Media release

Colonial success story revealed


Cover of 'Surveying Success'

The life and climb of one of Queensland’s earliest upwardly mobile families is revealed in an absorbing history released today in Brisbane.


Surveying Success: The Hume Family in Colonial Queensland tells how Walter Hume negotiated the social, economic and political hurdles of colonial Queensland society to rise from surveyor to Land Court Judge.


“Hume’s friends and acquaintances were a who’s who of Queensland notables from the Governor to politicians and philanthropists. They came to know all the high flyers,” says author, historian Dr Hilary Davies.


“In Surveying Success we have a tell-all of how Queensland colonial society really operated. Different family members had varying degrees of success and some failed to prosper altogether.”


Dr Davies, of Wavell Heights, investigated the Hume family for her doctorate.


Hume and his family arrived in Queensland in the 1860s. He worked as a surveyor and land commissioner on the Darling Downs for the first 20 years in the new state, and played an important role in both the Stanthorpe tin mining boom and the struggle between pastoralists and farmers for control of the best land on the Darling Downs.


In 1885, Hume was appointed under-secretary of the Department of Public Lands and moved to Brisbane where he and his family became involved in many social, charitable and sporting activities. Hume’s final promotion was his appointment as a Land Court judge in 1898.


Hume and family returned to England on retirement soon after Federation although they revisited Queensland in 1907.


Surveying Success: The Hume Family in Colonial Queensland can be obtained by via the Brisbane History Group website for $35 plus postage.


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