An immigrant in Sydney
The Strelitzia indigenous to South Africa under the iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge Published 10 May 2017. Kirribilli NSW 2061
Siblings in the sun.
Young wrens basking in the early morning sun. Published 10 May 2017. Bunbury WA 6230
Born Wild, Stay Free
The draft Wild Horse Management plan for Kosciusko National Park aims to reduce the current number of wild horses in the national park area from 6,000 to approximately 3,000 in the next five to 10 years. It then proposes to cut that figure to only 600 over the next 20 years. These numbers are contested! This image shows the beauty of these horses. People come from far and wide just to sit and watch in awe. This photograph was shot at Long Plain near Kiandra and Tantangara Dam. Published 10 May 2017. Long Plain NSW 2629
Farmer's daughter, farmer's wife, farmer and midwife
Hannah Jane Lynch began life as a farmer’s daughter in 1831 in Lurgan, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. She worked in the linen trade, as an overseer in a flax mill in Lurgan Town. She became a farmer’s wife when she married George Byrns in 1853.
Hannah learnt midwifery and nursing skills in her three-months at sea, working as a volunteer in the ship hospital. They arrived in Geelong, Victoria, in August 1854, and their first child was born in September. George was disposed to a local farm for six months, where Hannah worked as a domestic.
By 1858 the family had settled in Melton, where they rented a small dairy farm and built a wattle and daub hut. George was killed accidentally in April 1860. It can only be imagined how Hannah must have felt, widowed with three very small children and another shortly on the way. She managed her potentially dire circumstances very well.
She was now head of her household, and continued with dairy farming and midwifery. Although it is unclear how much income she generated through either role, every month she walked 30 kilometres to pay the rent, babies in tow, and back again. She purchased land in Melton, in her own name, in January 1863 - a remarkable achievement!
Hannah again became a farmer’s wife when she married former convict William Watts in November 1863. By 1866 they had added two children to the family. They took up land in Toolern Vale, built a stone and mud house, and farmed.
On ‘selection’ in 1871, they cleared 35 acres, built a weatherboard home ‘Rosebank’, built a stockyard, dug dam, made a garden with paling fence, erected 175 chain of fence (around 3520 metres), and milked cows.
William died suddenly in August 1874. Hannah was left with 15 cows, 14 yearling cattle, household furniture, a horse and a dray. Her ability and willingness to control the family affairs is evident. She skilfully administered William’s estate, settling three incomplete land grants. She then obtained three further Crown grants in her own name and purchased more land in Melton, a total of nine allotments.
All the while she continued dairy farming at Rosebank, and continued to practice midwifery. Ultimately, midwifery became a more viable income than small scale dairy farming.
The rate books show a change of profession when the ‘dairywoman’ officially became the ‘midwife’ in 1887. Hannah came off the farm and she moved to her land in Melton. She built a home and private hospital, Lynch Cottage, where ‘Grannie Watts’ delivered over 400 babies between 1886-1921.
Hannah died on October 21, 1921, age 89, and is buried in Melton Cemetery with George and William.
She was mourned throughout the district, and is still remembered in her community, with 'Hannah Watts Park' named in her honour. She lived a remarkable life for a twice widowed, illiterate, Irish immigrant woman; a journey from farmer’s daughter to farmer’s wife to farmer, landowner, and beloved local midwife.
Published 10 May 2017. Melton VIC 3337
Great fun crossing Manning River in this tinny!
You need to get to the other side one way or another to start the walk to Manning Falls/Gorge. You'll always see a few people who decide to wade across with backpacks resting on their heads. One unsure step and oops! They slip into the river and everything is wet! The river is deeper than it looks. Published 10 May 2017. Lake Carnegie WA 6646
We spent about two hours at Bells Gorge one afternoon enjoying superb wild swimming. And guess what? The whole time we were there some guy stood on the middle tier of the Falls psyching himself to jump!! You can see the tiny figure on the right. Poor guy Published 09 May 2017. King Leopold Ranges WA 6728