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Authority record

Elva Turton

  • Agency004
  • Person
  • 1924 - 2016

Dame Mary Gilmore

  • Agency014
  • Person
  • 16 August 1865 - 3 December 1962

Wagga Wagga and District Historical Society

  • Agency018
  • Community group
  • 17 September 1962 -

The inaugural general meeting of the current incarnation of the Wagga Wagga and District Historical Society took place at the Wagga Wagga Teachers' College on 17 September 1962.

Albury Court of Petty Sessions

  • Agency019
  • Government agency
  • 21 December 1846 - 31 December 1984

The Albury Court of Petty Sessions was created on 21 December 1846 under the provisions of s.17 of the Offenders Punishment and Justices Summary Jurisdiction Act of 1832 (3 Wil.IV No.3). (1)

Matters relating to the licensing of premises for the sale of liquor were dealt with by the court until 1 March 1883 when a separate system of licensing courts was established. After 1924 the Court resumed responsibility for routine matters in relation to liquor licensing while Albury Licensing Court (1924 - 1983) and the Licensing Court of New South Wales after 1983 dealt with the more complex licensing issues. (2)

The Albury Court of Petty Sessions was abolished on 31 December 1984 when the Local Courts Act 1982 (Act No.164, 1982) abolished all Courts of Petty Sessions and replaced these with Local Courts. (3)


  1. NSW Government Gazette No.106, 22 December 1846, p.1603.
  2. Agencies 4001, 4002 and 3835.
  3. Local Courts Act 1982 (Act No.164, 1982) s.9; NSW Government Gazette No.178, 21 December 1984, p.6296.

Albury Warden's Court

  • Agency020
  • Government agency
  • 12 May 1874 - 7 April 2009

In accordance with Section 67 of the Mining Act, 1874 (37 Vic. No.13), the Albury Warden's Court was established by proclamation on 12 May 1874, and was to be held at the Albury Court House. (1)

An Act to make better provision for the regulation of Mining, 1874 (37 Vic. No.13) provided for the establishment of Warden’s Courts at places the Governor determined. (2) The Courts were Courts of Record and the Wardens had the power to issue summonses and warrants. (3)

The Courts had original jurisdiction over the claims concerning a) the possession or occupation of Crown Land by virtue of a miner’s right or mineral lease of license; b) recovery of land, race, drain. dam or reservoir abandoned or forfeited under an Act or regulation and the right to any profits; c) the use, enjoyment and sale of water due to holding a miner’s right or mineral lease or license; d) trespass or damage to property, unlawful abstraction of water and the exclusion of any person from use and enjoyment of water; e) debt or damages consequent to any contract or agreement relating to gold or mineral mining; f) claims to gold and minerals mined; g) contracts and partnerships formed to mine gold or minerals; h) contributions to working expenses or mines; mortgages or assignments of land used for mining purposes i) boundaries of mining leases; j) possession and occupation of mining leases; and any other disputes arising out of the right to mine on Crown Land. (4) The decision of a Warden’s Court was final if the sum in dispute was £50 or less.

The hearings of the Warden’s Court commenced with a summons being issued to the defendant. The summons was to clearly describe the matter in dispute. The case was heard in the presence of all interested parties. (5) Either party could request that two Mining Assessors be present at the hearing or the Warden could recommend this prior to the hearing. A fee was required to be paid for the attendance of the Assessors. (6) The Warden could, on the request of either party hold a matter aside in order to forward a question in the form of a ‘special case’ to the Supreme Court of New South Wales. (7)

Defendants could pay the amount in dispute in addition to the fee for the lodgement of the complaint prior to the matter coming to court and the hearing could be dispensed with. (8) If the case did not concern a demand for money or damages at the discretion of the Warden and with the consent of the parties it could be heard summarily (without formal proceedings). The decision of the Warden in these cases was final. (9)

Each Warden was to maintain a Register of Complaints listing all of the matters which came before him. The entries were to be arranged in order of appearance and to be numbered consecutively. The Register was to include the names of the parties with their last known address, a summary of the dispute including amount if money was sought. Cases heard summarily were to be included in the Register. A minute recording the decision of the Court was entered into the Register whether a full hearing was conducted or the case was held summarily. (10)

