Derrier Camp, Imbil State Forest, 1950

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (13)

Ian Stehbens on May 14, 2007

After World War II, refugees from war-torn Eurpoe were resettled in Australia. Some of these "New Australians" were allocated employment in Imbil State Forest. The first to arrive were settled under canvas at the western foot of Derrier (or Derria) Hill. A more permanent camp was later established a kilometre away at what became known as Stirlings Crossing, beside Yabba Creek. The Derrier Hill campsite was later planted with Hoop Pine plantation (Auracaria cunninghamii) which today comprises the largest hoop pine forest in the world. Hoop Pine is a native softwood of this area of Queensland.

Ian Stehbens on August 21, 2007

By the way, I was a child when this pic was taken by my Uncle George. I often rode with him in the old Chev utility truck as he delivered groceries to the men in the camp. Talking to one of the new Australian men who was assigned to live here recently, and he told me that his wife wouldn't join him under canvas, and so he moved out into a farm house on Osmond's pineapple farm, rather than live again in refugee emergency circumstances. He went on to buy and establish his own fruit farm, growing pawpaws (papaya) on the hillsides of the Brooloo Gap.

Тилигузов Сергей on December 14, 2007

It's a historical photo. I'm shaken ...

With the best regards, Sergej.

Ian Stehbens on December 14, 2007

I thought you would like this. Isn't the connection we have made just so significant! I hope to learn more form you, Sergej in regard to the history of your region of Russia - East Prussia. Ian

Тилигузов Сергей on December 14, 2007

You are right, Ian. I was laconic because simply I've not found words (unfortunately I not always can express the feelings on English) what to write that I've felt when have seen this photo and read comment.


Lukasz J. on February 10, 2009

Very nice photo. I like it a lot. Friendly greeting from Poland, Lukas


Ian Stehbens on February 10, 2009

Hello Lukas,

After World War II, some of the refugees displaced by the war came to Australia. There were Poles among them, and some of them began their new life in Australia here, under canvas, working and living in this forested region.


PS: I wish you well in the contest.

Eduh ZM on December 14, 2009

Ian, congratulations for the picture!

The Australian Araucária is similar to Brazilian Araucaria, if you would like to see this tree, take a look at my picture:

Ian Stehbens on December 14, 2009

Again, friendly greetings Eduh ZM from Australia. Thanks for the link as well as for your appreciation of this historic picture from my childhood experience. I am aware of the Araucaria of Brazil & Argentina and of the different species in PNG and New Caledonia.



Eduh ZM on December 15, 2009

Ian, history is always good to learn about. To be honest with you, I only know about Araucária Angustifolia (Brazil) and Araucana (Chile), and now with you pictures of the Australian Araucária. Thank you for posting these pictures and helping me to learn more about this magnificent tree.

Greeting form Brazil!


Ian Stehbens on December 15, 2009

Dear Eduardo,

Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Norfolk Island all have other species of Araucaria. Our main native sppecies are A. bidwillii (Bunya Pine) and A. cunninghamii (Hoop Pine). They are clearly my favourite trees.

You will find a number of images in my gallery as well as a beautiful image in Craig Robbins gallery.

And I have just learnt that there is a small city in Brazil called Araucaria! Thank you for educating me.


Maja Weidemueller on January 11, 2011

Really very interesting Ian.... who made the photo? Touching indeed ~ a different world, shaken from different tragedies ...

~~~ Maja ~~~

Ian Stehbens on January 14, 2011

Dear Maja,

I really am not sure who in the family made the photo. I think it was either my Grandmother (for she loved photography and developed her own images) or else it was her daughter, Auntie Elsie or son-in-law Uncle George Price. I never saw George use a camera or heard of him using it, but it would have been a special occasion for either Elsie or Grannie to have been out in the truck to the forestry. So, while I think it was Uncle George who was the photographer on this occasion, it may have been either Elsie Stehbens Price or her mother, my Grandmother, Catherine Stehbens.

You may also be interested in some of the family names that were settled at Stirlings Crossing: Mastalerski, Nastaga, Mierocha, Stotschek, Nemetz, Kziadzis, Pejich.

I imagine it is interesting for those who live in Europe today, to reconnect at least in thought with those who left to make new lives elsewhere, never forgetting where they came from or their circumstances of leaving.

When you come to Brisbane, I'll delightedly connect you with some of my New Australian childhood friends.


Sign up to comment. Sign in if you already did it.

Photo details

  • Uploaded on May 14, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens