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Two Young Nomads (Meg and Ollie Clothier) spend honeymoon as caretakers on drought-affected farms

By Maddelin McCosker, Thursday November 19, 2020 - 10:20 EDT
ABC licensed image
The Clothiers joke that spending so much time together has been a good way to know they love each other. - ABC licensed

It's been a honeymoon with a difference for South Australian farmers Meg and Ollie Clothier.

Instead of the usual two-week trip to an exotic or far-away location, the young couple decided to dedicate 2020 to drought-affected farmers across the country.

"We wondered how we could help things," Mr Clothier said.

"We can't help the weather but we can help people and people's mindsets."

In the 12 months since they set off, the Two Young Nomads, as they are known, have clocked up more than 35,000 kilometres as volunteer caretakers.

For anywhere between one week and 10 days, the young couple caretakes a property, giving the owners a much-needed break.

While they are at a property, the Clothiers essentially take on the role of the grazier.

They feed the stock, check water points and fence lines, feed pets and water the gardens.

"We pretty well take off from where the farmer leaves," Ms Clothier said.

"We're doing pretty much everything that they need to keep the show running, so they can go away."

'Critical' help at the right time

For the graziers getting some time away, what the Clothiers are doing eases a massive burden on their shoulders.

Brendan McNamara runs sheep and cattle on a property south-west of Hughenden, more than 1,400 kilometres from Brisbane.

He has benefited firsthand from the Clothiers' work and said having them caretake the property was "critical".

"They're a great young couple and they need to be commended for what they're doing," Mr McNamara said.

"You can't just walk off and leave the place for a couple of days."

With the drought still stretching on, Mr McNamara said being able to leave his property and see different landscapes made a huge difference to his mental health.

"Most of us are pretty time-poor on properties these days, and to be able to get away for a period of time is great," he said.

"It is important in drought time to get off the property every so often, otherwise you're getting up every morning and you are looking at a drought situation.

"It's probably not good for your head, if you want to put it that way."

Extended honeymoon to help out

While the idea of living and working with your better half may be anxiety-inducing for some, Mr Clothier says it has been an adventure they will not forget.

"It's been crazy," he said

"It's one way to know we love each other."

The Clothiers will soon finish at their last property for 2020 in the Northern Territory before heading home for Christmas and some much-needed time with their families.

At this stage, the couple isn't sure if they will continue as the Two Young Nomads, but Ms Clothier said there were still plenty of opportunities to help farmers.

"The drought is not over," she said.

"There are still places that are being hit very hard and there are still lots of people that need a break."


© ABC 2020

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