BUNDLE OF JOY: Dr Heather Gray with some of her adopted joeys, outside the Mungallala Internet Cafe.
BUNDLE OF JOY: Dr Heather Gray with some of her adopted joeys, outside the Mungallala Internet Cafe. Ellen Ransley

Safe haven for region's joeys in small town of 28

THE town of Mungallala doesn't have much, and most passers-by wouldn't think to stop into the internet cafe that serves the 28-strong population. But on second look, there's a lot more than meets the eye.

In the backyard, seeking refuge from overhead eagles or following around their "mum,” you will find a number of injured or orphaned joeys, which Dr Heather Gray cares for and raises as her own before they are ready to re-enter their natural habitat.

Dr Heather Gray moved to Mungallala in 2017 and transformed the old post office to a cafe with a twist, her passion is providing sanctuary for injured or orphaned joeys
Dr Heather Gray moved to Mungallala in 2017 and transformed the old post office to a cafe with a twist, her passion is providing sanctuary for injured or orphaned joeys Ellen Ransley

"When you have a kid, you want them to know where they come from, so we brought her back out to Mungallala, and we've been here ever since,” she said.

Georgie and Marcus Ball cuddle a joey at Dr Gray's Internet Cafe
Georgie and Marcus Ball cuddle a joey at Dr Gray's Internet Cafe Ellen Ransley

"I've always been involved in helping joeys, my sister has been looking after wallabies and kangaroos for years, and it was something my mum did when she was younger. You could say we've always had bush in our blood.”

Despite the title, Dr Gray is not a vet, instead an academic "geek” in the field of Information Technology by trade, but told Star she couldn't imagine doing anything else now.

"Most people don't think to stop in here, but I make a pretty good cup of coffee, and it's not every day you have the opportunity to see these animals like this,” she said.

Among the animals they care for are "a mid-sized swampie, a black-striped mid-sized animal, two baby black-stripes, a young eastern grey, and two Euros, from the wallaroo family”.

Dr Heather Gray moved to Mungallala in 2017 and transformed the old post office to a cafe with a twist, her passion is providing sanctuary for injured or orphaned joeys
Dr Heather Gray moved to Mungallala in 2017 and transformed the old post office to a cafe with a twist, her passion is providing sanctuary for injured or orphaned joeys Ellen Ransley

Dr Gray said a lot of the sick or injured animals come to be in her care when people find them out by the highway, or on properties.


Tracy Landers remembered for her strength and influence

Tracy Landers remembered for her strength and influence

Lifelong local made a huge impact on the wider community.

Pokies punch-up wins pub patron a court date

Pokies punch-up wins pub patron a court date

A man got more than a payout after playing the pokies.

Roma State College students go green to help beautify school

Roma State College students go green to help beautify school

The Environment Committee created a Containers for Change initiative