If either party to the dispute was order to pay money to the services of bailiffs, police and other law enforcement officers could be used to enforce payment. (11) Appeal was available from decisions of the Warden’s Court (other than those for which Warden’s decision was final) to the District Courts in its Mining jurisdiction. In order to gather evidence and to ensure that justice was done the Warden could seize gold, minerals or earth, enter an adjacent claim, make an injunction or order the deposit of gold. (12)

An Act to legalise mining on Private Lands, 1894 (57 Vic. No.32) extended the jurisdiction, powers and authorities of Mining Wardens beyond Crown Land. (13) In particular Wardens could authorise those in possession of miners’ rights or mineral leases to examine the surfaces of privately owned land. (14) The Wardens heard claims relating to the compensation of the owners or occupants of property if they were unsatisfied with the amount determined by Mining Appraisers. (15)

The Mining Laws Amendment Act, 1896 (60 Vic. No.40) further enunciated the responsibilities of the Warden to include determining whether the land entered for mining purposes was suitable for the mineral concerned; (16) discretion to set a fee payable to the owner for entry to property; (17) conducting inquiries to assess the extent of surface damage and the amount of compensation to be paid prior to the commencement of mining operations; (18) assessing the market value of land resumed for mining purposes. (19)

The Justices Act, 1902 (Act No.27, 1902) set up a process for appeal to the Supreme Court against the decisions of a Warden’s Court when a party believed that there was a mistake in interpretation of law. (20)

Appeal against the assessment of resumed land could be made to the Supreme Court where the appellate court consisted of a Supreme Court Judge and two assessors one appointed by the Minister and the other by the owner of the land. (21)

The Mining Act 1973 (Act No.42, 1973) added to the powers of the rulings of Wardens including the right to rule that any money be paid in instalments (22) and for the Warden to ensure that the rulings of the court be put into effect including that property is delivered to the rightful owner; the party at fault ceases using water and similar instructions. (23)

The Mining (Amendment) Act, 1976 (Act No.27, 1976) gave the Warden the extra responsibility of determining the legitimacy of claims by holding an inquiry and reporting to the Mining registrar. (24)

The Mining (Amendment) Act, 1980 (Act No.81, 1980) substituted the word ‘property’ for ‘race, drain, dam, reservoir, water, machinery or easement’ the terminology which had been use in the various Mining Acts since 1874. (25)

The office of Mining Warden was continued by the Mining Act, 1992 (Act No.29, 1992).

The office of Mining Warden was usually held in conjunction with other offices including Police Magistrate or Clerk of Petty Sessions, but the court was a separate legal identity.

On 7 April 2009, all of the Warden’s Courts were abolished under the Court and Crimes Legislation Further Amendment Act 2008 (Act No.107, 2008). (26) The jurisdiction conferred on the Warden’s Courts and the Wardens by the Mining Act 1992 (Act No.29, 1992) was transferred to the Land and Environment Court. (27)

(1) NSW Government Gazette No.112, 12 May 1874, pp.1460-1461.
(2) Mining Regulation Act, 1874 s.67.
(3) Ibid. s.68.
(4) Ibid. s.69.
(5) Ibid. s.70
(6) Ibid. s.76.
(7) Ibid. s.79.
(8) Ibid. s.73.
(9) Ibid. s.71.
(10) Ibid. s.72.
(11) Ibid. s.84.
(12) Ibid. ss.85-89.
(13) Mining on Private Lands Act, 1894 s.36.
(14) Ibid. s.8.
(15) Ibid. ss.16-17 and 20.
(16) Mining Laws Amendment Act, 1896 s.2(a).
(17) Ibid. s.2 (b).
(18 Ibid. s.2 (d).
(19) Ibid. s.4.
(20) Justices Act, 1902 s.101.
(21) Mining Act, 1906 s.159.
(22) Mining Act, 1973 s.141.
(23) Ibid. s.142.
(24) Mining (Amendment) Act, 1976 Schedule 7 (2) New Section 178a of the Mining Act, 1973.
(25) Mining (Amendment) Act, 1980 Schedule 8 (1) (a) Amending Section 144 (1) of the Mining Act, 1973.
(26) Courts and Crimes Legislation Further Amendment Act, 2008 Schedule 19 (54) Amending Schedule 6 of the Mining Act 1992; Commencement Proclamation under the Courts and Crimes Legislation Further Amendment Act 2008 (Act No.107, 2008), published NSW Legislation Website (2009-112), 3 April 2009, Explanatory note.
(27) Ibid. Commencement proclamation, Explanatory note.

