Australind Pioneer Memorial Park

Australind Pioneer Memorial Park
Located opposite Australind’s First Settler Landing Stone Memorial Seat, the Australind Pioneer Memorial Park was first planted circa 1843 by Lucy, Rachel and Caroline Clifton.

The Australind Pioneer Memorial Park commemorates the pioneers of Australind.

In 1846, the Western Australian Land Company was liquidated and many of the settlers left for other parts of the colony.

Those that remained established farming properties near the Brunswick and Collie Rivers and along the edges of the Leschenault Estuary.

Pioneer families and their respective properties included Charles Prinsep and his manager Thomas Little (Belvidere Farm), Clifton family (Alverstoke, Brunswick and Rosamel Farms), John Allnutt (Hamersleys and Shenton Farms), William Narroway, Ephraim Clarke (Jardup and Hampden Farms), and James (Ditchingham Farm) and Benjamin Piggott (Parkfield and Springhill Farms). Many of the South West’s families are direct descendants of these frontrunners.

First planted circa 1843, two of the three original peppermint trees within this park still stand, plus a fig tree brought from Tenerife Island in 1841.

Emily K Clifton donated the Park’s land to the community in 1992 on the condition that it remained as a memorial to the Australind Pioneers.

Meet the Clifton Family

Marshall Waller Clifton

Known as Waller, Marshall Waller Clifton was an English civil servant, politician, and descended from an aristocratic Nottingham family. He was born in 1787 at Alverstoke, Hampshire, and joined the Admiralty as an extra clerk at 17.

In 1811, Waller married Quaker Elinor Katherine Bell of Wandle House, London. Waller and Elinor had fifteen children.

Waller and his family arrived in Port Leschenault in 1841. As Chief Commissioner of Australind, he had progressive ideas that were often too liberal for his time, including unsuccessfully opposing the death penalty in 1854.

Like all pioneer settlers of the Region, Waller was allocated a town block and a rural block. His town property was Upton House, and his rural allotment is situated on Clifton Road, Brunswick, which he named Alverstoke. Both original houses still stand today and remain in the Clifton family.

In 1844, Waller was appointed to the Leschenault Road Board, and in 1851 he became a member of the Western Australian Legislative Council. He pioneered Western Australia’s wine industry, one of the first to export local produce through Bunbury port, and a major employer of convict labour.

In 1847, Waller moved to Upton House, and his garden was much admired. He died in 1861 and is buried at the Australind Pioneer Cemetery.

Elinor Katherine Clifton

Elinor Katherine Clifton Snr. (nee Bell) was born in Wandsworth, England in 1792, the daughter of Daniel Bell and first cousin of famous English activist Elizabeth Fry.

Described as a beautiful, tall and stately woman, who, as a staunch Quaker, always dressed in black. In 1811, she married out of faith, choosing Marshall Waller Clifton, a staunch Church of England, as her husband.

Arriving to a tent in Australind, was a considerable adjustment for a lady who had previously managed a stately home in London. Despite this, Elinor was determined to assist her husband and her children to succeed as pioneers, and had a steadfast resolve to maintain her Quaker faith.

Elinor had soon begun holding Quaker Meetings and hoped many would join her. Though she failed to convert others, Elinor’s Quakerism was regarded as having had a positive effect on the settlement. She believed girls, as well as boys, were entitled to education and her daughters were also instructed in the practical necessities of running a household and finances. She encouraged her daughter Louisa to provide lessons for the children at Australind, even though no permanent arrangements could be made.

Elinor continued to correspond with and host many family and friends from the eastern colonies and London, such as leading Australian artists Frederick Mackie and Robert Lindsay who visited her in 1855.

Elinor died in 1866 and is buried in the Australind Pioneer Cemetery.

Louisa Clifton

Louisa Clifton was born in London, England, in 1814 to Marshall Waller Clifton and his wife Elinor; the third of their fifteen children. Like her mother, a strict Quaker, she dressed in black.

She spent her childhood in London, then in Boulogne, France. In 1841, Louisa travelled with her parents and several siblings to help found the new colony of Australind. Louisa kept a detailed diary (1840-41) in which she described the family’s departure from Capecure, France, the voyage on the Parkfield, and the settlement in Western Australia.

As Lucy Frost noted in an extract from the Australian Women’s Register, “to read the Australian section of the journal is to watch an orderly English gentlewoman learn to live with confusion.”

Influenced by their time in France, Louisa, and her sister Mary, sketched and painted, and their brother William was a photographer. A few of Louisa’s works survived and are a valuable historical record of the early colonial settlement.

One of Louisa’s lithographs is one of the earliest known images of Western Australia. These, along with her diary, are held by the State Library of Western Australia.

In 1842 she married George Eliot, nephew of Lieutenant-Governor James Stirling and government resident for the Bunbury district. They had ten children and lived in the first permanent house erected at Port Leschenault.

In 1870, they moved to Geraldton when George was transferred. Louisa died there in 1880.


There were drawing-room gathering where Louisa played the violin and her sister, the pianoforte…it could have been Hardy’s Wessex of Jane Austin’s Somerset; for the civilised values of the English village prevailed in Australind.
Credit: Unknown





Australind Pioneer Memorial Park

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