The explorer, Alfred William Howitt was born in England in 1830 and arrived in Australia at the Victorian goldfields in 1852 with his father and brother. Howitt became a skilled bushman and was the leader of the expedition tasked with establishing the fate of explorers Burke and Wills in 1861.
Howitt made his home, named Eastwood, on the banks of the Mitchell River in what is now the Eastwood area. In 1866 he successfully grew hops on which he became an authority. He became a published pioneering authority on the culture and society of indigenous Australians, with a focus on the local tribes and was granted kinship status by an aboriginal leader named Tulaba who lived on the property and was the foreman of the indigenous hop-pickers. In 1863 Howitt married Maria (nicknamed Liney) Boothby and they had five children. Howitt died in Bairnsdale in 1908.
Many of the streets in Eastwood are named for Howitt, notably Howitt Avenue & Howitt Place, Maria’s Place, named after Howitt’s wife, Flinns Rd, named after former landholder Bill Flinn, Lorrimer Drive and Fison Avenue, named after Howitt’s friend and co-author Lorrimer Fison.
Eastwood Landcare Group Inc.
Eastwood as a northern suburb of Bairnsdale has a remarkably rich indigenous and European history. Now developed as a housing estate the developers have left a legacy of walking tracks through grassed parklands and outstanding natural wetlands and waterways.
A meeting was held on the 15th April 2013 to gauge interest in forming an Eastwood Landcare Group. This was well attended and by August the group was set up and ready to go.
The purpose of the group is to contribute in an environmentally responsible manner to the enhancement and maintenance of the Eastwood area reserves bounded by the Great Alpine Road to the east, Eastwood Road to the north and the Backwater (Clifton Creek) to the west and south.