Helen Short

B. 1952

My father and his brothers worked together in partnership as farmers. They decided to buy farms that were undeveloped and then improve them to on sell. As a result, we moved around a lot when I was young. We always lived on the land. After my brother and I did our chores, we were free to roam around with our cousins. When I was seven years old, we moved from Tintinara in South Australia to a wheat farm at Jimbour on the Darling Downs. We weren’t allowed to wander too far on that farm. There was a big dam in the far corner of the property and our parents told us there was a crocodile that lived in it. So, we never, ever went near the dam. We then moved to Blanchetown on the Murray River in South Australia. We had a fantastic time there as kids. We would play amongst the cliffs and lagoons that bordered the river, go rabbiting and ride around on old motorbikes. We moved again, this time to Walcha on the NSW Northern Tablelands. One day, I jumped on the back of an old racehorse, Gary. When I turned his head for home he took off and frightened the living daylights out of me. I managed to pull him up eventually, but I think it was the last time I rode a horse. I didn’t like leaving my friends each time we moved, but we made new friends quickly and I loved the different places we lived. My grandfather, Albert Fuss, invented the world’s first airseeder in 1956, which went on to revolutionise crop planting world-wide. We moved to Toowoomba in 1969 so my father and his brothers could help manufacture the machines as part of the family business, Gyral Implements Pty Ltd. I was 16 at the time and didn’t like the thought of starting again at another new school. I enrolled in a two-year business certificate at the then Queensland Institute of Technology and worked in a dress shop on the weekends. I then had the opportunity to spend three months in New Guinea helping my aunt and uncle who were missionaries there. We flew in little planes to deliver supplies to the different villages. I’m grateful for all the places I’ve seen and lived. I believe my life has been enriched by all the travel.

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