Rural

CQ grazier Graeme Acton was a leader who stood tall for many

Graeme Acton competing at the Nebo ACA finals in April
Graeme Acton competing at the Nebo ACA finals in April Jodie Humble

YOU could pick him from a crowd just by his cheeky chuckle.

He was the cattle king who had the ears of the most influential people in Australia, but treated everyone the same.

From his disarming honesty to his boundless enthusiasm, there were countless facets of Graeme Acton that people will fondly recall.

But no matter what, Mr Acton will always be remembered - and not just by those who knew him.

Surrounded by family, the renowned and respected grazier died in the Royal Brisbane Hospital shortly before 9pm on Friday.

Mr Acton had been put on life support and rushed to Brisbane for specialist treatment after he was injured while doing one of the things he loved most - campdrafting.

The 63-year-old was competing in the Clarke Creek Autumn Classic Campdraft, north-west of Rockhampton, when his horse rolled and him, causing spinal and severe head injuries.

A close friend said Mr Acton's horse accidentally tripped the steer it was chasing before the horse rolled on him.

Tributes have flowed from across the nation after his passing.

The family's spokesperson, Ian Lovegrove, said he had been fielding hundreds of calls from people offering their condolences to the Actons, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Mr Lovegrove has known the Actons for 42 years.

Cattleman Graeme Acton. Photo The Morning Bulletin Archives
Cattleman Graeme Acton. Photo The Morning Bulletin Archives Morning Bulletin Archives

"We need people like Graeme Acton... he rises to any challenge," he said. "He's a leader among leaders."

Indeed Mr Acton has been widely praised for his role in advancing the sport of campdrafting and the beef industry.

For more than 150 years the Acton family has lived on the land and run a herd of more than 150,000 cattle across about 1.4million hectares in central and north-west Queensland.

The Acton family property, Paradise Lagoons near Gracemere, hosts Australia's largest campdraft each year.

Mr Acton was made a member of the Australian Campdraft Association roll of honour in 2012 and was deputy chairman of the Stockman's Hall of Fame.

The family were ranked number 24 on the Sunday Mail's Queensland Top 150 Rich List last year.

Mr Acton is survived by his wife Jennie, adult children Tom, Victoria, Hayley and Laura, and siblings Robert, Elizabeth, Evan and Allen.

Central Queensland cattleman Graeme Acton, pictured at Paradise Lagoons.
Central Queensland cattleman Graeme Acton, pictured at Paradise Lagoons. Sharyn O'Neill

Many of Mr Acton's close and extended family flew to Brisbane to be at his bedside before his passing.

Mr Lovegrove said some family had flown back to Rockhampton this weekend.

Others were still in Brisbane.

He said no date for a funeral would be set until all family members had returned to Rockhampton.

Topics:  beef australia campdrafting graeme acton grazier



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