What is a Jackaroo or a Jillaroo?

What is a Jackaroo or a Jillaroo?

Ever dreamt of having an authentic lifestyle experience in outback Australia? It’s easy enough to jump on a train or plane and see famous landmarks, such as Uluru or Lake Eyre. But, it’s something else altogether to live like a local.

Become a Jackaroo – or, if you’re a woman, a Jillaroo – and you’ll be doing just that.

These words refer to young people who head out to country areas in Australia to learn the ropes of working on a sheep or cattle station. Jackaroo’s and Jillaroo’s are trained as all-rounders, so you’ll also hear them being called “station hands”. You’ll often find Jackaroo or Jillaroo job vacancies in our farming jobs category, station jobs category and our second year visa jobs.

What skills will you learn as a Jackaroo or Jillaroo?

If you’re a late riser, then the first step will be to mend your ways. You’ll be expected to get up early and get to work. After all, that’s when farm life is at its busiest.

The rewards for getting out of bed are plentiful, though. You can expect to learn to ride a horse like the man from Snowy River (well, not quite, but you get the gist), muster wayward cattle or sheep, brand livestock (that means marking them with their owner’s ID) and lassoing (in other words, catching an animal with a rope).

When you’re not dealing with animals, you’ll be involved in other farm activities, such as building sheds and repairing fences. Come night time, you’ll be staring at more stars than you’ve ever seen before, hanging out around campfires and learning to make classic Aussie tucker, such as damper and billy tea.

As you’ve probably gathered by now, training as a Jackaroo or Jillaroo can be pretty intense, but it is also a whole lot of fun. It’s a lifestyle that you can’t experience anywhere else in the world.

What does the future hold for a Jackaroo or Jillaroo?

If you fall in love with being a Jackaroo or Jillaroo, then you might think about turning your work experience into a full-time job. Many trainees go on to become livestock station managers or owners. Down the track, you never know, you might just find yourself teaching your very own Jackaroo or Jillaroo apprentice.

Author: Matthew Heyes

Matthew Heyes is the founder of Backpacker Job Board. Currently based in Melbourne, Matthew originates from UK and came to Australia as a backpacker on a working holiday visa. It was during his time backpacking on the east coast of Australia that he built Backpacker Job Board. Find Matthew Heyes on Linkedin