The Aussie battler ready to take his first and last holiday
STORIES of hard working folk in the bush are not uncommon.
People are bred tough in rural Queensland and they take pride in the lives they've lived and the homes and families they have created.
Sydney 'Dick' Mitchell has worked hard his whole life and does not look back with many regrets but now, at 73 years old, he has a new goal: To hit the road and see a little more of Australia before cancer wins the battle he's been fighting for over a decade.
Sitting around the table outside the home he built himself, Mr Mitchell listed off the cancers he's had over the years and described where his health sits now.
At his most recent doctor's appointment, Mr Mitchell was advised that if he wanted to go up north, he better make it soon.
"I've never been on holidays," Mr Mitchell said.
"I never saw the sea until I was about 19, just worked all me life," he said.
Despite the trip being his first real holiday, Mr Mitchell does not look back on his life of hard work negatively.
He speaks fondly of time spent on horseback with his dad after leaving school around Year 4 to work as a stockman, and of the long but rewarding hours put into a career as a jockey and race horse trainer as a young adult.
"I originally come from St George, I went to Gayndah, I lived there for a long time, and then I bought stables at Oakey, I trained there for a while," Mr Mitchell said.
From Oakey he bought the property outside of Dalby he lives on now and he has been there for almost 20 years.
During those years Mr Mitchell married, had three daughters and fostered and adopted two sons.
Mr Mitchell's daughter Kim has moved to the property recently to help him out and to look after it when they can get him on the road.
"Everything you see here, all this, dad's built," Ms Mitchell said, proudly indic- ating around the home and buildings on the property, including a rodeo arena.
"They got bored when they were 60," she said, speaking of her Dad and his mate Bill.
"And they built a 60-foot rodeo arena. Two 60-year-olds."
Bill's travels in life and his passing last year have been part of the catalyst for Mr Mitchell to travel.
"I just want to go up north before it's too late," he said.
"I always wanted to go up there.
"I had an old mate (Bill), he used to live here with me, he used to go up to Cloncurry mustering every year, I could have gone with him, the bloke offered me a job, but there was no one here (to look after the farm)."
With the help of his daughter, Mr Mitchell brought a truck and a goose neck.
They went about making adjustments and renovations to the goose neck.
"I just want to go and if I only want to go 50km or 100km a day," Mr Mitchell said.
Unfortunately, the last of the renovations have left the trailer at the truck's towing capacity.
Now the pair are trying to sell the dual cab truck so they have the money to buy one with a greater towing capacity and get Mr Mitchell on the road.
Mr Mitchell is not all doom and gloom.
This latest battle is just another day and another task for a man who knows and cherishes the importance of working hard and looking after his family.
If you or someone you know can help the Mitchells contact firstname.lastname@example.org.