Back Roads on ABC TV – Back Roads travels to Darkan, a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ town deep in Western Australia’s wheatbelt region.

Presenter Heather Ewart discovers that, not long ago, it was a very small community with a very big problem.

The locals had lost their high school, their pub, and even their football team.

And they were in danger of losing their identity, until a group of dynamic women got together and hatched a risky plan to shine a light on Darkan.

They took a chance, not on an arts or sports festival but, a sheep festival.

However, Sheepfest is not your average agricultural show. As one of the organisers, Jodie King explains, it’s a back-to-basics affair where practically everything is free. There are no fancy rides or showbags, instead you’ll get a glimpse of what Darkan does best – sheep and wool.

So, when Heather arrives there’s loads of sweat flying around in the shearing competitions, farm kids battling it out in the wool handling and of course there’s plenty of sheep.

Heather is roped into judging a pet sheep competition with a difference. Some contestants have glitter horns and others are dressed like rappers. And just when it seems to be all over, all eyes are on the skies as a group of colourfully clad local sky divers sail silently down to earth only to be mobbed by squealing kids.

Production credit: Executive Producer, Brigid Donovan.

Back Roads – Monday 7 August, 2023 at 8.00pm on ABC and ABC iview (episode 14)

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Back Roads on ABC TV