The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Austin, Thomas
Austin, Thomas, a well-known Victorian squatter, came out with his parents from Great Britain to Tasmania about the year 1835. The former, however, soon returned to the old country, leaving their family to test the advantages of colonial life. Mr. Thomas Austin, accompanied by his brother, James (now of Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset), left Tasmania in 1839, for the then little known settlement of Port Phillip, taking with them a number of sheep which they ultimately depastured on country to the west ward of Geelong, on the east bank of the Barwon River, near what is now the town of Winchelsea. To this property they gave the name of Barwon Park—a name now historic in the annals of stock raising and wool growing, Mr. Austin being the first to introduce Lincoln sheep into Australia, besides which he acclimatised various kinds of game on his extensive property, which still remains in the possession of the family. Mr. Austin married, on August 14th, 1845, Elizabeth Phillip Harding, daughter of Robert Harding, of Middle Chinnock, Somerset, and granddaughter of James Harding, of Hurly Grove, in that county, the munificent founder of the Hospital for Incurables at Heidelberg, near Melbourne, and a lady whose acts of charity have rendered her name a household word throughout the colony of Victoria. Mr. Thomas Austin died on Dec. 15th, 1871.