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Broken Hill next stop for well-known swagman

Friday, 29th May, 2015

Grant ‘John’ Cadoret, a swagman, who has been wandering around Australia since the 70s. Grant ‘John’ Cadoret, a swagman, who has been wandering around Australia since the 70s.

Swagmen have a special place in the bush and in Australian history; one man who embodies this has been walking for almost four decades and will be in Broken Hill soon.

Grant ‘John’ Cadoret has apparently been walking around Australia since the 70s. He is known as ‘The Highway Man’ and has had many journeys.

A Facebook page has been developed - “Grant John the Highway man day by day journey”. People have been posting sightings of John and people are even stopping to have a chat and give him some food and drink.

The BDT was contacted by the owner of the Coombah Roadhouse to say John had stopped by for a meal.

The Roadhouse’s Karen Stringer-Henderson said many travellers and truckies have given him water and food.

She said he was a really nice man and was headed towards Broken Hill.

“He’s really lovely,” she said.

“People told me he was a real gentleman - he really has a story to tell.

“If you offer him something and if he needs it he will take it, if not he won’t.”

Another local, Logan Coombe, spotted him and gave him a few cans coke and some M and Ms.

“We spoke for probably about 10 minutes. He seemed to love the food I gave him.

“He’s pretty quiet though, he is used to his own company, I think. 

“I asked him where he came from, which is Minyup near Horsham. 

“He said he loves the peacefulness of the bush highway and around Christmas heads to Bendigo to see his family.

“He said he loves his radio and writing in his diary.”

Melanie Richmond knows a little bit about John. A few years ago, she became interested in his journey.

“John has been walking the highways since 1977 when he was 23 years.

“He worked in a bank in Melbourne before he decided to leave.

“He was planning on going to do a three-month backpacking trip.

“He is still walking the highways, today.”

Melanie said he was a missing person for many years until one day Allan Nixon saw John and started talking to him, and his story was put on Australian Story.

“In 2009, John was reunited with his family who had all thought he had died. 

“He doesn’t receive any benefits from the government - only surviving on what he finds along the roads or what coins he finds.”

Melanie saw the story about John in 2009.

“I thought ‘what an amazing man’, as my great uncle was a swagman back in 1890 and I thought my uncle was pretty good.

“I think what John is doing is amazing as he is living everyone’s dream. 

“I got to see John walking the highways on the far north coast of NSW. When I heard back in October that John was making the trip down to see his family I decide to drive into the nearest big town from me to give him some supplies but due to being new here I couldn’t find him. 

“I couldn’t find him, so I went to Facebook and put a post on one site which I knew would determine where he was.”

Melanie said she encourages people to say hello and donate some food or water if anyone sees John.

“After Broken Hill, he is making his way to Queensland for the warmer weather.”

John will be walking on the Wentworth Road, heading towards the city. People are encouraged to stop and give him some water or food, if they have any to spare.

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