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Working under the stars – a dream job for some

Stanbroke feedlot property

“Not everyone wants to work in the city,” says Ross Sticklen, which is just as well because his job is to recruit staff for cattle stations in some of the most remote areas to be found throughout the outback in Northern Queensland.

Sticklen is the Human Resources Manager with Australian beef producer Stanbroke which operates eight cattle stations in northern Queensland covering some 1.6 million hectares. The company also manages 46 properties in southern Queensland.

“There is no one type of person who is attracted to working on cattle stations,” Sticklen, who has worked at Stanbroke since 2005, explained. “Those drawn to agriculture can come from
diverse backgrounds. We attract Ag. College graduates, tradesmen and those off family properties wanting to develop a career in agriculture, to name a few.

“It’s more than horse work these days; a wide range of skills are required to work on a cattle station. We rely a lot on two wheel bikes and side-by-sides which we found much safer for our staff to operate.

“Everyone has some skill base and we like to develop and enhance their existing skills to a level that makes them feel confident to deal with or undertake any job assigned to them on one of our stations.

“We rate a good attitude as being essential; if you have that and get involved in what the company does you will have a great career in the industry.

“That said, when filling positions, we are upfront with people because we know it won’t suit everyone. The postings are remote and you will be hours from the nearest town.”

And it is this remoteness which is one of the toughest challenges facing some cattle properties competing for staff among what are usually small local populations and in Northern Queensland. This has been compounded in the past by the mining sector which is also competing for staff from the same small pool of locals.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that in Cloncurry for example, the nearest regional centre to four of Stanbroke’s cattle farms in northern Queensland, a full 10.8 per cent of the population is in agriculture with metal ore mining the only industry to engage more of the population than farming at 21.3 per cent.

“It is harder to attract people when the mining industry is booming,” Sticklen said. “Mining is one of the biggest employers in remote Queensland and no industry can compete with the
salaries they offer during boom times.

“But boom times don’t last as we have seen time and again and that’s where some people prefer the stability of ongoing, well-paid work at a company like Stanbroke.

“Stanbroke has the ability to offer experience in a wide range of skills and being a family owned integrated supply chain I believe is helping attract people back from mining.”

Sticklen was quick to point out that money was not the only driver for many people, with some preferring the quitter pace of life on the land.

“For some it’s about being on the land, away from the city and crowds of people and noise,” he said. “It suits some people and not others because it is much more than just a job; it is a
way of lifestyle and developing skills.”

Sticklen, who comes from a grazier background and has 42 years’ experience in the cattle industry, said the variety of jobs available with Stanbroke often included jillaroos and jackaroos, machinery operators, grader drivers and positions at the feedlot and meat processing.

Stanbroke also identify staff showing a desire to progress into more senior rolls within the company, giving them additional responsibility, training and exposure to keep staff retention
at high levels.

While cattle stations themselves are quite remote, Sticklen said the facilities offered at some these days are much more than most would expect including wi-fi, recreational clubs,
comfortable accommodation and meals provided.

And surprisingly, cattle stations – while located in some of the most isolated areas of Australia – are doing their best to reach gender parity with women accounting for around 42 per cent of the staff Stanbroke employ on their cattle stations.

“We are hoping to get that to 50-50,” Sticklen said. “It has been a male dominated industry in the past but we get a lot of women apply for positions and find they make great employees
because they have great attention to detail, they are good with the equipment and the livestock and they are resilient.

“While we hope to achieve gender parity, our focus will remain on the quality of staff we have because we understand that helps us to produce quality beef which is what we are all about.”

 

This article first appeared on HRD Australia

Black Hide at Treasury Casino dishing up 10/10 steaks

Black Hide Chef Thomas Bosselier

Black Hide by Gambaro at Treasury Casino in Brisbane’s CBD continues to impress diners and food critics alike, with rave reviews since opening in July 2018.

The elegant new steakhouse is the third iconic Brisbane restaurant by The Gambaro Group – the second to focus on beef as the hero cuisine.

The Gambaro Group exclusively sources Stanbroke beef to consistently dish up exceptional, world-class steaks, including one of the most extensive selections of Australian Wagyu and Angus steak cuts.

Black Hide Restaurant

In the recent review featured in the Courier Mail, senior restaurant critic Des Houghton gave the food at Black Hide at Treasury Casino a perfect 10/10 score.

He also rated the “fancy” established with “three handsomely decorated rooms with views to the Brisbane River and South Bank” as a 10/10 for service, 9 for ambiance and 9 for value.

He also credited Stanbroke for providing top-quality produce.

“And now Stanbroke is powering the Gambaro boys in their most ambitious project yet – a second Black Hide steakhouse at Treasury Hotel & Casino in Brisbane’s CBD,” he wrote.

