Sheep safely grazing

Sheep on 'Windouran' property, Burley Griffin Way, near Harden, New South Wales, Australia


(Play – ‘Sheep May Safely Graze’, Aria from Cantata BWV No. 208 by JS Bach)

To mark Australia Day on January 26, my ‘One Shot Wonders’ this week will feature some good old Aussie icons.

Sheep are an important part of Australia’s history, and export industry.

They were brought to Australia with the First Fleet of convicts and soldiers on 26 January 1788. Initially they were only to provide meat for the new colony (LandLearn NSW).

In the early years, Spanish Merino sheep were developed by John and Elizabeth Macarthur, which were better suited to the hot Australian summers.

Yass Valley and nearby Boorowa and Harden Shires of New South Wales are among the important sheep raising areas of Australia, for meat and fine wool production.

Some woolly fast facts:

  • ‘The Australian national sheep flock is 74.7 million head.’ (Meat and Livestock Australia 2013)
  • ‘Australia produces approximately 6% of the world’s lamb and mutton supply.’ (MLA 2013)
  • ‘Australia is the largest wool-producing country in the world.’ ( 2007)
  • ‘Our annual production consistently accounts for over one quarter of the world’s wool and is often valued at well over $2 billion each year. Australia is also recognised as producing the world’s highest quality woollen fibre – Australian merino wool.’ ( 2007)  


Aussie icons, ‘One Shot Wonders’ series

Photo taken 17 November 2013, with Fuji FinePix S2980

‘Windouran’ property, Burley Griffin Way near Harden, New South Wales, Australia


LandLearn NSW n.d., ‘Sheep Aren’t Native Animals, So How Did They Get Here?’, NSW Dept of Primary Industries et al, accessed 28 January 2014,

Meat and Livestock Australia 2013, ‘Sheep’, Meat and Livestock Australia, accessed 28 January 2014,

[] Dept of Finance 2007, ‘The Macarthurs and the merino sheep’, Australian Government, accessed 28 January 2014,


5 comments on “Sheep safely grazing

  1. The Editors of Garden Variety says:

    Thanks for sharing your resources and links!

  2. maeflower50 says:

    A favorite song!! Sheep May Safely Graze. Bach is wonderful. I also like your blog and will enjoy catching up on your past posts and looking forward to your new.

    • Thanks so much, maeflower. I hope you enjoy.
      This piece by Bach is one I used to love playing on the keyboards when I was younger. So it makes my heart melt when I hear it. Would love to play it on a pipe organ, that would be something!

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