You Can't Make It Rain
The North Australian Pastoral Company is one of Australia’s largest and oldest private cattle companies. It began in the 1877 rush to take up land in the Northern Territory. A vast area of the Barkly Tableland was leased by a partnership of five men: Queenslanders William Collins, William Forrest and Sir Thomas McIlwraith, and Englishmen Sir William Ingram and John Warner.
Today, the family-based company which evolved from the partnership still holds the greater part of that original land as Alexandria Station – the biggest cattle station in the Northern Territory. Descendent of three original partners still hold shares in the NAP company.
The title – You Can’t Make it Rain – derives form a poignant comment of Phillip Forrest, managing director and chairman of NAP, shortly before he resignation in 1936. Forrest wrote. ‘I have done my best over a long trying period, but I cannot make it rain.’ The comment is a telling reminder of the over-riding importance of water for pastoralists, and of the often grim struggle for survival in that industry. You Can’t Make It Rain is the story of one notable survivor.