Calling it a “hit parade of beef”, he highlighted “newcomers” on the menu “including Stanbroke’s export quality wagyu with a marble score of 9+” as well as the 200g eye fillet and 200g sirloin.

With a hard-to-beat overall 9.5/10 score, it’s clear this is Brisbane’s most exciting new dining experience yet, where exceptional steaks meet elegant ambiance.

Black Hide opening hours: Lunch Tuesday-Friday noon-3pm. Dinner Tues-Thursday 5.30-10pm; Fri-Sat 5.30-11pm; Sun 5.30-10pm.

Stanbroke awarded best steak in Southeast Queensland

Stanbroke Angus Tomahawk

Stanbroke has been named the best steak in Southeast Queensland by Courier Mail senior restaurant critic and “steak aficionado” Des Houghton.

In particular, it was Stanbroke’s 1200g Angus Tomahawk from the Darling Downs that took out the number one spot, which he enjoyed at the new Black Hide by Gambaro at Treasury Casino.

Houghton praised the cut as “Deeply satisfying” and said it “Knocks wagyu off its perch”.

“This is the steak a condemned man would happily eat as his last meal before he went to the gallows,” he said.

“It’s superb. It’s juicy, it’s flavoursome, it’s rich. It is the taste of Queensland.”

He also declared it a “better flavour than the Wagyu”, calling it a “triumph of Queensland cattle over genetically modified Japanese breeds”.

The Stanbroke 1200g Angus Tomahawk MB3+ is from pure Black Angus cattle from the Darling Downs that has been grain fed for 150 days.

Chef’s table in Singapore a huge success

Stanbroke Beef Black Angus

Pictured: Stanbroke’s Signature Black Angus OP Rib slow roasted for 12 hours

Stanbroke took part in the Classic Fine Foods Origins Party in Singapore on June 11, with Stanbroke beef featured for a Chef’s table.

The event showcases some of the finest produce in the world.

For the main course, guests enjoyed a Sanchoku Wagyu Tenderloin with stout onion puree and crispy beer malt, and Signature Black Angus OP Rib that was slow roasted for 12 hours.

The guest list included top global chefs and food and beverage suppliers, who all proved very interested to sample the Stanbroke beef products.

Hosted at craft-brewery LeVeL33, it offered a most beautiful setting to enjoy the world-class flavours: overlooking Singapore’s skyline and the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

Stanbroke’s Diamantina Wagyu Brisket a winner for Double Barrel BBQ

Double Barrel BBQ Team

At the recent Brisbane BBQ Festival, the Double Barrel BBQ team took out Grand Champion utilising Stanbroke Beef.

Stanbroke have recently come on board as a sponsor for the team, which has been competing in BBQ competitions in Australia and America for a number of years.

Other recent wins by the Double Barrel BBQ team with Stanbroke cuts include Bundaberg BBQ Battle (Grand Champions), The Bayside BBQ & Beer Roadshow (5th place), and most recently, Beef in the Vines in Port Macquarie (Reserve Grand Champions).

The Double Barrel BBQ team say they enjoy cooking with Stanbroke beef because of the great “overall quality”.

“We use the wagyu – the Diamantina Wagyu marble score 9 briskets,” said team member Adrian Blomfield.

“It’s consistently marbled which is good for low and slow bbq, it’s great size and thickness and the consistency of the product is always good.”

Soon, the Double Barrel BBQ team are off to compete in America.

“By winning the Brisbane BBQ competition, we got entry into the American Royal Invitational. Everyone who competes there has to have won a grand championship of a certain size to get in. There are teams from all over the world.”

He says they won the International Division when they competed at the American Royal in 2016.

Best of luck to the Double Barrel BBQ team!

Stanbroke helps Eddie’s Van share meals with those in need

Volunteers from Eddies's van with Stanbroke sausages

It’s a simple meal which means much more than just a good feed.

Each weekday morning, students and staff from St Joseph’s College in Brisbane’s Gregory Terrace run Eddie’s Van to serve a breakfast of sausages, eggs and buttered bread to between 25 and 45 homeless people.

“It allows homeless people in Brisbane to start their day off with a substantial meal and a conversation,” Paul Antenucci, Head of Campus Ministry at St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace said of the school’s involvement.

“Eddie’s Van helps to create a place a community and allows those attending to feel connected with others.

“While the boys are there to help, there is no question that doing so has a big impact on them. It helps them to understand the circumstance some of these people are in; we see them developing connections with each other.

“The program also leads to greater conversations within the school community about the issues of homelessness and social justice.”

The concept for Eddie’s Van was developed in 1998 staff & students of St Joseph’s College. Today, Eddie’s Van is a mainstay of comfort for Brisbane’s homeless.

Each day the school has four to five students volunteering at Eddie’s Van and there is a waiting list of other students who want to get involved as well.

The students are drawn from the Year 11 and 12 populations with some Year 10 students also participating. Each morning at 6.15, student volunteers meet up with two or three staff volunteers, regardless of the weather or season.

