This book is less than two hundred pages. But its sixteen chapters pack a wallop. Indeed, The Flying Bushman will surprise you. Just about the time you think you know where it’s headed, it pulls a sudden U-turn and you wind up in terra incognita. But wherever you wind up, count on one thing: It’ll brim with power and pathos. Be saturated in rich, feral beauty. And include writing that will make you want to catch the next flight to the Land Down Under as soon as possible. Like, tomorrow.
A remarkable book that you’ll want to reach for again and again. This one’s a keeper!
“Greg Keynes has done a magnificent job in putting the memories of his tough, eventful and fascinating life into print and it is a book that is not easy to put down. He has fitted his life stories (and there are a lot) into a book that people will find totally fascinating. His memories are accurately recalled and recorded and provide an insight of life in the real Australian bush (travelling long distances on poor roads, isolation and the difficulties associated with living far from the comforts many of us are accustomed to). From home schooling, leaving home at nine and a half to attend a Hale school in the city (originally knowing no one) and leaving after a successful secondary school life, working on the land, flying a mustering helicopter (and suffering subsequent serious injuries) and running his own business; it is all there. Well told and well-remembered. It is worth a read.”
A birds-eye view of life on the land in outback Australia. The challenges, the hardships, and the incredible rewards of a rural lifestyle.
The Flying Bushman is a nonfiction memoir of outback Australia aerial mustering with a chopper and lots of family/ friends experiences along the way. It’s the warts and all and the pleasure and the pain of the isolation and regions of living and scratching a living out of the oldest and toughest place on the planet.
A love story with a girl from Perth and the city was sweet until one day a routine muster in the rugged Hammersley Ranges went horrible wrong. Battling terrible injuries from a bad chopper crash could greg recover to ever walk again, bringing the wild and ancient Pilbara landscapes to life.
The Flying Bushman is more than just an outback memoir, it’s a reminder of the true Australian spirit, resilience and courage which makes us who we are.
In this self-published memoir, The Flying Bushman, Greg Keynes relates the tale of a life lived large with courage, innovation, and dogged hard work.
He grew up as the first son of a sheep and beef producing family on Curbur Station, in the Murchison region of Western Australia in the 1960s and 70s. Greg paints vivid pictures of the vast landscape, the amazing diversity of the native flora and fauna, and the efforts that early Australian settlers had to make to wrest a living from the unpredictable wilderness. His parents were typical of the hardy folk who make up our rural communities. His mother was a caring, sweet woman who raised her four children, home-schooled them, and managed the homestead. She looked after the Aboriginal tribe who lived on the station as workers and was much loved by her family, friends, and neighbours. Greg’s father was a war veteran who returned from Service with a chronic injury and a lot of emotional trauma.
Greg recounts many a story of close shaves, amusing incidents, and little triumphs, all against the background of the harsh reality of flood and drought. He shares with us the family friction that developed as he grew toward manhood. With his new ideas and methods to improve the farms’ productivity, Greg and his dad butted heads at every turn. So the Flying Bushman bought a little helicopter and learned to fly it. Curbur Aerial Mustering Pty Ltd commenced operations in 1981. As pioneers in the heli-mustering industry, the business became very popular with stations near and far.
However, a terrible accident nearly claimed Greg’s life and changed everything. He was left with a lengthy recovery period and impaired mobility, effectively grounding him, and the business closed. With the insurance payout funds, Greg and his new wife, Kim, took possession of another cattle property that shared a border with Curbur. They started again from scratch.
I am not usually a fan of memoirs, finding they tend to be a little self-indulgent or dramatic. Greg has managed to get his story across in a typical Aussie fashion – realistic, factual, honest, but with the ability to poke fun at himself and the situations he describes. His writing style is clean and straight-forward, easy to read, and draws the reader along effortlessly. This book has renewed my appreciation of the courage, determination, and sheer grit of our farmers. Modern agricultural practices and equipment may have improved the efficiency and comfort of the lifestyle. However, Australia is still the ‘land of droughts and flooding rains,’ and we will always battle the elements.