Mick Estens grew up in Coonabarabran NSW. He writes that the land and its people were always with and around him in his youth. In school holidays he would travel with his uncle’s shearing team witnessing “hard men of the outback carrying out there trade”. Stockmen, the shearers, drovers, the horse breakers, contract fencers.
Mick Estens is an uncle to three Kamilaroi nephews from NSW and this family connection has given him exposure to problems and racism that other people in this country do not experience. He writes that he “hates the fact that the colour of one’s skin can have a bearing on their future”.
He left home at a young age to work on Moola Bulla cattle station in the Kimberley. It was while in the Kimberley region that he was taught cattle and horse skills “by knowledgeable old Aboriginal stockmen”.