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Ceredigion Australians

Ivor William Evans was the youngest son of a tentmaker from Llanrhystud who was shipwrecked off the coast​ of Australia and decided to settle there. At the age of 13 Ivor was a joint winner of a competition to design the federal flag of Australia, and went on to run the family's succesful flagmaking company. Joseph Jenkins of Tregaron also became intrinsically linked with Australia, becoming known as 'The Welsh Swagman'​.

Joseph Jenkins - the Welsh Swagman

Joseph Jenkins was a successful and innovative farmer from Tregaron. Active in local life, he was instrumental in overcoming the problem of getting a railway track across the marshy ground of Cors Caron by using bales of wool as a foundation for the track.In December 1868 at the age of 50, Joseph Jenkins impulsively abandoned his farm, family and community to travel to Australia. He spent the next thirty years as a casual labourer or 'swagman' around the state of Victoria where he actively campaigned for improved rights for labourers.

Throughout his life Joseph Jenkins had been a diligent diarist and enjoyed composing poetry. While in Australia he corresponded regularly with his brother, often in verse. His diaries have since become a valuable primary resource on the social, cultural and labour history of Victorian Throughout his life Joseph Jenkins had been a diligent diarist and enjoyed composing poetry. While in Australia he corresponded regularly with his brother, often in verse. His diaries have since become a valuable primary resource on the social, cultural and labour history of Victorian Australia. Read more of his inspirational story in Bethan Phillips' Pity the Swagman.

Visit the coastal village of Llanrhystud, from where the Evans family travelled to settle in Australia.

Follow the route of the old Manchester-Milford Railway across Cors Caron, now part of the Ystwyth Trail between Aberystwyth and Tregaron. Or discover the Unitarian Trail and see Joseph Jenkin's grave at Capel y Groes near Llanwnnen.