Bringing together generations to share our country way of life; as it was lived in the past, and as it is presently evolving, while using these shared experiences, with their tears and laughter, to equip us for what the future might hold.
“Farmer Jane” or “Nan Jane” to her grandchildren, was born in 1948 when the city of Canberra was growing rapidly from the sprawling paddocks and sheep farms that had been chosen as the site for the Nation’s Capital. The layout of this unique city embraced an ancient environment originally populated by the Ngunnawal people, followed by settlers’ homesteads sprinkled across the Limestone Plains and eventually small villages and towns supporting the growing development in the area.
The Southwells came to Australia in 1838 and Jane, a member of the fifth generation, was born to Mack and Ursula after World War II and grew up on the family farm “Rosevale”, where the present-day suburbs of Lyneham are situated. Early schooling was undertaken in Canberra before the family moved to a larger holding outside the ACT free from the uncertainties of the ACT leasehold land system. In an age where rapid progress was being made in industrial, scientific and social spheres, it was unusual to find the family relying on tried and true methods from the “good old days” as they faced several years without electricity, access to schooling or neighbourly companionship. All this within the very shadows of the exciting urban landscape developing further down the road.
To grow up as a farmer’s daughter, ensured her love for the land was kindled from an early age and that connection has been enhanced and retained as she now embraces retirement. Delving into a treasure trove of accumulated memories and stories, Jane has chosen to share the journey with her readers, from the comfort of her Cottage on “Bindaree”, near Bowning in southern NSW.