Home' Capricornus Quarterly : CQ July 2018 Contents Outback
and out front Shannon Landmark
Born in Mt Isa to parents in the mining industry,
Shannon studied Veterinary Science at the
University of Sydney, deferring for a while to
be a Jillaroo on a NT property, Delamere. Upon
graduation she worked at a dairy practice
around the Atherton Tablelands and then moved
to Charters Towers to work with beef cattle.
Currently, Shannon coordinates the Northern
Genomics Project at The Queensland Alliance for
Agriculture and Food
at the University of
Her work involves
more than 30,000
head of cattle, their
genetics and genomic
Shannon took a leap of faith outside
of her regular surrounds to chase
her career goals. She shares:
Work Hard: Not much worth having in
life is just handed to you, so you must
work hard. It ’s very rarely about natural
talent or intelligence but more about grit,
resilience and persistence. Be prepared to
have your head down for the long haul.
Challenge Yourself: At the edge of your comfort
zone is where you will really grow... expose
yourself to as much variety as you can. It
takes a lot of guts to walk into a completely
novel situation but you will learn so much more
from it than doing the same thing every day.
Keep Good Friends Close: You are the average
of the six people you spend the most time
with. This means stay in contact with good
friends, good teachers and your family.
“Taking this current job has been a huge
learning experience and one I have really
enjoyed. I travel a fair bit having done
25,000kms since the start of this year.
“Straight A’s aren’t the only way to get yourself
into a course you want, there are many ways
around it and it’s those that want to be there
and work hard that come out on top in the
end,’’ Shannon told breakfast guests.
Starting out in Goondiwindi, Joy attended
university in Armidale and attained a teaching
degree. An avid sportswoman, she now lives
100km west of Longreach – married with four
children – and is the force behind Off the Track
Training, a health and fitness programme
for people who live in isolated communities.
It began as a spark “whilst out running with
four bras and four million flies on a dirt road,”
she explains. Using what you have in your
own house or backyard, the programme
can be designed for all fitness levels and
starts with small with achievable, simple
steps built around the individual’s lifestyle.
“To look back and see
how your pathway in
life is paved makes
me seriously believe
that every decision
and choice we
make is leading us
greater,’’ Joy said.
“Someone once said to me that you can only
join the dots behind you, not in front, so trust
what you are doing right now and believe in
yourself to make the best possible choices.”
As a senior student of Goondiwindi State High
School, Joy remembers her principal saying
that if you looked back at your schooling years
as the best years of your life then you haven’t
given life a real go.
“Our life, and every single
aspect of it, is determined
by one thing – our desire.
you truly believe that
then you seriously feel
you know it’s not about
the cards you’ve been
dealt but all about
your own personal
desire and attitude.
Joy believes people can
achieve when they place
variables aside and work
with what they have.
“On that note, remember always that ‘when
you knock on the door of opportunity, it is
work that answers’ (Brendon Burchard).”
“ You must understand that what you want
comes about by doing the work. No amount of
wishing or hoping will make it happen. You have
to do the work. Go forth and make life happen!”
Beryl founded the John & Beryl Neilsen
Winchester Foundation in 2011 to provide
assistance to children living in rural and
regional areas with their education. Since
then she has helped hundreds – including
RGS Students - - attend special learning
programmes and achieve Primary, Secondary
and Tertiary qualifications. Last year 147
girls and boys from Brigalow District,
Capricornia School of Distance Education,
School of Distance
Education and St.
participated in the
by the Foundation.
Beryl Neilsen was not born to
the land but feels lucky to live the
country lifestyle she thrives in.
She owes much to her “fantastic
mother-in-law, Jessie” who helped
her acclimate to the land and “taught
me all things I needed to know.”
Beryl and her late husband, John, had a dream
to help country children stay at school when
times were very bad. When he passed away
in 1989, Beryl was determined to preserve
what was entrusted to her, with the hope that
others would be able to benefit along the way.
“I am a stronger person despite all the
hard times. Loans, droughts, floods and a
storm in 1987 that took out the Homestead;
destocking and building again and mining
companies that seemed to think that I
should jump at the chance to sell to them.
No way! Winchester is my home.”
With Foundation trustees Cliff Flor and
John Formosa, Secretary Judy Harris
and Ambassador Ruth Bethel, “We have
advanced beautifully,” explains Beryl.
Follow your dreams, she says, even if that
means stepping outside your comfort zone.
“I am so proud of all Winchester
recipients. I truly love to see the progress
being made to close the gap between
cit y-country education. There is still
a lot of work to be done.”
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