Many readers of Marie Mahood's tales of her life on Mongrel Downs know that it was west of Alice Springs, but little else. This month,[March 2006] Marie begins a series of articles about life half way between Alice Springs in Central Australia and Halls Creek in Western Australia.
Joe and Marie Mahood co-owned Mongrel Downs with Bill and Lorna Wilson, and they developed the property in what was described as "opportunity country" from scratch — forming roads, putting down bores, establishing the homestead and building yards. Marie described this period as the best time of her life, where she brought-up her four children on a cattle station on
"beautiful Mitchell and Flinders grass plains that nobody knew was there".
"Opportunity Country" was regarded as land that could run cattle in a good season. In the past four years it has averaged 40 inches of rain annually. In the past four months it has had 44 inches of rain Mongrel Downs has been renamed Tanami Downs, and has been handed to the land's traditional owners by the federal government, and is also known by the Aboriginal name of "Mankarrurpa". (see what happened to Ngulupi station.)