Now here’s a man I admire. One of our Outback heroes who battles climate, soil and markets in order to put the food on our collective tables.
Here is what his wife Helen proudly says about her lovely Man. (He calls her his Bride. How lovely is that?)
“Pete comes from a long line of property owners, fourth generation in the Longreach Muttaburra area. His Father was on a family block out of Muttaburra when Pete born, he is the youngest of four children and at the age of two they moved up the road to a new block.
WE married in 1985 having two children and the family bought their fourth property in 1989, just as the Floor price was taken off the wool. Then one of the biggest droughts hit our area leaving us in finical ruin. We had to sell 2 of the properties to keep the banks happy.
We finally decided I would go back into town to work as we had two children at boarding school and then Pete got a job as a Rural Lands Officer in the small town of Ilfracombe. This meant he was away all week and going back up to the property on the weekends. A hard life but one that finally led him to working for Desert Channels Queensland.”
And for his dogged dedication to his calling, he received a 2016 Landcare Award…and this is what was reported in Queensland Country Life
“For Longreach’s Peter Spence, killing weeds and feral animals isn’t a job, it’s a calling.
The unassuming man is synonymous with the Desert Channels Queensland brand, a product of the old school where you didn’t ask anyone to do something you aren’t prepared to do yourself, and his dedication was rewarded at the DCQ Legends of Landcare dinner on Friday night.
In making the presentation, CEO Leanne Kohler said Peter epitomised the Landcare ethic, demonstrating it before it even had a name.
“He inherited it from his father, who believed you left country in better condition than what you found it,” she said. “In his jobs since leaving the land, Peter has shown that this Landcare ethic has never left him.”
“He understands the country, the issues and the people, developing relationships with landholders and shire officers, and generating a calm sense of hope and optimism that prickly acacia can be beaten,” Ms Kohler said. “There hasn’t been a landholder approached under the program who hasn’t agreed to come on board.”
He was one of a few given accolades at the Legends of Landcare awards dinner held at the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach last Friday.”