A History of Hazelvale by Dawn Martin.

Current status: final draft stage.

Collection of Books
The books arrived at THE BOW
on 31 May 2023.

A history of Hazelvale by Dawn Martin

A bold story reinforced by photos, maps and other illustrations: 256 pages, large font printed on A4 paper.


Independent author, Dawn Martin, is Curator: Research, Walpole Nornalup and District Historical Society Inc.

A relative new comer to Hazelvale from a cattle station near Wiluna, she writes from a farming and land development perspective with huge admiration for the Group Settlement pioneers.

Dawn writes: I appreciate the community support and encouragement I received for this project. ... Thank you all for coming along on this journey with me.

Postcard: Steam Ship Benalla
Steam Ship Benalla
arrived Fremantle 17 March 1927,
with some heading for Hazelvale.
Post Card copy donated by Rodney Burton.
 Acquisitions   for larger image

The Story

Cutting Karri
Cutting Karri.
 Tap image to enlarge.

Group Settlement migrants opened up seemingly impenetrable bush and giant trees with little more than an axe and cross-cut saw for tools but plenty of determination and persistence.

The book follows some of these families, those that left and those that stayed; stories generously shared by the pioneers’ children and grandchildren. Every story is different and together builds a picture of Hazelvale as it emerged from the rigours and challenges of settlement, through the Great Depression and WW2 years.

Some past and present long term non-settler families have also contributed the narrative of their farm or lifestyle block. Individual stories are supported by background discussion on many themes.

Group 138 Picnic c1929
Group 138 on a picnic, c1929.
 Tap image to enlarge.

Dreams, hopes and children

A History of Hazelvale tells of dreams and hopes, fulfilments and setbacks ... and children.

A viable dairy industry was an underlying idea in the scheme. The story is different, but ...

While very few settlers appear to have achieved their original goal of becoming established dairy farmers, it is nonetheless important to note that scarcely any left Western Australia entirely. Instead, they sought and found new openings elsewhere in the state and their descendants are now well-established in Western Australia. Judged in these terms, the group migration project cannot therefore be considered an unmitigated failure. [1]

A History of Hazelvale is a tribute to the people with those hopes. It records their contribution to Hazelvale and explores the influences of the Great Depression, WWII and changing government policy on families also dealing with the inherent challenges of farming.


This 256 page A4 size book is available now for $50.
 Please email: hazelvalehistory@wndhs.org.au to purchase a copy.

Thank you for your interest and for supporting local history.

  1. A quote in the book: Mark Brayshay and John Selwood in: Devon and Cornwall group settlement in WA in the inter war years.

A History of Hazelvale by Dawn Martin, 2022.