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 [...]

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 [...]

‘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 [...]

Waltzing Matilda – A shearer’s strike, a suicide & Banjo: How our unofficial national anthem came into being.

By the 1950s Australia ‘rode on the sheep’s back’. It was a phase that came to symbolise what it was to be Australian.  For a century, the wool industry had given Australia one of the highest living standards in the world and the economy rode high on wealth from primary exports. With the opening up [...]

Tom Roberts – capturing the bush.

The Australian bush has its own unique light; a natural glow that pierces through the Eucalypt branches and radiates across the land. An artist who recognised this beauty, and consciously immersed himself in these images of the outback was Tom Roberts. He was a creative who captured the vastness of rural living and the raw [...]

Stone Country – Book Extract.

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

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