Historic Murki Homestead destroyed by fire (Boomi, NSW. Australia)

Yesterday morning the Murki Homestead burnt to the ground. Four generations of Alexanders lived there, from my great-grandfather’s time through to my generation; 1893-2016. It was here that the early beginnings of our business were established, and over the years the house grew to accommodate successive families. Beneath its roof men and women discussed the [...]

Women, rams and research.

Artist Tom Roberts is perhaps best known in Australia for his iconic paintings which depict our rural life and pastoral history, such as The Golden Fleece painted in 1894 or the romantic and dangerous era of the bush-ranging years in Bailed Up. Never one to stay long at home, even after marrying relatively late in [...]

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 [...]

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