Pastoral Australia tells the story of the expansion of Australia's pastoral industry,
how it drove European settlement and involved Aboriginal people in the new settler
The rural life that once saw Australia 'ride on the sheep's back' is no longer what
defines us, yet it is largely our history as a pastoral nation that has endured in
heritage places and which is embedded in our self-image as Australians.
The challenges of sustaining a pastoral industry in Australia make a compelling
story of their own. Developing livestock breeds able to prosper in the Australian
environment was an ongoing challenge, as was getting wool and meat to market.
Many stock routes, wool stores, abattoirs, wharf facilities, railways, roads, and river
and ocean transport systems that were developed to link the pastoral interior with
the urban and market infrastructure still survive. Windmills, fences, homesteads,
shearing sheds, bores, stock yards, travelling stock routes, bush roads and
railheads all changed the look of the country. These features of our landscape form
an important part of our heritage. They are symbols of a pastoral Australia, and of
the foundations of our national identity, which will endure long into the future.
Outlines the history of pastoralism from 1788 to 1967 in an accessible way
Links the history to the many and varied surviving sites and landscape features created by it, which are now part of our heritage
Tells the story of involvement of Aboriginal people in pastoralism, particularly in northern Australia
Puts pastoralism into the context of Australia’s development as a nation
Chapter 1. Genesis 1788–1830
Chapter 2. Boom, Bust and Gold 1830–1860
Chapter 3. After the Gold Rush: An Evolving Industry 1860–1890
Chapter 4. Consolidation and Expansion 1860–1890
Chapter 5. Depression and Drought 1890–1915
Chapter 6. Maturity and the Golden Years 1915–1967
Chapter 7. Afterglow: Pastoralism into the Twenty-first
List of pastoral stations mentioned in the text
Heritage professionals and those with an interest in agricultural and social history
National Trust branches, schools, and property owners
Professionals in landscape architecture and geography
"The authors, as heritage historians, provide an excellent reference to the prominent properties and
how they fit into broader pastoral history. It would therefore be a useful resource for local historians
and heritage assessors… Pastoral Australia can be seen as a welcome addition to the history of Australian land settlement."
Chris Soeterboek, Historical Records of Australian Science, Volume 22 Number 2, pp. 306-7
"This book traces the many strands that make up the pastoral industry’s history to provide a fascinating overview…" Australian Heritage, Winter 2010
Michael Pearson is a consultant historical archaeologist and heritage conservation planner with over thirty year’s experience in NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Australian Heritage Commission, and as head of Heritage Management Consultants.
Jane Lennon is a heritage conservation planning consultant with over thirty years practical experience in Australia and overseas and has published extensively including on rural heritage places issues and cultural landscape management.