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Since the dawn of civilization in the Upper Murray there have been men and women of extraordinary resilience, who have adapted to life in this mountainous terrain. For thousands of generations the local indigenous people carved out an existence in the mountains and valleys as hunters and food gatherers, a lifestyle that required continual movement following the rules of nature. Our pioneers of European heritage arrived from the late 1830s onwards. To these new arrivals, the environment provided many challenges and at times life was very tough. It was after all for them uncharted territory. Some faltered, some endured, others thrived. In the late 1880s, aspiring poet  Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson, accompanied by brothers, Peter and Walter Mitchell from  Bringenbrong Station, ventured into the high country of the Upper Murray. At that time, the Upper Murray region had been largely under the stewardship of squatters and land selectors for just over fifty years. The travelling party spent a night at  Tom Groggin, at the base of the dramatic western fall of the Snowy Mountains, with a stock-man who managed the cattle grazing on the Pierce family's high country leases. This stock-man was Jack Riley. Successfully managing livestock in rugged this sub-alpine environment required  no less than exceptional horsemanship and bush survival skills. This knowledge and skill was often directly passed on to subsequent generations. To many others, it was taught through stories of past experiences, often shared around a camp fire at the end of a long working day. Many local people believe that it was one of Jack Riley's stories that inspired ‘The Man From Snowy River poem,  first published in The Bulletin newspaper in Sydney in April 1890,  several months after Banjo Paterson met Jack.

The Man From Snowy River poem is generally

acknowledged as a tribute to all the early stock

men and women of the Australian high country,

including those who have lived and worked in

the Upper  Murray. 

The Upper Murray connection to

‘The Man From Snowy River’ poem

“The Man From Snowy River’ Country of North-Eastern Victoria & Southern NSW