Although they keep a low profile, members of the Collins family collectively hold one of the largest tracts of land in Victoria.

Story By John Dunn

Members of Victoria’s Collins family quietly farm their land, growing grain, raising and milking cattle, looking after sheep and playing their part in the community life of the districts in which they live. They don’t seek attention and prefer to proceed without publicity, concentrating on getting the most out of their holdings.
Collectively, the clan’s 70 or so individually owned farms comprise one of the largest land areas in Victoria – about 20,000 hectares. The family is also one of the state’s longest-standing farming families, having begun farmin at Bridgewater, 30 kilometres from Bendigo, 153 years ago.
More than a third of their land is in the Bridgewater area, but family members have spread out to nearby districts such as Derby, Raywood, Kurting, Inglewood, Tennyson, Serpentine, Bears Lagoon, Yarraberb, Campbells Forest and as far away as Gippsland.
As well, many other family members have become involved in different forms of agriculture and related industries, says Mark Collins, who farms Merrifield at Raywood. “To me this shows that the love of the land has been passed down through the seven generations,” Mark says. “I believe that general aspect, rather than specific figures about properties and area, is the most important rural contribution the Collins family has made.”

This Story is from Issue #103

Outback Magazine: Oct/Nov 2015