A year as a NT ringer motivated lawyer

McCullough Robertson Lawyers special counsel Trent Thorne is the new Rural Press Club president.
McCullough Robertson Lawyers special counsel Trent Thorne is the new Rural Press Club president. Andrea Davy

YOU CAN see the Brisbane River flowing past the window of Trent Thorne's 11th storey workplace.

Although completely at home in the McCullough Robertson Lawyers' offices now, the special counsel still remembers his first taste in agriculture - working as a jackeroo on Wave Hill Station in the Northern Territory.

Mr Thorne has not forgotten his roots, and reflected on his time in the industry this week as he embarks on his new role as the Rural Press Club president.

He describes a full season of work on Wave Hill as "character building” and said the taste of working on the land lit a fire under him to support those in the agribusiness sector as a lawyer.

He recalled the stories from his time as a ringer with a laugh and said he was relatively "green” before heading west.

"I had ridden a horse, but that was at the sort of thing you do at Noosa,” he said.

"Now, I am not pumping up my own tyres, but I became a popular bloke. That was because every time you got thrown off a horse you had to buy the camp a carton.

"And guess who topped the list for the year?

"And I was riding the quiet horses. They had names like Lumpy and Lingerie.”

Trent's brother, Nick Thorne, who still works beef industry in the Territory today, was already on the property.

"I went up there largely because my brother was also on that place at the same time, so I had the ready introduction,” he said.

"And I loved it. But I came to the understanding that I needed to go back to complete my university studies. I learnt there are easier ways to make a living ... and I also found out I really like air-conditioning.”

Today Mr Thorne has more than 10 years' experience working for food and agribusiness clients, and was an advocate for the industry during the live export ban. He has been a member of the Rural Press Club since 2014.

Mr Thorne said "the people” were what made agribusiness so worthwhile.

"I know that sounds rehearsed, but it's the people,” he said.

"The people, by and large, are just wonderful clients to deal with.

"They phone you at the end of the day and say thank you.”

Mr Thorne said he had already had a busy few days in his new role as Rural Press Club president, but said former president Brendan Egan has been a wonderful support and paved the way for a strong club.

"The club is in a very healthy place, we have money in the bank. Now we can focus on marketing and hosting bigger and better events,” he said.

The next Rural Press Club meeting will be held at Tattersall's Club on September 15. Visit

Topics:  rural press club

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