Grant Heaslip obituary
Grant Heaslip passed away on the morning of 17 January 2019. With his wife Jan, they owned Bond Springs Station just north of Alice Springs.
Grant was known as a family man and a highly respected member of the community. He bought Bond Springs Station in 1964 with his wife Jan in the middle of a drought, and persisted through many dry years only to experience devastating fires in the late 1960s. They kept going to develop a poll Hereford enterprise that continues on.
Grant was the inaugural president of the NT Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA) from 1984 – 1987. He was later awarded a Life Membership of the NTCA in 2005 for his contribution to the industry, and his advocacy for Central Australia over many decades. The new NTCA training centre at Bohning Yards is now called the Grant Heaslip Training Facility in his honour.
Grant was also a life member both of the Alice Springs Cycling Club and the Country Liberal Party. He was the President of the Country Liberal Party in 1987. He was also the past President and Vice President of the Cattle Council of Australia. Grant was a pilot and spent many hours providing bush fire fighters with aerial assistance, leading to a Rotary Club of Alice Springs Community Award. Grant was also a member of the Bushfires NT Council, and received the Bushfires NT Award for long and meritorious service.
Grant had a particularly strong influence on the development of St Philip’s College at Alice Springs. At the College there is a prize called the Heaslip Arid Zone Research Scholarship that reflected the Heaslip’s work in the arid grazing areas of Australia. The prize was awarded to a senior school student who showed a strong interest and aptitude in environmental science. Typically Grant and Dr. Dionne Walsh, then working with the Central Land Management Association (CLMA), would identify a small research project that could be done over the course of a few weeks. Dionne would then work with the students to design the project, conduct the research, deliver a public presentation and review their science report. The field work was often conducted somewhere on Bond Springs and Grant would always come and see the project in action and impart his wisdom to those present. Grant was a great supporter of CLMA and Landcare and some of the projects investigated the amount of carbon stored in standing dead mulga, the impact of grazing on buffel seed production and re-monitoring of some old soil rehabilitation works on Bond Springs.
In his speech accepting a Life Membership of NTCA in 2005, Grant said, “Evidence demonstrates that the majority of pastoralists were, practical, sensible, environmental, decision makers who not only nurtured the land, but improved its health and production and left behind, priceless information and practical solutions for generations to come. These achievements go unheralded; disregard them at your own peril”. Grant has now left this legacy for the generations to come.
He is survived by his wife Jan and children Tanya, M’lis, Brett and Ben, and their families.
Last updated: 10 April 2019
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