Meet Aunt Annie: The incredible 97-year-old jillaroo

Aunt Annie from Lilla Creek Station.
Aunt Annie from Lilla Creek Station. contributed

BORE runner Peter Fraser recently sat down for a chat with Central Australian icon "Aunt Annie".

Part of the Fogarty and Costello pastoral families, Aunt Annie's amazing life story has been captured in this poem penned by Peter.

"Her life story would make a great read," Peter said.

"But she will never agree to that being written. I am grateful however that she has allowed me to write a poem and take some photos based on our conversations.

"The poem is not a creation of imagination, but rather a true story with a touch of humour and written in appreciation, inspiration and dedication to this grand old lady of our nation."


In a far flung corner of Australia's Northern Territory,

A brand new day is dawning and yet another glorious morning at Andado Station.

The jackaroos are stirring and the word has got around - "Aunt Annie" is on her way and has hitched a ride from town!

Swag in hand, boots and hat, yep there's only one like that.

Now you've heard of jillaroos - they come in all shapes and sizes.

But his one - WOW! I don't know how to say it. Ya just cannot help but love her.

She's everything, wrapped up in one.

This morning, the jackaroos even combed their hair!

I hear ya saying now - "hang on mate, hang on - what's so special about this chick?"

Well, if you'll listen, I'll tell you in a whisper - you know what I mean.

She's a lady to the highest extreme.

Step back now and follow me.

I'll take you behind the shed 'cause

I wouldn't want her to see me saying it.

A man could wake up dead!

Sssshhh … if ya promise me you won't say a word - I might even tell ya her name.

She originated from the Curry (Queensland fame)!

Just a little tacker in the year 1917 - she's 97 ya know!

They named her little Annie Esther Sarah Fogarty - then saddled up and to the Territory they came.

Now "Fogarty" - it's a household name in Central Australia and dear Aunt Annie - the oldest of them all, a legend for sure.

Now, ya know who I mean and yep she's been around since Adam was a boy.

There's nothing she doesn't know - does it all.

You'll find her in the garden, the kitchen, the laundry or the shed.

There she is now - in the workshop making billies for the men, sweeping up and putting tools away.

Ssshhh, if ya listen real careful now you may even hear her say -

"I don't know how they ever find a thing!

What do they do with all the billies?! Don't the buggers know that they are meant for making tea in - not for bolts and nuts.

Don't leave ya strides, shirts or undies laying around here, 'cause if ya do they'll be cut up … grease rags for the shed.

She's such a busy jillaroo and has done it all before, always ready to lend a hand with any chore.

Just another thing now, and ya needn't start trembling - but man, she's a crack-shot with a gun! Ya see, it grieves

her heart to see the little poddies bleeding, ripped and torn.

In fact I'm 99% sure that she even swore!

Like a flash she grabs the gun! (there's revenge in those eyes as she shoves one up the spout. I heard her say, I'll blow these mongrel wild dogs clean away! I jam my fingers in my ears - but too late, she's beaten me to the draw. My ears are still ringing.

The first shot was followed by another - the barrel's running hot and by her look of satisfaction I'm sure she hit the spot.

Now this lady I've been speaking of - she's a busy girl indeed and at 97 years (far too young to retire).

"Now dear I've sort of semi-retired - you know what I mean - instead of working 12 hour days - I'm happy with 10 now!"

Aunt Annie from Lilla Creek Station.
Aunt Annie from Lilla Creek Station. Contributed c

Topics:  editors picks farming northern territory rural

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