Author(s): Tom Guthrie
It was the brave and adventurous pioneers who opened up much of outback Australia for agriculture and settlement. They took enormous risks, financially and personally, in venturing further and further into inland Australia. This is the story of one family's adventure as they continued to push the boundaries against the harshness of the outback environment. When the Northern Territory's Barkly Tableland was auctioned for settlement, Thomas Guthrie took on his biggest challenge by purchasing a million acres: that set the scene for the longest sheep drive in Australian history. Eleven thousand sheep left the north-west Victorian property Rich Avon in September 1882. After 16 months and 3500 kilometres of following rivers and battling drought, crisscrossing the continent from south to north, the droving team reached its destination. Longreach's Stockman's Hall of Fame called it 'the longest ever droving trip with sheep'. Tom Guthrie is a fourth-generation sheep farmer. He is married to Sarah and they have two children, Pollyanna and Ford. Tom and Sarah share their time producing prime lamb and wool on their family farm in western Victoria, with managing their Grampians Estate Winery, which includes two vineyards, a winery and a cellar door. Tom spent his childhood years at Donald in north-western Victoria on the original family property Rich Avon. During those years he spent time at boarding school and university where he graduated with a Degree in Agricultural Engineering. As the great-grandson of the book's central character Thomas Guthrie, Tom marvelled at his great-grandfather's endeavour, adventure and excitement during his life. Tom compared his journey to the relative security and safety of life today, in the 21st century. He decided to find out more and this book brings to life the story he uncovered.