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Bright, Victoria. Australia. A Mob of Wallabies. May 2011.

I arrived in Sydney, Australia on May 15th for a two-week visit. My mom, sister, and brother-in-law live in the western suburbs known as the hills area. After a couple days rest, we drove down to Wandiligong, Victoria to have a look at my maternal grandfather's hometown. His family,the Norleys, was one of the pioneer families who settled in the area, working at the quartz and gold mines that flourished in Wandiligong beginning in the 1850s.

It was a wonderful trip for us. We were finally able to relate images to the oral history that my grandfather handed down to us. We even found the very spot on which the old homestead stood on what is now Growler's Creek Road. Thanks to a 93-yr old local historian who still remembered some of the family members---my grandfather's siblings and most certainly some members of the following generation ( mom's cousins ).

A trip to the local cemetery was imperative. The cemetery is located in the next town of Bright. There, we found the grave of my grandfather's grandfather. A fellow named Thomas Norley who hailed from Kent, England and who immigrated to Australia around the 1840s. He died in 1893. On the other side of the cemetery lay my mom's great grandparents on her mother's side. Their names were Allan and Sophia Kennedy. They are considered pioneers in the Ovens area which is North of Bright. Their eldest daughter, Sarah, married my grandfather's father, David Norley (b. 1850 d.1907). This was all very interesting although the distances in time were hard to fathom.

While meandering through the graveyard, we encountered this mob of wallabies. They quickly spotted us, and one of them immediately took up guard duty. We stayed clear of them because they seemed ready to stand their ground unlike deer and black bears in New Jersey who run at the sight of humans. These are wallabies and not kangaroos. Roos are bigger in size and usually have reddish fur. But, wallabies can be big enough to command some respect. Consider the wallaby in the background in relation to the tombstone near it. The wallaby on guard duty stood approximately six feet.


Welcome back and glad you had safe and memorable travels. Since my parents are both from Switzerland and their families are all there, I can relate to the awe of going and associating the stories with actual places.

Hope you are enjoying the sunny, warm weather.
kahel kuting said…
wow these photos and the story was really uplifting. you have an interesting heritage=)
Chessbuff said…
After more than 24 hours of air travel, I am finally home. If I don't see the interior of an airplane for the next year, that would be just fine.

Australia's flora and fauna is very interesting. There are wallabies, kangaroos, echidnas, platipusses, kookaburras, and many forms of spiders. There is also the Jackaranda tree that has blue leaves. Forgive the misspellings if there are any. But, my family in Australia gives me the most pleasure when I go down there.
So typically Australian, love those wallabies (or are they Eastern Grey Kangaroos). Anyway a great place to end up I reckon, nature and wildlife still bounding around long after we have left.
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