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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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