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About

History tells us so much about life. By reviewing history we are better able to understand what our parents, grandparents and great grandparents endured. This understanding helps all of us to treasure the bounty that we enjoy today. This is a website devoted to the history of an area in the south east of Australia.  The people who lived in the rough bush huts did their best to survive. As with any community there was a small group of individuals who were more unusual than all the rest. Their true stories are the Odd History of South Eastern Australia.

Over many years I have collected and told stories about the interesting historical characters in the local area. My children tired of my repeating these stories around the dinner table. Exasperated, my eldest daughter, Bobbi, set up this website so that I could write these stories down and let the family eat in peace. Little did she realize, that as I researched, I found plenty more to bore them with.  

I have tried my best to authenticate all of these stories.  Wherever possible I have searched for matching vital records, reports and historic maps. You will notice links at the bottom of each article showing references for the information I have used. If I have got it wrong I apologize.  With any event, each individual sees it from a differing view.  I have tried to find the most accurate of these viewpoints.

Annie O’Riley, 2012

Recent Posts

The Arrabury Station Incident

Deep in the channel country of outback Queensland is a remote pastoral lease known as Arrabury Station. Situated about 100 kilometres north east of Innaminka and 180 kilometres south east of Birdsville, it is one of the most isolated places in Australia. Even more remote than Arrabury is an out-station on the pastoral lease by the name of Copracunda. It was here, during the Great Depression, that a boundary rider named William Henry Lissaman and his family lived in a rough bush hut. Comprising of just 2 rooms with a dirt floor, it truly was a primitive existence.  It is[...]

The Skeleton of His Horse

It is terrible to think of a human dying from exposure and starvation but it is almost more distressing when human misadventure causes  the death of an innocent animal. This terrible scenario and subsequent death and mystery occurred in 1892 when John Sackfield disappeared in the Victorian High Country. The name John Sackfield is very uncommon yet I have had some difficulty tracking his movements prior to arriving in Gippsland. The only probable lead I have found lists a Reverend Sackfield on a ship's manifest as travelling from Melbourne to Sydney in 1861. For some odd reason, when our John Sackfield arrived[...]

The Youngest Anzac

For many young men, the First World War was seen as a great adventure, it was a chance to see the world, to experience a life that was so different from their Australian upbringing. One of these young men was a boy called Walter Dunn. Walter was possibly our youngest Anzac with some reports stating his age as low as 13, but his birthdate varies quite a bit along with his place of birth and his next of kin. Suffice to say that Walter may have fudged the records in his bid to be involved. The following article about Walter was[...]