Isolated children in the NT enjoy the chance to play with others when the mobile playgroup returns to the Brunette Downs Races

Written by Javed Iqbal

Ella Gibson has only known life to play with her two siblings.

The six-year-old lives at Queensland’s secluded Lake Nash Station near the Northern Territory border, where there are no other children for miles.

However, she has made a friendship with eight-year-old McKenna Blackwood after meeting at Brunette Downs Station for its iconic annual race meeting, who returned after recent cancellations.

With her closest neighbors about 90 miles away, she could not remember when she last played with another child who was not her brother or sister.

And she enjoys time with her newfound friend.

“It’s really exciting… we finally had to come and so I get to meet some other kids and play with them,” she said.

The two plan to collect stones from the entire cattle station to sell to the 600 spectators at the races.

Two little girls climb up on a toy slide inside a large shed with children's toys scattered around.
McKenna Blackwood plays with a new friend at Brunette Downs.(ABC News: Michael Franchi)

Support for isolated families

Like Ella, many children in isolated parts of Australia can go weeks or even months without face-to-face contact with other children their age.

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Javed Iqbal

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