Vivid Publishing - Book Publishers Australia

Ravenswood Dreaming

Kenneth J. Hill


As an indentured servant with the Peel Scheme, John Thomas senior and his family arrived at the Swan River settlement in 1829 aboard the Gilmore. They and many other families were landed 5 miles south of Fremantle at a place which became known as Clarence.

Within months poor organization, dysentery, influenza, scurvy and starvation began to threaten the venture. By winter of 1830, 37 people had died and the scheme failed. The remainder of the family moved to Fremantle and began a lightering and transport business on the Swan River and out to ships anchored off shore.

Shipwrecks and personal tragedy continued to dog the family. Despite these setbacks the company expanded further and prevailed under Young John’s leadership.

Much of the story takes place in Fremantle and the Murray District and on the water in boats and ships. Ravenswood Dreaming is an incredible story about the Thomas family’s struggle in the face of adversity and personal tragedy. Their rise from labourers and boatmen to highly regarded citizens of Fremantle and the Murray district was accompanied by their emerging consciousness of the plight of the Aboriginal people.

They, along the coast, along the rivers, and in the hinterland, led by such leaders as Yagan, Midgegooroo and Calyute, were fighting against overwhelming odds with spears, clubs and fire, for their survival, their culture and ownership of their traditional lands.





About the author

Kenneth J. Hill - author

Kenneth J. Hill was born in 1944 and grew up in Como, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia. His mother's family were early settlers in the district of Canning Bridge and a great deal of time was spent at their house on weekends. The Canning River was their playground and he, with his cousins, enjoyed a great deal of freedom to explore it. Kenneth's Grandparents’ house was a meeting place for their friends and relatives and he heard many interesting stories over the years.

Trained as a school teacher and after completing a Bachelor of Education at UWA, Kenneth taught in secondary schools for 35 years and primary schools for 10 years. With a love of literature and writing, retirement afforded the author the opportunity to record some of these stories.           


Other books by this author

Kenneth J. Hill - The Mulberry Tree

The Mulberry Tree: Living along the Canning

...we ventured out to places further afield in search of adventure; places with interesting names like Canning Bridge, Deep Water Point, Bull Creek, Weir’s Paddock and Bateman’s Field. Within walking distance of Nan’s place were miles of bushland, large swamps and lakes, the Canning River and several permanent streams that flowed into Bull Creek. They were magical Sundays. Most of all I remember the amazing freedom we had...
The Mulberry Tree spans the years 1920 to 1960 and is a rich exposition of places, practices and times past.

Click here to read more.



Ravenswood Dreaming by Kenneth J. Hill
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ISBN: 978-1-922565-88-4
Format: Paperback C 229mm x 152mm
Extent: 646 pages
RRP: $34.95
Publisher: Vivid Publishing
Category: Fiction -- Western Australia