Albury District Court

  • Agency022
  • Government agency
  • 9 December 1858 - 1 July 1973

The Albury District Court was established on 9 December 1858 within the Southern District, utilising the boundaries of the Albury Police District. (1)

The District Court Act of 1858 (22 Vic No 18) was assented to on 12 November 1858. This Act established District Courts to replace Courts of Requests and had jurisdiction in civil cases where the values of the property involved did not exceed £200. (2)

The District Court performed the function of an intermediate Court between the Small Debts and Supreme Courts. Sittings occured at least twice each year in major country towns. Cases were normally heard by a Judge but either party could call for the empanelment of a jury if the amount in dispute exceeded £100. The Court's jurisdiction covered equity, probate, some divorce proceedings referred to it by the Supreme Courts and some common law matters where the amount in dispute was below £6000 or below £400 if land title was involved. Appeal, where available, was to the Appellate Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court decisions of the Supreme Court were over those actions cognisable on the common law side of the Supreme Court. (3)

The District Court Act 1973 (Act No 9, 1973), which came into effect on 1 July 1973 (4), abolished the existing District Courts and Courts of Quarter Sessions and the District Court was reconstituted as a single Court with both criminal and civil jurisdiction throughout New South Wales. (5)

(1) NSW Government Gazette, 9 December 1858, p.2173
(2) NSW Government Gazette, 12 November 1858, p.1899
(3) Official Yearbook of NSW, 1966. pp 380-1
(4) NSW Government Gazette, 8 June 1973, p. 2158
(5) The District Courts Act, 1973 s. 8 and s.9

Holbrook Warden's Court

  • Agency023
  • Government agency
  • 12 May 1874 - 1 December 1970

In accordance with Section 67 of the Mining Act, 1874 (37 Vic. No.13), the Ten-Mile Creek Warden’s Court was established by proclamation on 12 May 1874, and was to be held at the Ten-Mile Creek Police Station. (1)
In 1880, the Ten-Mile Creek Court of Petty Sessions was renamed Germanton “that being the present designation of the town and parish”. Therefore, the Ten-Mile Creek Warden’s Court also was later known as Germanton Warden’s Court. (2)
On 30 November 1915, Germanton Warden’s Court was renamed Holbrook Warden's Court [I]. (3)
The Holbrook Warden’s Court [I] was abolished with the Holbrook Mining Division of the Tumut and Adelong Mining District on 24 April 1942. (4)
In accordance with Section 131 of the Mining Act, 1906 (Act No.49, 1906) (as amended), the Holbrook Warden's Court was again established by proclamation on 13 December 1946. (5)
The Holbrook Warden's Court [II] was abolished with the Holbrook Mining Division of the Tumut and Adelong Mining District on 1 December 1970. (6)

(1) NSW Government Gazette No.112, 12 May 1874, pp.1460-1461.
(2) NSW Government Gazette No. 356, 3 September 1880, p.4554; Geographical Names Board Website,, Geographical Names Register Extract, (cited 2 September 2009); Greater Hume Shire Council Website, (cited 3 September 2009).
(3) NSW Government Gazette No.219, 8 December 1915, p.7382.
(4) NSW Government Gazette No.64, 24 April 1942, p.1456.
(5) NSW Government Gazette No.138, 13 December 1946, p.2842.
(6) NSW Government Gazette No.153, 27 November 1970, pp.4793-4795.

