This is Joanne-

1 walk She is a very busy Mum of 3 beautiful children, and she lives in Bendigo, Victoria.

   The story below is by her, in her words, and she takes us to Mt Macedon, a truly beautiful bit of Victoria.


  Mt.Macedon is the green spot 64 kms n-w Melbourne.


 " I was set the task of organising my friend's birthday, and she had 3 requests -

1. Peaceful

2. Explore

3. No children. 

Not sure how we segued to cemeteries, but I found this -

One read - and I was down the rabbit hole completely hooked.


Historic & beautiful . . . . the resting place of Ellis Rowan, flower hunter and renowned artist.

This story actually begins in 2002, when I took my first child (less than ten days old!!) to the Ellis Rowan exhibition in Canberra.  On that day I got a poster which still remains in my daughters room

             i ellis r  ellis 2   ellis rowwan 1

 I had no idea Ellis Rowan's family home had been at Mt Macedon, and that the family - including Ellis herself, were buried at the Macedon Cemetery.

Ellis Rowan painted more species of Australian and International flora than any other artist of her era (1842-1922). She won many prizes, but, because she was a woman and had received no formal qualifications, her career was steeped in controversy - the artistic landscape of the late 1900's was particularly male dominated !!

             ellis 4  ellis rowan 5  ellis 61

The collection was acquired by the Commonwealth after her death in 1932 - for a fraction of what they would have cost, had they been sold individually (or if she had been a man) Her "masterly delineations", can now be located in the National Library in Canberra.

                        at mt macedonSo, skip forward to 2015 and here I am organising my friend's birthday party. . .First stop up Mt Macedon was trying to find the anti-gravity spot in Straws Lane - needless to say, we're still looking !!

Next stop was the Anzac Cross at the top. It is very impressive for sure, with views to Melbourne on a good day !!

Not the original cross - that went in the Ash Wednesday bushfires, but it is still a testament to the sacrifice.

            a general

        Next stop - food. We stopped in at the Telegraph Trading Post and ate up a storm, then checked out the nursery across the road. All adding to the birthday pleasures.

                             autumn 3

                     We gloried in the beauty of the autumn foliage - and yes, we did finally make it to the Cemetery !!

    The first sight I had was looking back towards the mountain, with the stunningly lovely "Asleep" by Peter Schipperheyn.


She was absolutely beautiful, even down to the lines on the soles of her feet. What a breathtaking resting place. The only sound was that of the black cockatoos overhead, and the murmurs of my friends as they studied the headstones trying to establish family origins, connections, and the stories the gravestones were telling us.                                                     

ellis headstone

I had purchased a book about the cemetery, and finally seeing the headstones, set amidst such beauty, was both overwhelming and humbling.

So many stories, so much beauty !! There was Ellis Rowan and the extended Rowan Family. Finally we had found the reason we simply HAD to come here.



Another story I was desperate to see was that of Rudolph (Butz) Schmidt - he had been through so much tragedy in the war - came to Australia, found peace at Mt. Macedon, only to be hit by the Ash Wednesday bushfire of 1983. His beloved wife joined him in rest with a beautiful tribute to her artistic talents, in 2012.

 Then we found the headstone of a mother and her 2  young children, all 3 passing on the same day in 1981. We knew we had found a horrific accident - and we wondered what happened to the father and the only child to survive ?


 In all, as you would expect, there were a variety of ages, races, stages, love stories, tragedy, artists, comedians, musicians, throughout the whole cemetery. Set in the most beautiful location.

                         headstone 6     togetherness 3         

If you have a spare afternoon, it is truly worth every minute spent here in quiet reflection".

 Thank you so much Jo, loved your story.  Next time we head for Melbourne, we will be taking a short trip N-W 64 kms., and visiting the Mt Macedon cemetery.

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Many years ago I was a chemistry teacher, with 2 beautiful children - Naomi and Nicholas, and life was pretty damn good.

Unfortunately, the lure of retail became overwhelming, and so "Peppertree Cottage" in Mackay became a third child much to the disgust of the original two.

Move on a few years, change the retail to "The Very Thing" in Brisbane, and wholesale to "Chameleon House", and for each year, try to stuff more and more into each day.

20 years go by, change the scenario to married life with a beloved Malcolm, add in 2 gorgeous grandies Lachlan and Zachary,stir the mixture well and get wise enough to retire.

NOW, at last I have the time to LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE and LEARN


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