Bunbury-based veterinarian and devout Hay Park Cricket Club volunteer Graham Harradine has called the South West “home” since 1980.

However for the Queenslander, two journeys arguably have played a part in shaping where he is today.

“I’ve always had a passion for biological sciences,” he said. “And when I left school, I spent a year as a jackaroo for 12 months.

“I was very fortunate that I worked out on a small station in south-western Queensland (about 100km south of Charleville), which was family owned.

“They loved their horses, cattle and sheep. I learnt an awful lot in the time I was there. My parents also had farming backgrounds anyway, so I was always probably leaning towards that type of thing anyway.”

The second journey came after Graham had completed his tertiary education at the University of Queensland.

“At the end of fourth year, two of my student colleagues and I decided we’d like to do a trip around Australia,” he said.

“So we bought an old Toyota LandCruiser and the three of us drove around Australia but we all had to fit in some practical work placements during our holiday to fulfil the requirements of our university course.

“The University of Queensland arranged for me to do some prac work here in Bunbury and I came here and met Mike Sier.

“I did a couple of weeks of work with him and after two weeks, he offered me a job later in the year. I went to Victor Harbour in South Australia for six months, came back and I’ve been here ever since.”

Growing up in Brisbane, Graham also swam competitively for many years as a junior.

“I enjoyed it,” he said. “Although I sort of suffered from it a little bit as a lot of them do at age 16 or 17. I burnt out a bit as I’d been swimming competitively for eight or nine years at that stage.

“I had enough, so I let it lapse a bit.

“I placed in Brisbane metropolitan championships in breaststroke as a primary school kid. I won the age championships at ‘Churchie’ (Anglican Church Grammar School), which was the high school that I went to. That was based around all strokes.”

Although happy living in Bunbury, there are still some elements back in Queensland which stay firmly in Graham’s mind.

“Definitely my family,” he said.

“They are over in that part of the world. I miss the mountains — I love getting up into Lamington National Park up in the Gold Coast hinterland — along with Binna Burra and places like that.

“I just love getting up there amongst the mountains and trees; it’s just fantastic.”