Group Settlement 64 Memorial

Group Settlement 64 Memorial

Public Art : Group Settlement 64 Memorial

Sculptor : None required

Description : A commemorative memorial bronze plaque on a granite rock listing the names of the original early group settlers.

Date Unveiled : Unknown

Location : Along Sebbes Road, Forest Grove (just out of Margaret River), Western Australia. 

Inscription :

            Group 64 "Jarrahdene" Forrest Grove
This plaque is dedicated to and recognises the courage and tenacity of these original early group settlers.


Allen H.             Galvin J.              Ptolomey W.
Baker G.            Gilders s.            Ranger W.J.
Brooks A.A.       Grey W.              Ridd J.S.
Burton J.G.         Hay J.                Sammuels W.T.
Cairns L.G.         Hough E.            Sheppard F.A.
Cassidy              Hunter C.E.        Smith W.H.
Castle R.            Jackson J.          Steere H.W. Foreman
Colgan                James J.F.         Sunley E.
Coote C.M.         Jennings C.P.     Thurman J. Foreman
Cosford V.J.        Kemp A.G.         Tonkin J. Teacher
Crosgrove E.T.    Lenton B.            Trantor F.
Douglas W.        Mullen A.             Vigar H.
Eltham A.           Norton J.F.          Ward T.W.
Fogarty F.          Pink P.                Westnup W.
Foxon J.             Potter J.L.           Wood P.J.

Plaque donor C.A. Snowy Coote

Assisted by Shire of Augusta-Margaret River
with sincere thanks.

Background of Group Settlement In Western Australia : During the 1920's the Western Australian Government came up with a plan to attract migrants into the country areas. They called it the Group Settlement Scheme. The aim of the scheme was to open the sparsely populated and uncleared land of the State's South-West to migrants from Europe and Britain who were struggling to find work following WWI.

Sir James Mitchell, the then Premier of Western Australia, had become increasingly concerned about the enormous amount being spent on the importing of food supplies from the eastern states of Australia and was keen to develop the State's primary industries in order to create a more self sufficient State. The Premier however need a greater workforce to achieve this goal and requested the help of the British Government.

The British Government who were facing their own problems, with increasing dole queues following the end of World War I, saw this idea as a positive solution to their country's unemployment crisis and began an advertising campaign for families to start a new life in the paradise of Western Australia, the "land of milk and honey". The British Government paid for over 6,000 family passages to Western Australia. Little did the unskilled migrants know of the hardships they would endure apon arrival in the harsh wooded terrain.

The felling of the tall timbers was often done with inadequate equipment such as hand saws and axes. Many of the migrants, lured to Western Australian with the offer of free land, had never even worked a day on a farm let alone chopped a tree.

The scheme required settlers to work co-operatively in clearing blocks for farm land. Working in groups of twenty men or more they were paid by the government to work 8 hour days for six days of the week, clearing 160 acre (64ha) blocks. In reward for their labour they were given (through a ballot system) a cleared block of land.

Group Settlement Scheme began in 1921 and by the following year, over 1000 settlers (mainly British) had moved into the district with the offer of free land. They first moved into the areas of Karridale, Kudardup, Nuralingup, Forest Grove, Cowaramup, Rosa Brook, Witchcliffe and later Margaret River. With a growing population a number of schools were established to support the Group Settlements, they were Forest Grove, Rosa Brook, Rosa Glen, Osmington, Kudarup, Glenarty, McLeod’s Creek School and Nillup.

The Scheme, though a social and economic disaster for the State, helped open up agricultural land in the south-west and put Margaret River on the map.The Scheme, unfortunately, was to be a social and economic disaster for the State.




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