Burnett Group photo comp highlights benefits of working together

Sally Gall
By Sally Gall
December 29 2021 - 2:00am

'Working together' was the vey fitting theme for the Burnett Group's annual staff photography competition.

The central Queensland-based group has 51 people, including family members, in its privately-owned business and as the entries show, it's been an action-packed year managing stock, land and human resources against the background of a pandemic still leaving its mark on the world.

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Group founder John Burnett said 'working together' would remain an important factor in their ongoing business ethos, along with 'working with nature'.

"And with the magnificent rainfalls received over most properties through the last three months, we will enter 2022 filled with optimism and quiet confidence," he said.

Amy Betts, 23, is a stockwoman at Monteagle near Clermont and was the winner of the competition this year with her shot of two dogs watching some cattle.

Originally from Toompine, Ms Betts said that working together could be interpreted as either human or animal interaction.

"These two are a part of my team - one has brains and the other has brawn," she said. "Add them together and you have a team with the ability to get the job done."

She said it didn't matter whether a team was made up of people, dogs or horses - it was the drive and desire to learn that counted.

The judges awarded two runner-up prizes, one to Luke Murray, 34, the manager at Mt Hope, Clermont, for his capture of a massively bogged big tractor.

Originally from Burketown, Mr Murray summed up the photo with his comment that "shit happens and you have to get in and help each other out to get the job done".

Carla Richter, based at Frankfield, collected the other runner-up honour with her engaging 'short and tall' entry of two people on horseback.

It was taken at the Burnett Group Colt Challenge, where owners, staff and their children all come together for two days of horsemanship, education, fun and a general good time.

Ms Richter said it was a chance to reflect on the year that was, as well as brainstorm ideas for the future.

"And it gives a chance for the younger generations to get involved and work alongside their parents, instilling this very special way of life into future generations," she said.

Mr Burnett said that it had been another mixed year in the beef industry, with the rise in cattle prices creating an enormous boost in industry confidence, unless people who had gone through drought were understocked.

"But for those who have wanted to expand, or enter the industry, these same high cattle prices with land prices following close behind, must seem daunting," he said.

"For our business and our staff, all these sentiments have surfaced.

"Add the ongoing concerns of the threat of a COVID outbreak impacting day-to-day operational logistics, (and) the theme for this year's Christmas gathering of 'working together' seems highly appropriate."

The competition helps remind everyone they are all part of a big picture, and shows each station what the others are doing.

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"Without them success and growth is impossible," Mr Burnett said.

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Sally Gall

Sally Gall

Senior journalist - Queensland Country Life/North Queensland Register

Based at Blackall, CW Qld, where I've raised a family, run Merino sheep and beef cattle, and helped develop a region - its history, tourism, education and communications.

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