Pioneering Families of Australia


About Me

A major catalyst for the research that I have undertaken on this project is that we lost the first of our year during 2008.  Peter Watson started primary school with me in 1959 and finished high school with me in 1971 - whilst we had lost contact during the 35 or so years since we left school, a solid group had reformed over recent years and I am privileged to be a part of it.   It's time to put it all down for future generations, because as my brother would say "he's pulling them out of our tree now."


I was born in 1954 - second child and only daughter to Marjorie & Sydney Kersley, at the Queen Victoria Hospital in Melbourne.  I have one older brother, Ray.  I grew up in Brooklyn, about 14 kilometres from the City Centre along the Princes Highway, these days the best access is via The Westgate Bridge.  Well we remember the day of the accident during construction, we heard if from our classroom). I attended only two schools in my life, the mob that I come from set down very strong roots and nobody ever moved, so the schools were Brooklyn State Primary School (No. 4710  - the things that stick in your mind!) and Altona North High.


Dad died when I was nine, but I have never felt that my life was affected by this event.  We had a loving, extended family, with many aunts, uncles and cousins and life was just life; "full of things to do, places to go and people to see", which has always been my credence.


I adored my time at school, so much so that I went back and did my matric twice!  Needless to say there was quite a group of us that repeated that year, but we did all eventually get through and I for one headed off to Latrobe Uni.   At that time a hotbed of rebellion (as most universities were in the late '60's and early "70's) full of draft dodgers and Federal Police, strangely enough I eventually married a Vietnam Vet.


La Trobe University has an annual "Moat Week" which is when the social club activities are promoted, etc, (it also the time for new students to be thrown in the moat".  During moat week in 1973 I decided to investigate a poster which read  "Wanna drop out?  Try LSD".  What child of the era could resist such an invitation?


LSD turned out to be Latrobe Sky Divers, and never one to turn down adventure, I promptly joined the club and enrolled to learn to skydive.  It was only a couple of weeks later, after having jumped of the stage at a local hall on 2 Friday nights to learn how to  do a landing roll, before heading to the pub, that I ventured down to Pakenham to take my first jump.  Obviously I survived the experience, went on to make a few more jumps and then eventually married the parachute instructor and Vietnam Veteran- there are a few family jokes here, but most are not for general publication!


Following a year or so in Europe, Bernie and I returned to Australia, to get married and settle down.  Due to a severe lack of funds, the settling down process took place in Adelaide, where Bernie's family owned a couple of Pubs - this meant instant work for at least one of us, and I finished up pulling beers 2 or 3 nights a week after my day job.  One thing I have found very strange through my research is the number of pubs that been in our various families throughout the generations.


We built a home in the Adelaide Hills which we came close to losing during the Ash Wednesday fires of February 1983, and it wasn't long after that that we took the opportunity to move to Sydney due to a work transfer.  Three years we decided to give it and if we didn't like it we would go home, well here we are, more than 25 years and 3 kids later and still in Sydney.  Personally, I wouldn't live anywhere else - although I could be tempted by Lisbon.  


Over the years I have followed several career paths; in Adelaide I was a fully qualified Real Estate Agent, one of the first half dozen or so females to qualify.  Upon moving to Sydney I put in a year or two doing PA work whilst I had the first child.  But the desire to by my own boss was strong within me and I started a small business doing legal research and leg work.  For those who know me well, they are aware that that small business grew into a public company.  


Retirement for me took place in 2006 however both Bernie and I are still very active with various other family projects, one of which is a boutique vineyard in the Hunter Valley which we share with my brother Ray.


We have three sons, Richard born in1985  Nicholas, born in 1989 and Thomas born in 1994.

Miss Bossy Britches .....

Barbara Moore - it's that woman again.....!


Before I proceed to give you my life story (short I promise) I would like to offer here my thanks and appreciation to all those folk who answered my emails, took my phone calls and generally provided much of the information found on this site.  I know that to many of you I was "that woman".  The one who pried your secrets, made you look in the attic or rack your brains, but I think the result has been worth it.  I hope you all agree.

Richard, Nicholas with Bimby and Thomas

Kersley, McLeod, McClurg, Molloy, Devlin, Robertson, Stokes, Derum, Galloway, Gomm, Tucker, Buckley, Kuster, Diedrich, Diedrichs, Merton, Mitchell, Cantwell, O'Niel, Monk, Teagle, Elmes, Simpson, Campion, Girt, Prince, Mahoney, Hall & Wigmore.  These are the names that have been identified as being ancestors of mine to date.  Their blood runs proudly in me.

Nicks 21st 1