Dr Keith Swan

  • Agency031
  • Person
  • 1916-1996

Keith J. Swan's contribution to our regional history has been by far the most significant to date. An Honours graduate (1950) with a Master of Arts from Sydney University (1958), Swan was awarded an honorary doctorate from Charles Sturt University in April 1995. Before his death in September 1996, Swan charted the region's history in thirteen books and monographs as well as many articles.
Commissioned by the Wagga Wagga City Council, Swan published perhaps his best known work, A History of Wagga Wagga, in 1970. The book was reviewed as an original and pioneering piece of local history, since it was one of the first studies to address Aboriginal history prior to white settlement. He also edited and contributed to a book entitled Historians at Work in which he highlighted the methodology involved in writing and researching regional histories.
Swan began his teaching career in this region in 1950 at the newly established Wagga Wagga Teachers' College. Following the formation of the Riverina College of Advanced Education, Swan was appointed senior lecturer in history in 1972, and became Acting Dean of the School of Business and Liberal Studies one year later.
His contribution to the tertiary education sector was recognised in the 1974 New Year Honours (BEM) and a lecture theatre dedicated in his name on Charles Sturt University's Riverina campus. Whilst working as a professional historian and academic, Swan re-established the Wagga Wagga and District Historical Society in 1962. He subsequently served as President and initiated the Society's archival collection.
Swan's collecting initiatives continued with the suggestion that the College form a Riverina Collection of archival material and printed sources to complement regional research and teaching. Following the suggestion by the College Principal Cliff Blake, Swan accepted a consultancy and oversaw the Collection's development. Accompanied by his wife, Vera Swan, who was also a librarian for the College and equally responsible for the Collection's germination, Swan visited a number of archive and library sites in the US, Canada and the UK during 1977 and 1978. Upon his return, he recommended to the College Council that the Collection be split and managed separately, with the printed material forming the basis of the Margaret Carnegie Collection of Australiana, and the archival material kept and housed in the College's new Riverina Archives.

Compiled by James Logan and Troy Whitford.

Wagga Wagga City Library

  • Agency035
  • Government agency
  • 1946 - present

The Wagga Wagga Free City Library was officially opened on 24 May 1946 by the NSW Director-General of Education, Mr JG McKenzie. Miss Jean Hay was appointed the first librarian, with aproximately 5000 books in her care. The majority of the book collection was from the Wagga School of Arts Library. The remainder was purchased from the NSW State Library.

James Fiddes

  • Agency041
  • Person
  • (1873) - 1922

James Fiddes ran a furnituture store, with an attached photographic studio, on the western side of Fitzmaurice Street between Johnston Street and the Wollundry Lagoon (1873 - 1906).

Quilter Family of Junee

  • Agency042
  • Family

The Quilter family owned properties called 'Claris Park' and Yaralla' in the Junee area from the late 1800s.

Tubbo Estate Company Pty Ltd

  • Agency002
  • Business
  • 1887 -

Tubbo Station, located near Whitton, still stands as one of the richest and largest grazing and sheep properties in the Riverina.

Tubbo was first established during the mid-1800's by a Scottish squatter, John Peter, who managed successfully almost twenty runs, or over 740 000 acres, throughout this region by 1866. John Peter's financial health was equally blessed by his fortunate marriage to the widow of the Gumly Gumly Station owner, Mrs Mary Bourke in 1837. His contribution to the growth of Wagga Wagga was also integral. He was particularly influential in lobbying for the establishment of a permanent Court of Petty Sessions in Wagga Wagga and he would often serve as magistrate for the Bench in the Wagga Wagga district. Moreover, John Peter's Tubbo rose from meagre beginnings to become almost a village within itself, comprising of 7 smaller stations, a school, blacksmith and general store for its employees and their families. All of John Peter's stations boasted a reputed annual income of £40 000.

