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Austin, Albert (1834–1916)

Albert Austin, n.d.

Albert Austin, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 15 July 1916

The late Mr. Albert Austin, who died in Melbourne last month, was one of the best known pastoralists in Australia, mainly through his connection with the famous Wanganella strain of Merinos. He was born in Somersetshire, England, in 1834, and came to Australia in 1851 by the clipper ship Brilliant, of 500 tons burden. Immediately on his arrival at Geelong, Victoria, he joined his uncle, Mr. Thomas Austin, at Barwon Park, near that port, and spent two years there gaining experience. From there he went to Eilyer, in the Lake Bolac district, still in Victoria, and purchased it from the trustees of the late Mr. Gibb. The holding consisted of 30,000 acres of Crown lands, fully stocked, and he held it till 1889, when he sold it to his eldest son, A. S. Austin. In partnership with the late Mr. William Hose Bullivant, he bought another Victorian property, Longerenong, near Dooen, from Sir Samuel Wilson in 1873, and later purchased Borriyalloak, of 32,000 acres, near Skipton, from the Exors. of the late Hon. Francis Ormond, afterwards selling it to his second and third sons, Ernest Gardner and F. S. Austin. He also bought Murgha, on the Edward River, 45 miles west of Deniliquin, New South Wales, which he also subsequently sold to two of his younger sons, Arthur John and H. L. Austin. This eventually became the property of Mr. A. J. Austin, who died recently.

Wanganella, about 25 miles north-west of Deniliquin, was purchased in 1878 in partnership with the late Thomas Millear, from Messrs. Peppin & Sons. In 1894, however, the partnership was dissolved. Mr. Austin taking the western portion, which he held for a number of years, and Mr. Millear the eastern end, which he called Wanganella Estate; this was bought a few years ago by F. S. Falkiner & Sons Ltd. The foundation of the famous stud was laid by the Messrs. Peppin, but the history of its progress has so often been told in these pages that there is no need to repeat it. It is sufficient to say that Messrs. Austin and Millear carried on the work to such good effect that the name Wanganella is today a household word wherever Merino sheep are bred.

In addition to the properties already mentioned, Mr. Austin held Lake Midgeon and Bringagee, on the Murrumbidgee, and in partnership with his brother William, Canoon and Gelam, on the same river. He was also interested in Pallal, near Bingara, New South Wales, bought in 1885, and at one time in Kanawalla, Western Victoria, purchased in 1862. The late Mr. Austin was on the Melbourne board of advice of the Australian, Mercantile, Land and Finance Co. Limited from 1898 up to the time of his death, and on the formation of the Pastoralists' Association of Victoria and Southern Riverina, was elected first president, holding that office through the stormy times from 1890-1 to 1896-7. He was vice-president for the years 1897-8 and 1898-9, and was again president from 1899-1900 to 1901-2.

In 1862 he married Miss Catherine Mack, of the Western District of Victoria, and leaves a family of sons, all well-known pastoralists, and four daughters.

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Citation details

'Austin, Albert (1834–1916)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/austin-albert-39/text1234, accessed 19 June 2019.

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