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, [...]

The story behind The Cedar Tree Part one

When I began crafting The Cedar Tree, I wanted to explore the idea of what it means to be free; individually, as a community, a society and, ultimately, as a country. How far an individual is willing to go to obtain their liberty is matched only by the cost associated with gaining that freedom. And then there [...]

Frontier Australia

It was pretty tough being a settler in Australia in the 1830s and tougher still for the First Australians. Imagine you're a white settler and have just arrived in the colony of New South Wales after five months on-board a sailing ship en route from the Mother Country - England. On arrival you discover that [...]

Dogs, stock whips and horses.

Working dogs, stock whips and horses - the tools of trade for the traditional stockman in Australia. It is difficult to adequately define the characteristics required of a good stockman or woman however they are keen observers of livestock with the natural ability to handle them with patient knowledge. The role of the stockman came [...]

By | February 20th, 2020|Australian History, Australian pastoral history|0 Comments

An Australian ram, famous for being famously superb.

Famous for being famously superb, the shilling ram was the name given to Uardry 0.1. A merino ram of such style and class that on the 29th June 1932, the Sydney Mail announced that Uardry was, ‘generally acknowledged to be one of the most magnificent Merinos ever seen in Sydney.’ Uardry had for competition 366 [...]

Coppers, crooks, cobbers & tall poppies.

We have some interesting slang in Australia. You’re standing on the side of the road feeling like a drongo, next to your choc-a-block car which is cactus hoping that the first vehicle to stop isn’t one with a load of no-hoping bogans. You’re probably dividing your time between doing the Aussie salute and telling the [...]

By | January 16th, 2020|Australian History, Blog, Opinion|0 Comments

History Snippet – Burwood, NSW. 1858-59

Life around the suburb of Burwood in Sydney's Inner West has definitely changed in the last one hundred and fifty years or so. Burwood is only 10 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, however in 1858-59, when this picture was thought to have been taken it was a farming area. It would have [...]

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