An investment company later purchased the Tubbo run from John Peter's Estate in 1887 at a cost of over £361 000. The Tubbo Estate Company, which consisted of directors Archibald Fisken, John Archibald Campbell, William Peter McGregor and Andrew McGregor, bought the 200 000 acre run and continued to manage it as predominantly a sheep station. In its first year of operation as a company, Tubbo prided itself on its shearing output, clipping as many as 121 847 sheep, which was the third largest amount shorn in New South Wales. Much of the initial shearing was, however, carried out by non-union shearers.

Inevitably, Tubbo became the centre of unionist activity by the end of 1888, forcing the first manager, Neil McCallum, to hire the services of the police for protection. McCallum was not afraid to use the law to discipline workers. In one case of industrial sabotage, an engineer who had worked on a steam engine was dismissed because there was no employment for him. The engineer had tampered with the machinery with the intention of injuring the next operator. McCallum assembled a party of policemen and pursued the fleeing worker, catching him later at Narrandera. The engineer was charged and eventually released on bail at £400 and summoned to appear at Wagga Wagga Court House.

The historical significance of Tubbo Station cannot be underestimated, since it is one of the few remaining stations that managed to avoid losing much of its holdings to government subdivision and soldier settlement. Maps of Tubbo held in the collection illustrate the shrewd efforts of early management in retaining much of its river frontage, despite the existence of a reliable underground water source. Back blocks were cultivated eventually, or dressed up and sold off to the government for the purposes of closer settlement. The Tubbo collection is rather large and comprehensive, offering researchers of grazing and rural studies a fine reflection of the management practices that have taken place on bigger stations from the colonial days up until the 1970s.

History compiled by James Logan and Troy Whitford (1999).

R. J. E. Gormly Card Indexes on Wagga; Morris, Mervyn J., Tubbo Station: a study in industrial relations 1888-1900. UNE Bachelor of Letters thesis, 1982; Swan, Keith J., A History of Wagga Wagga. City of Wagga Wagga, 1970; Whitford, Troy "An Historical Analysis of Cattle Grazing Practices on the Murrumbidgee River Flood Plain 1895-1996", Rural Society, vol.9 no. 2, 1999, pp. 457-471.

Henningham's Studio

  • Agency037
  • Business
  • November 1888 - (1914) 1925?

Ernest Henningham moved to Wagga Wagga from Sydney and joined James Fiddes in his photography business for about three years before branching out on his own in 1888. He built his photographic studio on the western side of Fitzmaurice Street, Wagga Wagga, very close to the Wollundry Lagoon Bridge. (1)
Henningham died in 1949, aged 49 years. His son, Geoffrey returned to Wagga in 1924 to take over his father's business. (2)

(1) Wagga Wagga Advertiser, 30 October 1888,
(2) Daily Advertiser, 18 October 1924,

New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency, Wagga Wagga

  • Agency025
  • Business
  • 1922-1927; 1946-1957?

The New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency was first registered in April 1865. (1)
A branch office was opened in Wagga Wagga in September 1922 after absorbing the firm of Dill and Watson and was located in Gurwood Street.(2) The branch office closed in 1927 and a new firm under the title of Mackie, Docker and Co. became the agents of New Zealand Loan and also took over the offices in Gurwood Street. (3)
A new branch office was opened in Wagga Wagga on 26 December 1946 after the company acquired the business of Tapscott, Thorne and Co. (4)

(1) Australian National University Archives, New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company Limited
(2) The Sydney Stock and Station Journal, 29 Sep 1922, pg.13
(3) The Daily Advertiser, 4 Jun 1927, pg.4
(4) The Farmer and Settler, 20 Dec 1946, pg.15

Hore & Macintosh Co. Ltd.

  • Agency026
  • Business
  • October 1928 - 31 December 1946

In May 1925, Rod Hore purchased an interest in the real estate firm of Thomas Flanagan and Co. and the business began trading as Flanagan and Hore. Hore and CW Macintosh took over in October 1928. The offices of Hore and Macintosh were located in Fitzmaurice Street, opposite the Wagga Wagga Post Office, probably within the Australian Hotel Buildings.
Mr JB Docker purchased the interests of CW Macintosh from 1 July 1934, however the firm only changed its name to Hore and Docker from 1 January 1947.

