The continuing hunt for Arthur Streeton’s birthplace

Regular readers of artingeelong know that I have been trying to uncover the specific birthplace of Arthur Streeton. Is it Mt Moriac or Mt Duneed?

I decided to track down Mr Streeton’s birth certificate (best to check primary sources) and found it at the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. I promptly bought it for $17.00 and unfortunately, after viewing the certificate, I am none the wiser. It lists the Parish of Duneed as Streeton’s place of birth in the district of Mt Moriac! So the question is: Does the Duneed Parish include both Mt Moriac and Mt Duneed in 1867? I went along to the Geelong Heritage Centre to check parish boundaries.

After enduring the tedious process of trying to look at old parish maps on an old microfish machine that couldn’t zoom and making absolutely no progress at all through several lunch breaks, the helpful staff in the centre found a reference to the Duneed Parish in a book on local history, Barrabool Land of the Magpie by Ian Wynd. The author states “Today when we hear the name Duneed, we think of the area around Mount Duneed, but in the nineteenth century the term could be used to describe any place situated in the parish of Duneed. This lies between Waurn Ponds and Thomsons Creeks and stretches from Torquay Road to Mount Moriac, so the mere address Duneed leaves plenty of scope for location – and confusion.”

Indeed! Back to the square one.

Below are the relevant details from the certificate which you can click on for a larger image or you can download the complete pdf here: Arthur Streeton Birth Certificate

Community Appeal for Streeton’s Ocean blue, Lorne


5 thoughts on “The continuing hunt for Arthur Streeton’s birthplace

  1. Good on you Deidre….. Love to see that passion!I have really enjoyed your artingeelong blogs this year, many thanks. Have a very Happy New Year!


  2. Arthur Streeton was born at Clifford in the parish of Duneed, where his father, Charles, was a teacher from 1 August 1865 to 13 June 1869 (Ref1). Clifford was a settlement centred on the junction of the Colac Rd. (Princes Highway) and Loutit Bay Rd. (now Cape Otway Rd.) to the south and Devon Rd. to the north. This is about 3km east of Mt Moriac.
    In 1853 the Church of England opened the school, first known as Colac Rd. Denominational School 187. This was renamed Duneed in 1856. The name was changed again in 1871 to Clifford and the school closed in 1875 (Ref2).
    On his WWI enlistment, Arthur’s brother, Herbert, gave his birthplace as Clifford (Ref3).
    The Arthur Streeton monument, originally placed outside the Mt Moriac State School and now just around the corner in Ervins Rd., following widening of the highway, is clearly in the wrong place. This school only opened in 1875 (Ref2).
    Note that Mt Duneed is some 10km south-east of the site of Clifford, but still in the same parish, so probably confused with the parish name shown on the birth certificate when the birth place is erroneously claimed as Mt Duneed.

    1. Teacher record books, teacher number 1998, Public Record Office, Victoria.
    2. “Vision and Realisation” by Les Blake, Volume 2
    3. WWI attestation papers, Herbert Streeton

    1. Thanks so much for your explanation John. Excellent research! It all makes sense now. I am so glad you could contribute the missing piece of the puzzle and we can now put Streeton’s specific birthplace on the public record. Thanks! 🙂 Deirdre

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