Why Dallas left film and chose to return to life as a sheep farmer at Towri Sheep Cheeses

Why Dallas left film and chose to return to life as a sheep farmer at Towri Sheep Cheeses
  • PublishedJune 9, 2024

Dallas Davidson grew up as a country girl, but in her heart she dreamed about Oscar nominations and red carpet walks. 

The theatre kid from Beaudesert dreamed of becoming Australia’s next Catherine Martin and making a name for herself as a production designer.

She begrudgingly helped her mother milk sheep around the small family farm, but in her spare time she threw herself into every school play and film production.

“There were many family arguments between ‘do we go to that polo cross carnival or do we go see Dallas in that theatre production?'” she said.

“It was always a tough one to grasp — what the family wanted to do and what I wanted to do.

“You’ve got your own path and you have your own dreams, and I thought, ‘Mum, this is your dream, but I want to do what I want to do’.”

Ms Davidson got her first chance to leave the family farm when she got a scholarship to study film and TV at Bond University down on the bustling Gold Coast.

She worked on the set of TV commercials, music videos, and documentaries all over Queensland.

Her favourite gigs involved the gritty World War II period dramas with the elaborate set pieces, the crisp uniforms, the army tanks, and the deafening explosions.

She continued to help her mum around the farm over the weekends, but her life came to a crossroads when she was offered a job as a production designer in Melbourne.

Ms Davidson said it was a dream job, but it involved moving away from the family farm and leaving her mother to take care of it all by herself.

She remained torn until seven years ago, when a drought ravaged the sleepy Scenic Rim countryside.

“The drought really made me step back and think about what’s really important in life,” Ms Davidson said.

“Life hits, the realisation of life starts to kick in, you start to think about what’s really important in life and you take a bit of a step back.

“Is it the future of your family farm or is it the glitz and glamour of the screen world?

“I chose the farm.”

She came back home and dedicated her energies to making Towri Sheep Cheeses into an agri-tourism business for visitors from the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

The farm now hosts a monthly farmers market with beekeepers, vegetable growers, and farmers from around the Scenic Rim food bowl.

It is part of the Scenic Rim Eat Local Month program, supported by ABC Radio Brisbane.

A woman hugs a sheep
Dallas Davidson says she has no regrets choosing to come back to the farm. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Kenji Sato)

Eat Local Month is run through Scenic Rim Council with funding from the Queensland government and various community groups. 

Ms Davidson said it was difficult but rewarding work tilling the gardens, caring for the sheep, and making cheeses for customers.

However, she continues to hold onto her love of the big screen.

She will often host camera crews on her property to film everything from country music videos to science fiction movies.

But she said she does not regret choosing the farm.

“It doesn’t matter what your background is or what you think your path is, if you love it enough you can find ways to mesh everything together,” Ms Davidson said.

“It just works out.”

Ms Davidson is expecting a baby in November, who she hopes can one day carry on the family legacy.


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