Florance Family of Cootamundra

  • Agency040
  • Family
  • 1845 - 1928

Dr Egbert Florance, a well-known member of the Cootamundra community, spent 25 years looking after the health concerns of the residents of his adopted district. He arrived in Cootamundra about 1893 and ran his practice there until his death in 1928 at the age of 84 years.

Egbert was born in Chester, England, on March 19, 1845, the son of Dr William Florance, the Medical Officer for the Chester and Hollyhead Railway Company in England. William emigrated from London to Australia and arrived in Melbourne aboard the “California” in October 1853. Egbert and his seven siblings arrived in Geelong with their mother Eliza aboard the “Maria Hay” on 17 August 1855, two years after his father arrived in Victoria.

In 1861, at the age of sixteen years, Egbert stowed away on a small brig headed for Dunedin, New Zealand. He later claimed his medical career began when he billeted with Dr W Jackson. Prior to a 50-bed wooden hospital being built in 1863, Dr Jackson started a tent hospital, the first in Dunstan in the Otago Region of New Zealand. Egbert looked after patients and assisted in operations.

In 1863, Egbert volunteered during the Maori War and was appointed to the 3rd Regiment, Waikato Militia, Company No.8. In 1864, Cambridge on the Waikato River was founded and Egbert remained there seventeen months before he resigned from the Regiment having taken part in a number of confrontations with the Maori people.

Egbert returned to Australia at some point and married Leila Gertrude Paton in 1874 at Geelong, Victoria, and went to Avenal, then Mooroopna, to work as a doctor. In about 1881, Egbert and his family went to the United States where he enrolled in the School of Medicine at Pennsylvania University. He graduated as a Doctor of Medicine on 1 May 1884 with an Honourable Mention, having written a thesis on Snake Bite.

The Florance family returned to Australia and Egbert opened practices in Bungendore [1884], Cooma [1885-1887], Bungendore again [May 1888-1890], and Braidwood [1890-1893]. He went to practice in Cootamundra from 1893 until his death in 1928.

Compiled by June Dietrich.

The Florance Family Collection, RW253 at CSU Regional Archives;
The Australian Medical Pioneers Index;
The Victorian Gazette Pharmaceutical List;
The University of Pennsylvania, catalogue and announcements, 1884-1885.

Mitchell Shire Council

  • Agency054
  • Government agency
  • 1906-1981

Mitchell Shire Council was subsumed by Wagga Wagga City Council in 1981.

Kyeamba Shire Council

  • Agency060
  • Government agency
  • 1906-1981

The Kyeamba Shire Council was amalgamated with the Wagga Wagga City Council in 1981.

Gormly Family of Wagga Wagga

  • Agency061
  • Family

James Gormly was born on 24 July 1836 in Elphin, County Roscommon, Ireland and arrived with his family in Sydney as a bounty immigrant in February 1840. Four years later the family moved to Nangus, along the Murrumbidgee, and later settled at Gundagai in 1849. In the 1852 Gundagai flood, most of the Gormly family perished, except for James and his brother Thomas. The following year the Gormly brothers enjoyed some success, selling stock at the Victorian markets and finding gold on the Victorian goldfields.

James Gormly settled at Wagga Wagga in 1854, met and married Margaret Jane Cox at Holbrook in 1858 and successfully operated a government mail run until 1872. Margaret was born the daughter of Jospeh and ? Cox of "Livingstone Gully" on 26 November 1838. The Gormlys' pastoral interests continued when James bought land at The Rock in 1873, leased "Coronga Peak" in the Bourke district in 1875, then selling and taking up "Wilga Downs", at West Bogan. After selling "Wilga Downs" for a nice profit, he returned to Wagga Wagga in 1882, bought urban real estate and led an active political life.

