How Australia’s first consignment of wool was sold over a cup of coffee in 1821.

It took over twenty years for Australia’s first consignment of wool to be sold at auction following John Macarthur and the Rev. Samuel Marsden’s importation of Spanish merino sheep to Australia in 1797. And when that transaction occurred in London in 1821 it wasn’t in a fancy exchange with hundreds of interested buyers but at [...]

Reading about the country in which we live

I’ve been infatuated with Ernest Hemingway from an early age. It was he that swept me away in my early teens with For Whom The Bell Tolls and later, The Old Man and the Sea. His economical word usage and understated style struck a chord with me and at some deeper level I wanted his [...]

By | May 7th, 2020|Australian History, Blog|0 Comments

A camel called ‘Misery’.

In 1837, forty-nine years after the arrival of the white man in Australia the suggestion was made that Australia was a country sorely in need of camels. Considering the extent of Western and Central Australia it turned out to be an excellent idea. The first record of imported camels is in 1840, when the lone [...]

They rode for victory and they rode for Australia – Beersheba.

In the late afternoon of October 31, 1917 around 800 men of the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade looked from a ridge across six kilometres of sloping ground towards Beersheba. Behind them were thousands of troops desperate for water and a never-ending desert, in front of them, the heavily fortified town of Beersheba. The 4th [...]

By | April 21st, 2020|Australian History|0 Comments

An 1890s Tipsy Cake & Coolgardie WA

Yesterday I had my first foray into live television cooking, via Skype. It was all lights, camera, action with liberal assistance from my mother, Marita who along with the savvy technicians and producers at Studio Ten helped get things set up both at home and virtually. What an experience. I was asked to share rural [...]

By | April 16th, 2020|Australian History, recipes|0 Comments

Massive trees & a canvas roof – One of our earliest woolsheds.

The woolshed at Jondaryan on Queensland’s Darling Downs is one of the oldest and largest shearing sheds in the world. Heritage listed, Jondaryan Station dates to 1840, when English born Charles Coxen sent his nephew off on an expedition to find suitable pastoral land for his rural aspirations. The lad had a good eye for [...]

What the Irish famine and Australia have in common.

It’s said that everything and everyone is interconnected in some way. I often find when I’m sleuthing for facts when writing that some snippet of information will pop up and I’m left pondering the events that link people and places together. This happened about twelve months ago when I was reading up on the Strzelecki [...]

One dodgy French nobleman & the Italian emigrants who settled in rural NSW

The Marquis de Rays. What an exotic name. It conjures wealth, European lands and a noble linage. But names and appearances can be deceptive and the Marquis de Rays, a French Nobleman was a scoundrel and con-artist supreme. The Marquis ripped off poor settlers in the late 1800s offering the ‘promised land’ but eventually after [...]

By | April 6th, 2020|Australian History, Inspiration|0 Comments

The nun who caused riots in Australia

It would be nice to believe that Australian’s were generally tolerant towards different religions. Not all of us are. Where religion and politics were once considered to be topics that weren’t discussed around the meal table, politics is all everyone is talking about these days, while religion is a subject that some people still avoid. [...]

By | March 19th, 2020|Australian History|1 Comment

Researching in the Strzeleckie Desert – The story behind The Cedar Tree Part 2

Why place a character in the middle of no-where? In The Cedar Tree, Italian-raised Stella Moretti marries into the O’Riain family during World War Two and finds herself living on a sheep property on the barren edges of the Strzelecki Desert. Slowly her life unravels. Of course the Far West of NSW, specifically Corner Country, [...]

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