image: Chaz De La Coeur of the NT Government Indigenous Pastoral Program who, in conjunction with Steve Robertson, assisted with project management of the new water supply.

An Aboriginal-owned working cattle station giving young mob a second chance in the Top End will now have fresh drinking water year-round.

Seven Emu Station, on the Queensland and Northern Territory border, relies on water pumped from the nearby Robinson River after the old bore collapsed 17 years ago.

Uncle Frank with the new bore being installed. Image: Chaz De La Coeur.

The lack of reliable running water means the station’s tourist season and acclaimed Youth Training and Work PathwaysCamp Programs, which provide mentorship and residency for at-risk Indigenous young people, had to be cut short.

But now, with help from the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation, the Shadforth family, who have run Seven Emu Station for four generations, are getting a new bore and solar pump.

Head of the ILSC, Joe Morrison, says the new bore will provide year-round clean water, allowing visitors to stay on Garawa County over multiple nights.

“First Nations peoples are the rightful owners of Country. Seeing the Seven Emu Station team achieve
their aspirations for their land is what it’s all about,” Mr Morrison has told NIRS News.

“Everything the ILSC does is to serve First Nations peoples and this story is a clear example of our
organisation’s commitment to achieving this.”

ILSC Chief Executive Joe Morrison speaking to NIRS News:

Senior Garawa Man, Uncle Frank Shadforth’s father was one of the first known Aboriginal people to buy a pastoral lease after purchasing Seven Emu Station in 1953.

Uncle Frank enjoys mentoring and sharing his Indigenous knowledge and skills with the young campers and non-Indigenous visitors that come and stay at Seven Emu.

He says the new bore will make a huge difference to the running of their business.

“The bore will prevent the restrictions on all our activities on the property and help to run our business
more effectively,” Mr Shadforth says.

Uncle Frank Shadforth speaking to NIRS News: