the unique beauty of
Rich in history, the story of Strathfieldsaye Estate dates back to the squatting era of the 1840s when Irish immigrant William Odell Raymond sought his fortune as a sheep grazier in Victoria’s central Gippsland.
Strathfieldsaye Estate is heritage listed at the local, state and national levels and is regarded as having the longest continuous occupation of a farm in Victoria. Its built environment includes a homestead, outbuildings, garden and landscape of a property that reflects more than 150 years of European occupation.
Situated in the picturesque East Gippsland, Victoria
Raymond’s first acquisition was the ‘Stratford’ run – a 16,000-acre property along the Avon River, on which he was permitted to run 6,000 sheep. He built the first pub in the area on Stratford – aptly named the Shakespeare Hotel after the name-bearer’s home town of Stratford-Upon-Avon. In 1848, Raymond acquired Strathfieldsaye Estate, with a total of 64,000 acres and a carrying capacity of 18,000 sheep and 1,000 cattle.
After Raymond’s death, the property was purchased by the Dishers in 1869 and was managed by three generations of the family over 107 years before being bequeathed to the University of Melbourne by Dr HC Disher in 1976. The Australian Landscape Trust was awarded management of the property in 2003, continuing Dr Disher’s vision to preserve the property for the benefit of the local farming community through the demonstration of sustainable primary production.
Today, the 2,100-acre property is managed by ALT with works undertaken to reverse some of the challenges at Strathfieldsaye Estate including the results of decades of high-input, high-intensity agricultural practices, the clearing of native vegetation, the salinisation of the Gippsland Lakes and an erratic climate.