The first fat-tailed sheep into Australia arrived in 1788 with the First Fleet, while the first merino arrived in 1797 with only 13 sheep being purchased from the Spanish.Some of these sheep were sold to John Macarthur and Samuel Marsden, two notable pioneers of the wool industry. They began selective breeding by crossing their Merinos with other breeds in the colony.On his arrival in 1800, Governor King saw the potential and benefit to the colony in producing wool. His vision led to the establishment of a textile industry with the setting up of the first wool mill at Parramatta.The Australian rural landscape is uniquely suited to sheep, with a relatively mild climate extending over vast areas of natural grassland. Wool production is the country's largest and most important form of land use, with some 70,000 wool growing properties spread in a continuous crescent from the north of Queensland to the mid-north of Western Australia and including Tasmania and the Islands of Bass Strait.
i have been thinking of the first arrival of sheep into Australia and how aboriginal people must have viewed the arrival of woolly beasts!
'equally curious would have been the wool covered bleating animals which in flocks were driven before the white men and their horses. It was the beginning of the era of the pastoralist settler and his sheep in the kellerberrin district'.
killabin...kellerbrin...kellerberrin a man, his dog and a dead kangaroo by terry spence
from sheep to gold
gold sock Deirdre Nelson 2008 .
features in A' Fighe a'Cheo (knitting fog),
an exhibition of new work developed by Deirdre Nelson during a four month residency at Taigh Chearsabagh on North Uist earlier this year.
The discovery of gold in Western Australia in the late 1890s heralded a population explosion as fortune-seekers from all corners of the glue descended on the Goldfields region to cash in on its natural bounty.
It began as a whisper but the news soon spread as fast as the region’s wildfires. Gold hungry men by the thousands packed up and set out to the dusty landscape of the Kalgoorlie Goldfields and Murchison regions. They came slowly at first but as the finds grew so too did the populations. Lonely clusters of tents and rough and tumble bough sheds soon transformed into booming gold rush towns.
Grand hotels lined main streets and bustling town centres soon boasted butchers, bakers, schools and churches.
from gold to wheat
The Gold rush generated demands for Chaff wheat . Until this time wheat on sheep stations had only been grown by pastoralists to supply working horses with hay. By the late 1880's there was a larger industry. Chaff was needed to feed the horses who provided transport for the many people coming to the area. .. on the threshold of a new era of agriculture
they could not forsee that in the future years a stream of gold would flow from the soil which for them initially simply produced just natural pastures for their flocks . The gold was not the precious metal which at times crazed the minds of men desperate in their efforts to unearth it. That sort of gold would soon be discovered some distance away from the Kellerberrin district. ....rather it is the wheat we speak of GOLDEN GRAIN, the staff of life- whose potential would be released in time