After serving as a Wagga Wagga Town Alderman (1883-1885) and Mayor (1884-1885), James entered State politics as the Member for Murrumbidgee in the Legislative Assembly (October 1885 - June 1894). He was subsequently re-elected in the seat of Wagga Wagga in July 1894 until he resigned in June 1904. He then served in the Legislative Council from August 1904 until his death in May 1922. A member of the Public Works Committee (1894-1895) and strong avocate of the protectionist cause, James' career included representation in the Wagga Wagga Free Selectors' Association, the Mechanics' School of Arts, the Murrubidgee Pastoral and Agricultural Association, the Murrumbidgee Turf Club, the Wagga Wagga and District Horse-breeders Associaiton and the Library Association of Australia. He had a great love of horses and was one of the marathon jockeys who participated in the infamous "Ten Mile Race" held at Wagga Wagga on 20 November 1868. Before his death on 19 May 1922, James wrote many articles on the district's history, which were then gathered together in the publication "Exploration and Settlement on the Murray and Murrumbidgee" (1909). He was also the author of "The Discovery of Yass Plains" (1921), "The Flea-bitten Grey" (1921) and "Exploration and Settlement in Australia" (1921).

James and Mary's son, Richard Jospeh Ernest Gormly (1868-?) was also very interested in the history of the Wagga Wagga district and gathered up a large collection of notes and resources in preparation of writing a published history. His card index is held at the NSW State Library.

Riverine University League

  • Agency064
  • Advocacy group
  • 1952-1981

The Riverine University League was a single issue regional pressure group, based on and funded by local government organisations. Originally known as the Riverina Councils' University League, it changed its name to the Riverine Councils' University League within months of its establishment in 1952 in the hope of attracting support from councils in north east Victoria as well as from those in southern New South Wales. Although it attracted some Victorian backing, most of the League's forty six institutional members were from New South Wales. In 1959, when it was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee, it took the name Riverine University League.

Under the leadership of Dr William Andrew Merrylees (1900-69) the League come close to securing the establishment of a Riverina University College in 1966-67, and was instrumental in persuading the New South Wales Government to establish the Riverina College of Advanced Education in 1971 as a genuinely regional institution, with campuses initially at Wagga Wagga, Albury and Griffith.

The largest and most important accessions of the League's records at CSU Regional Archives (RW74, RW624) comprise the papers of the president, Dr Merrylees, who served until his sudden death in 1969. A Rhodes Scholar and former senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Melbourne, Merrylees had been involved since 1936 in the management of a family property, Groongal Station, Hay (RW75), becoming widely known for his pioneering experiments in large scale irrigation. Active in a number of regional development organisations - among them the Murrumbidgee Valley Water Users' Association, the Murray Valley Development League (RW214) and the Lachlan Valley Development League - Merrylees was a prolific pamphleteer and writer, who maintained an extensive correspondence with many key figures in Australian politics and education. His correspondents include Sir Kenneth Bailey, Professor J.P. Baxter, C.E.W. Bean, Sir John Behan, A.G. Enticknap, MLA, Sir John Gorton, Eric Hoare, Sir William Hudson, G.V. Lawrence, Sir Leslie Martin, Sir Robert Menzies, Professor E. Morris Miller, R.W. Prunster, Hugh S. Roberton, MHR, Sir Ian Wark, Sir Alan Watt, and E.R. Wilson.

History compiled by Don Boadle (c.2001).

Sources : Boadle, Donald, Selling the Rural University: W.A. Merrylees' Writings for the Riverine University League, Wagga Wagga, 1986; ____, 'The Idealist as Lobbyist: W.A. Merrylees and his Campaign for an Australian University' in D. Stockley (ed.), Melbourne Studies in Education, Melbourne, 1989-90, 34-48; ____, 'Critics of Australia's Binary Policy: the Riverina University College Debate, 1965-67', History of Education Review, 23 (2), 1994, 18-31; ____, 'William Andrew Merrylees (1900-1969)' in John Ritchie (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 15, Melbourne, 2000.

Wagga Wagga Show Society

  • Agency069
  • Community group
  • 1865 -

Founded in 1865, the Murrumbidgee Pastoral Association amalgamated with the Agricultural and Horticultural Association to form the Pastoral and Agricultural Association. Renamed the Wagga Wagga Show Society in 1961, it ran the Night Trotting Control Board until 1978.

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