16 December 2020


Loved it! 😍

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.