State Delegates & Secretaries
Contact your State Secretary or Delegate to join your State Suffolk Breeders Association.
About the Society and our History
Much has been written over the years about the history of the Suffolk breed in the British Isles. The history of the breed in Australia is not as clear.
The flock to hold the coveted No. 1 registration number was the Victoria stud of the Department of Agriculture Research Farm at Werribee in Victoria which was established in 1914 with two rams, 12 ewes and five lambs imported from various breeders in England.
Although ‘Victoria’ was the first registered stud, several Suffolk sheep were imported prior to this by a least two breeders.
As early as 1904, Mr F.E. Thonemann of Yarra Junction, imported sheep from England. Vol. 13 of the British Breed flock book shows the importation of a ram from Mr A. Chambers, a ewe from Mr Henry Lingwood and an unstated number of ewes from D. & A. Green. (This was thought to have been the first importation until the emergence of information on the Jackson flock).
Another breeder who could also have claims as to importing the first Suffolks to Australia was Mr G.R. Jackson of Ferndale, Mahonga, NSW, who imported sheep from the flock of Mr D. Abbott, Green Fingringhoe Hall, Essex, England (F103 S.F.B.). Through sheep purchased from this gentleman by Dr Gaze of Shepparton, Victoria, a line of Suffolks were to be the foundation sheep for many studs in Australia admitted by inspection.
It can be safely stated, however, that Mr F.E. Thonemann would have been the first breeder of Suffolk sheep in Victorian to eventually register a stud.
The first stud registered in NSW was Mr Thomas Crawford of Orange, who in the year 1917, imported 12 ewes and one ram from England. The ram was bred in the ‘Grange’ stud of Mr Herbert E. Smith of Walton Grange, Suffolk, who, along with Mr D. Abbott Green, featured in many of the early importations to Australia.
However, it was not until 1923 before Mr Crawford applied for registration to the British Breed Society.
Tasmania, through the stud of Crozier and Reynold Pty Ltd of Melton Mowbray, was the third earliest State to introduce Suffolks when this stud purchased one ram and four ewes from Flock 1 – Werribee Research Centre.
The first stud to be established and subsequently registered in South Australia, was the ‘Buckland Park’ stud of Mr G. & E.A. Brooks Ltd, Two Wells, which stared with the purchase of one ram and six ewes from Dr Gaze at Shepparton in 1912. Mr Brooks, in 1928, imported four ewes form various breeders in England. In 1926 the studs was admitted to the flock book by inspection.
*Information obtained from the Australian Suffolk Centenary History Book.