Dreaming in the Dust

Jim and Bev Elliott, the new caretakers at Broken Hill Racecourse, are embracing their unexpected journey in our unique remote region.

Originally planning just an overnight stay in the Hill enroute to Timbuctoo, they now find themselves living the dream, cherishing the land, the lifestyle, the people, and the community spirit.

“Last year in Sydney, we retired from the Ministry in Campbelltown where Jim was Pastor of the Presbyterian Church for 20 years and I’d been a medical researcher for many years, but we weren’t quite sure where we were going to settle down,” Bev told the Barrier Truth when we dropped by for a cuppa and a chat after meeting at the recent Silver City Cup.

“We always wanted to travel so we bought a caravan and a vehicle in two days,” Jim told us. “Our three kids thought we’d lost our marbles, but we downsized and put our possessions in storage and headed off to explore the country in October,” said Jim.

“Broken Hill was just an overnight stop, but we got chatting with the previous caretakers here and found out there was a job available so the next day we both had a job, and we couldn’t be happier with our decision to stay awhile.”

“We dearly miss our three kids and five grandchildren, but I love it here at the racecourse. I love horses – for me to smell horse poo is really refreshing,” laughed Bev. “No seriously, I go down to the stables and inhale the smells of my childhood and feel right at home.”

“I grew up in central Australia on an Aboriginal community where my father was a station manager and my mother was a teacher and taught Pitjantjatjara,” shared Jim. “So I developed deep respect for country and culture and I’ve always been particularly fond of remote communities. We generally stay away from the east coast and prefer to explore the wide-open spaces of more remote communities and support their local economies.”

“We know we’re ‘from away’ and we’ll never be A-graders,” laughed Bev, “But we’re feeling very accepted and grateful to be getting to know our way around this special city with such a fascinating history.”

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