I’m no expert, but educating teens for close to a decade has taught me a thing or two about the next generation. Each and every year I meet a special someone whose experiences and approach to life leaves me questioning how they’re possibly going to benefit from me teaching the difference between a simple and complex sentence. Although their trials and tribulations may vary, each individual is quite simply wise beyond their years and I find myself becoming the student in their presence.
Rockhampton Grammar School Senior, Remy Streeter, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in May this year, is definitely no exception. At just 17 years of age, she has had to endure more than her fair share of challenges; none greater than losing her dad Kearin in November, 2016 after he lost his five-year battle with a genetic lung condition. Whilst the tragedy understandably turned Remy’s world upside down, she has not allowed it to define her. Instead, she has sought inspiration from her mum Beth whose repeated sacrifices, stoicism and strength in the face of adversity defy belief.
Following high school, Beth was all set to follow her career dream to study law before life unpredictably intervened. “My mum is very intelligent but she never got the chance to study law because her father became really sick and she moved back home to look after the place.” Her decision to sacrifice her career ultimately led to Beth meeting Kearin. A stroke of fate that Remy acknowledges, “it’s crazy to think that the hand she was dealt was what allowed her to meet dad in the first place.” However, from that chance meeting, the Streeters became a formidable team determined to cultivate their own success.
The 3000 acre Streeter family property situated at “Mt Slopeaway,” Marlborough, Central Queensland is home to the renowned Palmvale Red Brahman Stud. Running approximately 300 breeders with a strong focus on quality not quantity, has contributed to the demand for Palmvale genetics, both at home in Australia and abroad, and ensured the stud remains a force to be reckoned with annually at Brahman Week. Selling on average 20 stud bulls, in addition to private herd bull and heifer sales throughout the year, Palmvale Brahmans averaged $11,400 in sales at this year’s Brahman Week with their top exhibit receiving an impressive $42,500. Such results have cemented Palmvale Brahmans as a top ten vendor consistently for the last ten years; no small feat.
With a strong reputation in the Beef Cattle Industry, it is not surprising that Remy chose to follow in her parent’s footsteps. Aged 10, Remy was introduced to showing cattle by her mum who helped her break in the initial show team. Meanwhile, her dad taught her how to dehorn and brand the cattle and she has been performing those tasks since she was just 12 years old. It didn’t take long for Remy’s passion for cattle to develop and she quickly transitioned to breaking in her own show cattle team and taking full responsibility for her own stud – Palmvale R Red Brahmans. While the Brahman breed will always remain Remy’s first love, the family’s decision to expand their stud prefix to accommodate the Droughtmaster breed proved to be hugely successful with their first ever Droughtmaster bull offered at the 2017 Droughtmaster National fetching $30,000 and an impressive average of $14,300 for three bulls. It is Remy’s experience and expertise with stud cattle, regardless of the breed, that has seen Remy deservingly afforded many remarkable opportunities.
One such milestone was being invited by Brett Nobbs, winner of Champion of the World, to tour the keystone Brahman studs in Texas, America. Accompanied by her mum, Remy flew into Dallas Fort Worth before travelling to Navasota and surrounds for seven days to visit a variety of studs. A highlight being the internationally acclaimed J.D. Hudgins Family ranch, founded in 1908, and responsible for exhibiting grey Brahman cattle for the past 80 years. Remy describes the whole trip as an “amazing learning experience” which allowed her to appreciate the differences between the American and Australian markets and make more informed genetic decisions regarding her own stud. An opportunity that is sure to ensure that Palmvale R Red Brahmans stays progressive and adaptable for their buyers.
In a year characterised by successes, Remy was appointed Captain of Rockhampton Grammar School Show Team; a position she has relished. The mentoring nature of the role allows Remy to share her wisdom to guide and teach the younger students who haven’t had as much exposure or experience with cattle. She’s also responsible for pulling into line anyone who might be doing the wrong thing or putting themselves unknowingly into a dangerous predicament. Certainly, the role is formal recognition of Remy’s maturity.
