Upper Hunter Valley, a reserve for Aboriginal people

The second area set aside in the Upper Hunter Valley as a reserve for Aboriginal people (after Caroona) is situated between Muswellbrook and Singleton at Carrowbrook. It is established by Rev J.S White on Glennies Creek and called St Clair (later Mount Olive Station). People whose traditional lands make up the Hunter Valley region form a large proportion of the St Clair population. They include the Darkinung, Wonnarua, Awabakal and Worimi. They quickly adapt and combine European farming on the 60 acres and customary means of subsistence. They grow and harvest vegetables including corn, potatoes and cabbages. St Clair became the centre of Aboriginal life in the region for the next fifty or so years. Families at St Clair during the 1890s include but are not limited to: Tom and Nellie Phillips who receive financial support, rations and seed there until 1906; Henry, George and Mary Perry; the Murphy family including Albert Murphy who was granted some land in 1899; the Robertson and Saunders families. The APB reports that there are twenty acres under crop at St Clair in 1894 and that the population had grown to 76 in Singleton, about half of whom were children. (AIATSIS, Australian Museum; Nolan, ‘We want to do what they did’, p23)