With the Christmas festive season a time for some for reflection of various sorts, it is perhaps appropriate to reflect on the fact that Goulburn being an “innovation eco-system” is nothing new.
The brewery established at Goulburn in 1833 – at Bradley Grange on the banks of the Mulwaree Chain of Ponds – grew into Australia’s first inland industrial complex. It is Australia’s oldest surviving industrial complex. In addition to the brewery itself, the complex contains a stream-powered flour mill, tobacco curing kiln, and mews of stables and workers’ cottages.
The founders were William Bradley and William Shelley. These two men, or members of their immediate family:
- Grew the first commercial tobacco crops in Australia and received the first award for produce ever given by the Royal Agricultural Society – for 100wt of their tobacco;
- Through their knowledge of the tobacco plant, used it to produce sheep dips to control scab disease in sheep, which was threatening the wool industry in the 1850s;
- Started the Australian railways; William Bradley and Thomas Barker were founding directors of Sydney Railway Co. The first steam railway was built between Sydney and Parramatta by this company as the first stage of a line to Goulburn, funded principally by Goulburn capital, reaching Goulburn in 1869;
- Placed the order for Locomotive No. 1, now in the Powerhouse Museum;
- Set up the Union Bank and the Sydney Fire Insurance Co.
Other notable Goulburn firsts include: the first “Railway Hotel” in Grafton Street; Goulburn architect, E C Manfred introducing cavity brick walls into Australian building practice; Goulburn graziers pioneering the use of superphosphate for pasture improvement and the system of wool sales by staple sample; Goulburn butcher, George Adams, establishing Tattersall’s sweepstakes from his shop in Auburn Street where the AMP building now stands; Lee Manfred establishing the first chain of motels in Australia, under the Travelodge banner.