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Picture relating to Queensland - titled 'Thomas Petrie (1831-1910)'

Thomas Petrie (1831-1910)

contributed by QldPics, taken in 1831
(contact QldPics about this picture)

Thomas Petrie, explorer, grazier and friend of Aboriginals, was born on 31 January 1831 in Edinburgh. He was the third son of Andrew Petrie and brother of John. The family emigrated to Sydney in March 1831 and moved to Moreton Bay in 1837. Thomas was educated by a convict clerk and allowed to mix freely with aboriginal children. He learned the local aboriginal language and participated in all their activities including the triennial feast at the Bunya Range when he was 14. Petrie was in constant demand as a messenger or companion for exploring expeditions due to his friendly relations with the aboriginal people.

In the 1850s Petrie tried his luck on the goldfields of Queensland and Victoria with little success. Thomas Petrie married Elizabeth Campbell, sister of James Campbell, hardware merchant in 1858. In the Pine Creek district on the Whiteside run he bought a property called Murrumba (Good place). He continued to explore widely and in 1862 was the first white man to climb Buderim Mountain. Petrie died at Murrumba on the 26th August 1910 survived by his wife (who died in 1926) and two sons and five daughters of their nine children. In 1910 the name of the North Pine district was changed to Petrie in his honour. (Information taken from: Australian dictionary of biography, v.5, 1974)