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The Servants Beneath the Stairs

August 10th, 2008 by Viv

The Weekend Australian Magazine of 2 Aug 2008 lists 13 people for us to admire – “The Quiet Achievers” they are called. They comprise a social worker, a life saver, a body builder, a swimmer, a conservationist, a scientist, two doctors, a judge, a banker, a writer, a saleswoman and a judge. These are all admirable people, no doubt, and excellent in their field. But they are all from the service or performing industries – the beautiful people on the balcony, admiring the view. Maybe you should now highlight the people who actually get their hands dirty and make things – “The Servants Beneath the Stairs”. Here is another dozen people who will relate to many Australians outside the capital cities:

  • The cow cockie on his quad bike in the frosty predawn getting the cows to produce the milk for the day’s cappuccino.
  • The tattooed truckie moving vegies to the markets before dawn.
  • The grimy miner in the underground gloom at Mt Isa, blasting copper for the iPod.
  • The ringers along the Barcoo mustering steers that will provide the tender steak tonight.
  • The widowed descendant of the pioneer cattleman trying to keep the station together despite drought, fuel costs, land claims, vegetation laws and government thieves who have resumed half of her land “for conservation”.
  • The despised pig farmer shoveling muck and caring for tomorrow’s bacon.
  • The grazier’s wife trying to save six ewes and ten lambs mauled last night by mongrel dogs that live next door in the national park.
  • The engineer in the control room at the power station managing the swings in the power grid as a million toasters, heaters and TV’s wake up every morning.
  • The lady running the Woollies store who juggles suppliers, truckies, fickle consumers, traffic jams, price watchers and media critics to make sure that every day, every shelf is full of all the real things we need every day.
  • The driller on the big rig, and the geo in the dirt logging cores, both searching down below for tomorrow’s coal and oil.
  • The fisherman on the cold slippery deck hauling in nets of fish for our lunch.
  • The logger getting timber and abuse for giving us building material for houses, fences and furniture.

We have celebrated “The Rich and Powerful” and “The Beautiful People on the Balcony”. Now let’s see a tribute to “The Servants beneath the Stairs”.

Viv Forbes

Farmer & Geologist

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