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Strangers in a Foreign Land: The Journal of Niel Black and Other Voices from the Western District

by: Maggie MacKellar
published by: The Miegunyah Press in association with The State Library of Victoria

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.

His journal, reproduced in its entirety, provides an insight into the daily life of early settlement in Victoria, detailing experiences of personal hardship and physical danger as well as the potential for accumulating great wealth and success.

Drawing on State Library of Victoria's collections, Strangers in a Foreign Land also includes 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.


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