In spite of the hardships and added distractions Remy has faced, her determination, resilience and commitment have ensured she has undoubtedly made the most of all the opportunities that have come her way. Her measured approach to life and unwavering optimism going forward is refreshing and inspiring for someone in their final year of schooling. Thank you for the life lessons you imparted during our interview and all the best for what promises to be an amazing future. There’s no doubt both your parents are incredibly proud of the young woman you are!
Would you rather…
Sunrise or sunset? Sunset
Summer or winter? Summer
Cat or dog? Dog
TV or book? Book
Night out or night in? Night out
Is your glass half full or half empty? Half full
Favourite karaoke song? Shania Twain – Man I feel like a woman
How would your best friends describe you? Outgoing – I’m a pretty loud person and I’m not afraid to speak up if I think something is wrong. I guess I know what is right and are capable enough to get the job done.
If you could learn to do anything what would it be? I’d love to learn to be able to ride a horse really well and campdraft.
What is your strongest personal quality? The compassion I have for others.
Name three inspirational women you admire and why.
- My Mum. My mum Beth inspires me most of all! I admire her for her strength and resilience; she definitely has to be one of the toughest women I know. She has been through hell and back and had to deal with a huge amount of stress, especially when caring for my father in his illness. My life would be complete if I became even half the woman she is.
- Miranda Lambert. From a very young age I have always admired Miranda and the way I can really connect to her music. I love the way she sings from the heart and I adore her bad ass, tough girl attitude. She is someone I aspire to be like every day.
- Renee Rutherford. I have known Renee for most of my life and since I was very young I always wanted to be like her. She has always been a very capable woman and sets such a good example for women in agriculture and shows people that women are just as capable as men.
What’s your fondest childhood memory? Sitting on the couch with dad and the property atlas looking at the different surrounding properties. I’d ask him about their size, who owns them and who has owned them. I always found it very interesting. That’s one of the little things I miss most.
Who’s had the biggest influence on you? My mum! She’s an incredibly awesome woman. She’s come from not knowing much about the stud background to learning everything from my dad. She’s really, really capable and I don’t know where I would be without her. From the time dad was diagnosed, he was at home. That’s part of the reason I admire my mum’s strength because in addition to running the farm and having me away at boarding school, she was caring full time for him.
Ever since my father passed away last year, she has learnt to do absolutely everything and taken on every role she has needed to. Although many people questioned, “what are you going to do? Are you going to sell the place?” Mum was already running the place for the last few years when dad had been so sick. She’s had to put up with a lot, but she has come out on top and together we’ve managed to just keep doing it.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? It was really hard to lose my dad. He’s been the person who has taught me absolutely everything and it’s really hard to get used to the fact that he’s not there when I need to ask questions and get his advice when I’m stuck or trying to work out the next step.
What’s your greatest achievement? Being nominated to associate judge the Droughtmaster ring at the Brisbane Ekka this year was such an honour and excited me greatly. It was made all the better by being able to stand beside my lifelong friend and mentor, Renee Rutherford who is responsible for teaching me so much of what I know about judging and parading cattle. Standing beside her to oversee the best Droughtmaster cattle in the state was an absolute privilege and not an experience I am likely to forget or stop learning from anytime soon.
What’s something most people don’t know about you and would be surprised to find out? I sing and play guitar in my spare time.
What are your plans after school? I’ve decided to stay home until Beef Week is over because we’re going to have a trade site and I want to work on that. Afterwards, I’m very keen to go to the Northern Territory for a mustering season to get some more experience and broaden my horizons. Once I turn 18, I am going to America where I will be working for V8 Ranch which is a stud I visited in my trip earlier this year. I think working on a few different properties would allow me to see the varied approaches of people and I could see what I could implement into my own stud.
Sincere thanks to Trudy Graham for nominating Remy to be interviewed.
- Image 1 - Kel Butterworth from Queensland Country Life
- Image 7 - Jenny Underwood and Kent B Ward