Robert Onfray

Reminiscing about working on Surrey Hills from the 1950s to the early 1970s

In my book “Fires, Farms and Forests”, Chapters 8 through to 10 cover the development of forestry operations on Surrey Hills. Barry Graham worked in the pre and post-industrial forestry era on Surrey Hills during four separate stints. Endnote 819 on page 248 of the book summarises his career. Barry is only one of two …

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The 1886 embezzlement scandal, and the disappearance of Robert Alston Murray

The story below is peripheral to the main themes in ‘Fires, Farms and Forests’ and is not covered in the book. However, I want to share with you this remarkable incident that occurred in 1886. James William Norton Smith features prominently in my book, particularly in Chapters 2-6. He was born in England in 1846, …

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Our friends at Hervey Bay

While staying in Hervey for ten weeks during the COVID19 travel restrictions, the two of us would sit outside under our awning during late afternoon, near dusk, enjoying our happy hour drink. Most times we were entertained by a pair of brown antechinus (Antechinus stuartii) darting about at twilight after waking up from their slumber. …

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From Cania Gorge to the highlands of Tasmania and lots of places in between – the mismanagement of Australia’s forests

While on a bushwalk through Cania Gorge National Park near Monto last June, I tended to do what I always do. I studied the forest around me as I walked up a particular gully off the main gorge and looked for clues about the history of the forest and its condition. Since the mid-1990s, governments …

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