‘There’s so much freedom out here’: life in the outback offers thrills, but population dwindles

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Just 266 people live in Barcoo shire, an area that covers almost 62,000 sq km. They’re bonded by strong community ties, forged through hardship

In March last year Doreen Pitman was mustering cattle on her 70,000-acre property in central west Queensland when the motorbike she was riding hit a wheel rut.

The grazier, now 62, was knocked unconscious as she hit the ground. “It might have only been a couple of seconds, it might have been a minute,” she says. “I wasn’t sunburned or anything so I wasn’t there for that long.”

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