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Hugh Sawrey CBE (1919-1999)


Hugh Sawrey, CBE (1919-1999)



Hugh Sawrey was born in 1919 in Forest Glen, Queensland, Australia to a farming family. His father, George, died when he was three years old. His mother, Jane, struggled to manage the farm on her own and so in the early 1930’s the family, Hugh, his mother and older brother, Allan, moved to Brisbane.

The Great Depression caused the family to continue to struggle; aged 15 Hugh Sawrey left school and went to work on farms in the vast Australian cattle stations in the Queensland outback. For many years he continued to work across the Australian outback, from the Northern Territories to Western Australia doing jobs such as droving and shearing. It was during this time that he taught himself to paint and draw,

‘I used to carry a few sheets of paper in my packbag and draw on ‘em with charcoal and give them to mates.

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