#009 Regenerating Land & Food Systems

A conversation with Frances Jones from remote Wooleen Station


“Cattle, sheep, prosperity, first Australians, land on a knife edge, the politics of food and a struggle for future sustainability. An outback eco-tourism experiment that challenges a hundred years of European orthodoxy.” - Wooleen Station

Wooleen Station. Pic: Nic Duncan.

Wooleen Station. Pic: Nic Duncan.

And this guy, he had mastered growing grass, ponding banks, waterflow on his property, having predators in the landscape, you know, he had it all, and, he had fat cows that he was trucking out, whilst all of his neighbours were in the midst of drought. And that’s what made Dave realise that, maybe, it can be done. Maybe there is a way that we can learn to sustainably produce from the landscape.
— Frances Jones

That’s from the flyer at the remote Wooleen Station, where David Pollock and Frances Jones have radically destocked the land to regenerate it, after more than a century of degradation. Despite a moving story of nearly going broke, dealing with out-dated laws, and the politics around re-introducing a natural predator, they’re finding ways to continue their vital project, and producing some really incredible outcomes.

So it was great to visit them, learn more about what they’re up to, and what it means not just for them, but for the broader transition to sustainable, flourishing societies. 

Joining Anthony for a chat in the garden of the beautiful Wooleen Homestead, here’s Station Co-Manager, Frances Jones.

Note: John Forrest was the first premier of the state of Western Australia.

Production by Ben Moore & Anthony James.

Get more:

Wooleen Station.

Wooleen Station Facebook page, including recent posts on the Native Title determination, the remarkable return of kangaroo grass, and links to the Australian Story programs on Wooleen by ABC TV. 

Article on the Auditor General’s report released this month – ‘Control of pastoral leases ‘bigger than Western Europe’ failing’.

Listen to podcast #016 for a live panel conversation in Melbourne featuring Frances & David, with Charles Massy.



Love Serenade, by The Waifs.

Let Them Know, by the Public Opinion Afro Orchestra.

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Economy, Food, SystemsSuzie Wells