Against the Flow - The Struggle for the Murray-Darling Pastoral River Trade of Western NSW 1830-1880
Sep 21, 2021
Dr Jim Donaldson
Against the Flow - The Struggle for the Murray-Darling Pastoral River Trade of Western NSW 1830-1880

The book upon which Dr Jim Donaldson's talk will be based was a study of the major rivers of New South Wales, west of the Great Divide, the pastoral expansion of sheep and cattle into aboriginal lands, the rise of commercial markets, the difficulties of overland transport of wool and rations for pastoral stations and developing townships, and the advantages taken by steamer river traffic to solve the problems of these isolated communities and to open up new pastoral country.
Obviously, the ongoing problems of water and land use, and the management of the Murray -Darling river waters persist, as do the ongoing problems with the treatment of aboriginals etc.
Many of the present difficulties, arose in these early days of Colonial expansion, and have remained basically unsolved or unheeded. An adequate knowledge of past history is often a clue to solving the present and future problems of the day.
James Donaldson was born in Edinburgh Scotland, in 1935, and educated at the Royal High School of Edinburgh. In 1951 he immigrated to Australia, and worked on sheep and wheat properties in New South Wales for six years. He attended the University of Sydney in preparation for ordination into the Ministry of the Church.
There he graduated Bachelor of Arts and with a post-graduate Bachelor of Divinity, with First Class Honours and with the award of the University Medal in 1969.  Later, he studied for the degree of Master of Theology in Melbourne, and a Doctorate in San Francisco in the USA in 1979.
He was Minister at Belconnen in the ACT; Chaplain at Knox Grammar School in Sydney and Senior Minister at Toorak Uniting Church in Melbourne. He was Senior Army Chaplain for the Uniting Church in Victoria, and retired from the Army Reserve with the rank of Lt-Colonel, and with the Award of the Reserve Forces Decoration. He was Visiting Scholar at the Princeton Theological Seminary in 1993.
He has a keen interest in the reading of history, especially in Scotland and Australia, the pastoral heritage of sheep, of shearing machinery and travelling around woolsheds. Fortunately he is still on a learning curve.