Wyndham History

The Settlers (1850-1900)

The people who settled in the Werribee area, after the initial settlers from Tasmania, came from New South Wales and Great Britain. They had been “pulled” here in the hope of improving their lives and had been “ pushed “ from home where often their opportunities were limited.

They were not all the same. Some paid their own fare , some were assisted by Government. Some came with money, others with very little.

Many had some education. Some were skilled, others labourers. Some were from towns, others from the countryside. Most were young. Many were single men, some came with families.

They shared common characteristics.

  • They were ambitious.
  • They were independent.
  • They were hardworking.
  • They were determined.
  • They were resilient.

If they did not, then they struggled to succeed in this new home

What they all needed, was luck

Example 1 - A Story of no luck

The settler who came from Great Britain with his wife and 4 children - and died within months of his arrival, leaving them dependent on charity. (Richard Broome, Arrivals)

Example 2 - A Story of Luck of Timing

Those who established flocks at just the right time - along came the gold rushes '85-'86 and they made a fortune selling mutton to feed the huge population increase. Those who benefitted from the shortage of labour due to the attraction of many to the Goldfields.

Example 3 - Those who didn't have the characteristics listed above

The young man who came off the ship in Melbourne and hung himself on the first day in the new land (Richard Broome, Arrivals)