If you are ever lucky enough to visit the hallowed halls of the Bush Bible, The Queensland Country Life, you will often hear journalist Helen Walker described as “The Duchess Of The Downs”. A title she has earned through the witty repartee and effortless elegance she has brought to the job since she took up her post in 1980.
Through the years Helen has worked from head office in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Roma, Longreach, Rockhampton, and is now permanently settled again in the ‘Garden City’ of Toowoomba.
Many will recognise her byline from her time specialising in livestock and stud reporting and as Property and Features Editor for the masthead.
If not that her role in establishing the Queensland Country Life Queensland Country Women of the Year Award and in launching the Queensland Country Life Miss Showgirl competition might ring a few bells.
From Toowoomba Helen travels on assignment to all parts of the state and interstate and her favourite part of the job to this day is visiting rural producers on-farm, to report on specific issues affecting their business.
“It is an honour as these producers often open their hearts and they see us their messengers to various governments and lobby groups,” she says.
With a love for country races, as many a good QCL journo does, Helen has made her way to country race meets from Cunnamulla to Pentland, and many places in between.
She has judged fashions of the field at Winton races on a number of occasions, also Corfield, Isisford, and Barcaldine, just to name a few.
Helen is thrilled to be back at the Goondiwindi Picnics. The last time she attended was in 2007, when she and her partner owned and trained a winner on the day.
What is she looking for in a winning outfit? Helen always looks for a style, colour combination and accessories which complement the person who wears it.