Eddie’s Van also has a presence on the street of a night, staffed by former students of St Joseph’s College serving tea, coffee and soup.

“Yesterday morning we took the new group of students to work at Eddie’s Van and they were all really intrigued,” Mr Antenucci said in early February. “And after a quick chat, they often find they have a lot in common.

“We find that serving a meal is a simple and practical way of helping both the physical health and morale of some of those living on the street. What we also really emphasise to our students is the importance of having a conversation and to have a consistent presence once they agree to be part of the program.

“Each year we have done this, we have found a little community is formed and genuine connections are made. There are some gentlemen I have been interacting with personally for nine years now.”

Mr Antennuci said programs such as Eddie’s Van could only exist with the support of companies which donate food supplies and funding, including Stanbroke.

“Stanbroke has been a supporter of ours for six years now and provides all the sausages which are served for breakfast,” he explained.

“The company has also provided financial support for Eddie’s Van. It is that kind of support which makes our program sustainable.

“And it is clear these programs are important and they matter.”

Stanbroke’s Managing Director Brendan Menegazzo said the company was incredibly proud to support those in the community most in need while also building empathy and understanding in tomorrow’s future leaders.

Eddie’s Van can be found opposite the Brisbane Private Hospital on Wickham Terrace each weekday morning from 7am.

Class is in as Stanbroke takes beef lovers to Steak School

Angus Tomahawk

One of Australia’s largest beef producers is bucking the trend when it comes to marketing with the launch of their new Steak School digital platform.

In what is a rare move for an Australian beef producer, Stanbroke has launched a new interactive website designed to educate, entertain and engage meat-eaters.

Steak School includes articles, blogs and videos about the best cuts of meat for specific dishes, the best way to cook a perfect steak and loads of recipes.

“The philosophy behind Steak School is to share, inspire, connect and educate,” Stanbroke’s marketing manager Jonathan Elsley said.

“We didn’t want to speak at our customers, we wanted to speak with them; engage in a conversation about our mutual love of beef. We also wanted to provide a platform that added value through education rather than selling.

“Beef is such a premium source of protein and so many don’t want to ruin a good piece of steak by overcooking it. Unfortunately this can create fear, leaving many meat-eaters to opt for safe or known cuts and tried and tested recipes.

“We want to move away from that and just talk about a delicious cut of beef. At the end of the day, the first step in cooking a good piece of steak is buying a good piece of steak.”
Elsley said Stanbroke didn’t have to look far for inspiration for its new marketing approach.

“We were very much inspired by the wine industry and their approach to connecting with their customers,” he said. “Over the past 20 to 30 years the wine industry has taken an educational and awareness-driven approach to help people better understand their product and hopefully learn to enjoy it more.”

Elsey said while Australians had happily included beef as part of their weekly menu for generations, there is still plenty of scope to educate about how to get the best flavour out of your beef.

“The website was designed to be interactive,” he said. “Through Steak School we hope to encourage beef-eaters to reconsider what are often referred to as ‘secondary cuts’. Terms like this are misleading and our sector has really done itself a disservice by using the term because they are not flawed cuts of meat; it’s the complete opposite as they often have such beautiful beefy flavours and attributes.”

Steak School was developed for Stanbroke by digital agency The Content Division. Its director of strategy, Kurt Sanders, said the role of Steak School is gloriously straightforward.

“Steak School is an entertaining, educational conduit between the people Stanbroke talks to every day – chefs, butchers, beef experts, smoke BBQ masters – and consumers who either love beef, but are confused by it or just want to know more about cooking it,” he said.

Sanders said Steak School was driven by what beef eaters wanted rather than what the industry wanted.

“The beef industry in Australia is very traditional,” he said. “What Stanbroke is doing with Steak School is innovative for such a traditional market. It provides a strong and trusted platform that engages and creates advocacy.

“It shows that Stanbroke has an eye on what the future consumer looks like.”

Steak School has engaged with some of Australia’s top chefs to share their learnings through easy to use recipes and tips on how to buy and prepare certain cuts.

The Content Division has also engaged with key influencers and well-known barbecue masters to road test lesser-known cuts and share their knowledge and tips.

Further content will include videos, short and concise articles and events all with one goal – to educate and raise awareness about good quality beef.

“Stanbroke’s products are of insanely high quality, and we had to do something very special to ensure we maintain that quality while continuing their ethos of working directly with their consumers,” Sanders said.

“Instead of opting for long-winded pieces of writing that go into great detail, we have opted for engaging content that cuts straight to the point and answers questions that we all have.

“By creating an authoritative, but fun platform we believe Steak School will become the go-to destination when it comes to beef. Despite only just launching we are already seeing such a strong organic presence and engagement level.”

 

This article first appeared on Beef Central.