Manilla’sCheeky Butcher apprentice Millie Sutherland is adamant she “touched the hand of God” after rolling her car when returning home from a day of cattle mustering back in March.
“I definitely shook His hand, or touched it – something happened,” said Millie, who is looking forward to getting back into her butcher’s apron after months of an operation and rehabilitation.
“Another month of working on regaining my strength, and I’ll be back into the swing of working.”
Back on March 19, Millie was returning to Manilla from mustering cattle at Hall’s Creek.
“I’m not sure what exactly happened, I can’t remember anything about it. But it was about 6.30pm daylight saving time and the police said that the sun probably got to me. I must have over-corrected and flipped the car.”
From the scene, Millie was transported through to Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital where she remained for a month after having surgery “to get my pelvis screwed up”. She was transferred to Tamworth Hospital, then after a week there, went straight into Rehabilitation.
“In rehab, I had to learn to walk again and build my strength up. It’s coming on nicely, but I still have a fair way to go. I think it could be a long-term thing before I’m really back to 100 per cent normal,” she said.
The 18-year-old is “busting” to get back into her butcher’s apron. But if things had turned out as Millie had planned as a younger teenager, she’d be cruising through her work hours as a beautician.
“At high school, I was doing beauty as a subject at TAFE. I always wanted to be a beautician, but now I’m cutting up meat,” she joked.
Millie has been working for her Cheeky Butcher proprietor bosses Russell and Danielle Burrows for two years now, but only signed up for an apprenticeship earlier in the year.
“Russ and Danielle are family friends, so I was going into the shop after school each day as the clean up girl. And I loved it. My job as an apprentice is to cut up meat, do raffle trays, serve customers and make snags. I’ve nearly got the hang of snag making,” she said.
Another reason Millie loves what she does in her job is her co-workers – Russell and Danielle.
“They’re great to work for – so full of life and fun to be around. And going into the shop every day meeting different people is what I like.”
Millie recommends butchering to other young girl wishing to take on a different trade. It’s a three-year apprenticeship, and all the training is carried out on the job.
“There’s no more travelling to attend TAFE courses, they’ve cancelled that. Now we just have to complete all the required paperwork – and they basically come to me for assessment. The work can be tough at times, but I don’t mind that.”
Considering herself as “getting another chance at life” following the car accident, Millie intends to follow her love of horse riding, and is now focused on doing well in barrel racing circles. And having the Scottish surname of Sutherland, Millie has paved her way in dancing circles to become quite anaccomplished highland dancer, having won many competitions in that area over recent years. She’s also been doing Tae-Kwon-Do in Manilla under the guidance of tutors Shane Webb and Paul Darlington for six years now, and can boast being at Black Belt level.
“Getting to Black Belt level was a bit of a struggle but it was well worth it.” By Vinnie Todd