Victoria C 2021

The time I spent at May Downs was some of the best times I’ve had, filled with many new adventures and experiences.

It didn’t take me long to realise that the heart of May Downs is in fact its people. You get told when you move to a new place that it’s the people that will either make or break your time. In this case, the people, or family as they quickly became known to me as, are what made my time at May Downs so special and unforgettable. Whether it was the friendly banter filled conversations over the 2way as we mustered a mob in or being “defeated” by James in a cook-off for dinner at camp, it was the team that made it feel most like home.

Rocking up to a new station with not a lot of experience, I was worried that I would struggle, however the team were always willing to teach me new skills and help me learn, no matter how much patience it took. We were given multiple opportunities to take part in local events and embed ourselves in the community, from helping out at the Mount Isa campdraft to attending the Cloncurry Beef up forum where we were able to mix in with the locals and learn. The opportunity to learn at May Downs is always there, whether it be learning how to service a 230 or learning about the northern cattle industry in depth.

My time spent at May Downs will forever be something that I am proud of and will be able to look back on as some of the best times and a year that I’ll forever be grateful for.

Declan Allman
My girlfriend and I decided to move to Oz to work and travel like so many others from Ireland do.

I spent nine months in Perth, working and partying, so it was time to do some regional work to get my second year visa.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I arrived at May Downs. It was like being in a movie set somewhere between a Western and Crocodile Dundee!
I arrived during a period when the management was changing. The first few months James Lord was supervising the team. It was such a privilege to work with a man who devoted his life to understanding animals, people and running a business.  I tried to take in as much knowledge and advice from James as I could. One of the key aspects of Lord Cattle is Low Stress Stockhandling, which he is so passionate about and helped me to understand and develop techniques when working with cattle. It was also great to work with the new manager Ben when he arrived, who brought a whole new perspective on things.
I had so many different experiences and learnt so much while I was there. The staff was exceptional, everybody was from different backgrounds bringing their own skills to share with the team. I have come away from May Downs with a great understanding of how a cattle station operates, beef production, cattle behaviour, mustering, vehicle maintenance, welding, etc.
The accommodation and facilities were excellent. We had our very own cottage that was perched on top of a hill with great sunrises over the hills and farm yards, and in the evening, sunsets that were perfect to watch set while having a few beers. There was also plenty of time for social events amongst all the work with BBQ’s every Friday evening and plenty of games!
After six unforgettable months at May Downs, it was time to move on and discover the east coast.
Thank you to the Lord Family and everybody that I worked with.
Declan Allman

Karen Barry- 2014
It is with many fond memories that I look back on my time spent as cook/gardener at May Downs.

It is with many fond memories that I look back on my time spent as cook/gardener at May Downs.
I came to Australia on a working holiday visa and accepted the position at May Downs in order to secure my second year visa. I intended to work the required 3 months. Little did I know I’d spend 6 months there and only leave because of visa restrictions!
I had no idea what to expect and was undoubtedly a little nervous as I boarded the plane to Mount Isa. My first impression of the station was how friendly and welcoming everyone was. From the minute you set foot on May Downs you are made feel completely at home and part of the family.
What made May Downs so special for me was how patient, kind and eager to help me everyone was. Who’d have thought I could whip up some Billy tea, care for the pottys, change a tyre… People back home still can’t believe it!
By day we worked hard and always rewarded ourselves with a few beers at the end of the day. There’s a great social scene at May Downs . Friday night was BBQ night and usually ended up with a sing song, poker game or the classic game of Bendy Downy Picky Uppy!!!
It was an experience of a lifetime and something that will stay with me for many years to come.


Darren Thomson
My time at May Downs 2011 | Here are a few words that came to mind.
Darren Thomson 2011

My time at May Downs is nothing short of an adventure.
Upon arriving, with no real bush experience, I was slightly nervous, not knowing what to expect. However nerves soon disappeared when I was welcomed into their family environment.
Whilst being here I have learnt that the running of May Downs is a process that relies all elements of the property to be working in conjunction with the each other. A lot of time was invested in us to ensure that we could all uphold May Downs High standards of operation. From maintaining bores, fencing, servicing vehicles , to Low Stress Cattle Handling. All aspects of working the property was entrusted to us.
I have been exposed to some extraordinary things and some amazing people that I will never forget.
Darren Thomson

Matthew Price
My name is Matthew Price I am 24 and come from Cornwall in the south west of England . 2006

I decided to come to oz after I was made redundant from my last job back in September 2006, I had a lump sum of money and no commitments so I applied for a 1 year working visa and boarded a plane on the 21 November 2006 to Sydney .
After 8 weeks of hard partying and traveling in nsw, Victoria, south Australia and lower Qld.... I ran out of money!!

I got myself on the visit Oz training program and got my first job on a farm in north nsw, mainly tractor driving and was there for 5 months.
I left that job at the end of June and spent the next 4 weeks traveling up the coast of Qld, sailing the Whitsunday islands and diving the barrier reef, up to Townsville and over to magnetic island and relaxed for a few days.
I then headed up to cairns where I did a 14,000ft skydive which was an amazing experience.
I then headed back to airley beach to meet up with some old friends and once again had blown all my money!! But it was a fun 4 weeks.

I soon accepted my next job with Philip and Susan at Nottingham downs farm.
First impressions were great with good accommodation and a friendly vibe about the couple. I mainly worked with Philip who I have learnt many new skills from, many things from welding, oxy cutting, fencing and mustering cattle which were particularly interesting learning about the psychology and behaviour of cattle.
I always felt comfortable and relaxed working with Philip which in my experience courses alot less mistakes and stress which makes it easier to learn and work.

I have been very well looked after and fed with some lovely meals cooked by Susan, so good I been putting on abit of weight!!
I am leaving soon and heading down to Melbourne and the coast (not sure which one yet) to spend the last four weeks in Oz surfing and relaxing in the sun before going home to cold England to spend xmas with my family.
My plan is to return in early January 2008 with my second 1 yr working visa and also want to enquire about completing my pilots Licence as I am about half way through and have a strong passion for flying.

My plans for the next few years are to travel as much as I can around the world, have many adventures and meet some great people and nice women!! Then I suppose settle down get married have some kids grow old and die!!
Thanks for putting up with me for the last 3 months
Luv Pommy Matt xxx