Weevil infested johnny cakes to sourdough bread.

In a normal season many farmers would be close to finishing their winter crop plantings. Not this year. While there are some who received the benefit of good rain or were prepared to take a punt on limited moisture profiles, there are many who would be staring at yet another year of dry, unplanted cultivations. [...]

Creek swims & cornmeat brine.

Well before the arrival of designer boutiques sporting stylish outback fashion, the basic needs of the bush man and woman were met through trail and error. Necessity has always been a hallmark of invention and no more so in Australia where distance and the rugged outdoor life of our intrepid pioneers fed the need for [...]

Insanity & the Adelaide Lunatic Asylum

Social alienation. That’s the best definition of an insane asylum. A place where people are shut away from society. In the 1800s, a person had to be declared insane before they could be admitted to a facility. However a doctor was usually only contacted after someone had been labelled insane due to their social behaviour [...]

By | May 14th, 2019|Australian History|0 Comments

South Australia & Goyder’s Line

Imagine having settled in a new country over one hundred and fifty years ago. You’ve been there for scarcely 30 years trying to carve out a business and home for your family. As a farmer you would need a good understanding about climate and growing conditions and if things turned pear-shaped due to flood, drought [...]

Why we should remember them. Anzac Day

If you close your eyes you can see them resting during a break in the fighting on one of the Somme battlefields. The trench is cold and clammy, the men, quiet. Some sit on upturned wooden crates, others crouch low, their backs chilled yet sweating against the earthen wall. Filthy fingers hold hand-rolled cigarettes, lungs [...]

By | April 11th, 2019|Australian History|2 Comments

‘Robbery under arms’: The romance of the bushrangers

There was a wild colonial boy, Jack Duggan was his name He was born and raised in Ireland, in a place called Castlemaine He was his father's only son, his mother's pride and joy And dearly did his parents love the wild colonial boy Loved, admired, loathed. Songs sung about them and poems written. To [...]

Lightning Ridge – A town of contrasts

The name Lightning Ridge is said to have originated in the 1870's when the body of a grazier, his dog and 600 sheep were found, thought to have been struck by lightning. With such inauspicious beginnings, quirky seems a strange word to describe this north-west New South Wales town; yet this is a place where [...]

By | March 24th, 2019|Australian History, Outback Australia|0 Comments

Stone Country – Book Extract.

Stone Country. Like a sneak peek? Head to my publisher's page for the opening chapter. Stone Country

The inspiration behind Stone Country

The duality of human nature lies at the heart of my new novel, Stone Country. What sets us apart from our friends and family? Why do we make certain choices during a lifetime? Ones that can just as easily mean our triumph or our downfall. Decisions that can affect not only oneself but also that [...]

Horses in Australia.

The history of horses in Australia could fill volumes. From our first settlers, to the mounts of the Light Horse to Phar Lap, we are a culture that loves our nags, even if it just means having a flutter once a year on the Melbourne Cup. But the love affair that grew out of a [...]

By | February 19th, 2019|Australian History, Australian pastoral history|0 Comments
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