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 [...]

Captain Thunderbolt strikes again.

You flick the reins, ensuring the horses keep up a steady pace. The Cobb & Co coach rattles across the pitted track. It’s a quiet country road. The trees stand tall. The bush thick and impenetrable on both sides. You’re half-way to Inverell with a coach-load of passengers and bulging mail bags. You glance at [...]

By | January 13th, 2020|Australian pastoral history|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 [...]

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 [...]

Mustering money. The company property.

Mustering money. It’s a term that can only be applied in Australia. A place where once mighty sheep stations were forged in the outback by men with the ability to raise funds for their far-flung ventures. The majority of company properties (the AACo was established as a land development company in 1824) came into being [...]

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