Strangers in a foreign land

Maggie MacKellar
The Miegunyah Press in association with the State Library of Victoria
Hardback 320 pp Illustrated ISBN 0522855128

The object of this Journal is to enable my Relations at home to form some idea of my mode of living here, the manner in which my time is spent … To hunt their Fortunes Strangers in a foreign land, and also to enable them to afford some practical information to the anxious inquiries of intending Emigrants.

When Niel Black, one of the most influential settlers of the Western District of Victoria, stepped onto the sand at Port Phillip Bay in 1839 and declared Melbourne to be 'almost altogether a Scotch settlement', he was paying the newly created outpost of the British Empire his highest compliment.

Niel Black's journal is reproduced here in its entirety, along with glimpses into the lives of other settlers and the indigenous people of the area. It evokes the sense of place and dislocation that the early settlers encountered, and the hopes and anxieties they carried with them as they created new homes in Australia.

Maggie MacKellar is an academic and historian. Her first book, Core of my heart my country, was about the role of women on the frontiers of Australia and Canada.

This book is out of print, but you can find it in the Library's collection