The Australian pastoralist who became our first millionaire.

Imagine owning pastoral lands equal to a third of the size of Belgium. James Tyson (1819-1898) was an Australian born, self-made ‘millionaire’ who owned a string of properties around Australia. His fame as a pastoral tycoon, immortalised by Banjo Paterson in the Poem T.Y.S.O.N. By the time Tyson finished acquiring pastoral leases along the Warrego River [...]

The Wimmera, woolsheds & the Scottish hero William Wallace.

In 1845 George and James Hope arrived on the western edge of the Wimmera district of Victoria, near the town of Edenhope (established some years later) a scant thirty kilometres from the South Australian border. They chose the shores of a lake as part of their 48,000 ha selection, naming it Lake Wallace after William [...]

A bushman with his dog

A bushman with his dog and horse outside a humpy. This picture is thought to have been taken in the Hughenden district, QLD, around 1910-1920. By the looks of it it's made from canvas and branches and you can see cooking utensils near the entrance. A humpy (or gunyah) was traditionally used by Aboriginals as [...]

The boy who held up a town – Ben Hall

In the early years of the 1860s a young wife abandoned her husband and with her son in tow went to live with a stockman named James Taylor. This woman’s leap towards a new life would probably have never been of interest were her husband not Ben Hall, who at the age of nineteen would [...]

Bushrangers – The Wild Colonial Boy

Loved, admired, loathed. Songs sung about them and poems written. To this day the infamous Ned Kelly remains an icon but with the origins of our bushrangers beginning with our early penal settlements it was inevitable that brutal times would produce desperate people. These men who were originally escaped convicts, glanced over their shoulder at [...]

By | April 30th, 2018|Australian History|2 Comments

Memories of past lives.

Letters to loved ones were written and received here. Telegrams studied, cheques written, gummy envelopes licked, livestock tallied and stores listed. I’ve seen a similar desk in a mail order catalogue circa 1900. Except this one sits solidly in my office, a box of old nibs in one of the drawers. They are the kind [...]

Australian heritage: campfires, quart pots and billy-cans.

There’s an art in making billy-tea and when properly made the average bushman will tell you that it’s ‘the drink’, far surpassing the kitchen-made variety. The billy or billycan is only at its best when it’s stained and blackened from usage. The sundowners – those restless souls of the past who would arrive at a sheep station at [...]

The grazier who was put in charge of the Australian Imperial Force.

“Such a man, could scarcely fail to be a hero to his men” - The grazier who became a Major General. Bull Ryrie was tough, an outgoing man of the Monaro who could ride like the wind as well as being a crack shot. Born into a grazing family, after attending the King’s School at Parramatta [...]

By | March 7th, 2018|Australian History, Patriotism|1 Comment

The National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame

The National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving the place of women in history. It’s fitting that it’s located in Alice Springs in Central Australia, an area that was home to very few women over one hundred years ago. Those that did forge a home out of the bush on isolated properties [...]

By | February 21st, 2018|Australian History, Australian pastoral history|0 Comments

‘The Banjo’ & Waltzing Matilda

‘There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around                                                                                 That the colt from [...]

Load More Posts