• Beryl and Ruby Campbell

  • Although Ruby Campbell never married there were always plenty of visitors to Kilburnie; her many nieces and nephews would often come to stay with her and she was very active in promoting the arts in Central Qld, lobbying for galleries to be established in Rockhampton and Biloela. When the time came to pass on her beloved Kilburnie in 1977, she left it to her niece Heather Stewart (nee Campbell). Heather kept the property going through difficult times following Ruby's passing, and it was always her vision that one day Kilburnie Homestead could be opened to the public, and the amazing collection of history and art that has been amassed here could be appreciated.

    A fourth generation descendant of John and Elizabeth Campbell, Heather's daughter Fiona, and her family, are now bringing this vision to reality.

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Beryl and Ruby Campbell

Kilburnie was established as a pastoral property in 1883 by John and Elizabeth Campbell, who had emigrated to Queensland, Australia, from Ireland in 1870. They had been working on Dumgree Station, near Gladstone in Central Qld, but were keen to obtain land of their own. The first lease for Kilburnie was for 10,000 acres. The Campbell family had nine children (eight survived into adulthood) and in the early days of Kilburnie all the children were active helpers on the property. The family bred draught horses, and eventually introduced the first Hereford cattle to the area. As the children grew up and got married they moved on to new lives, but one daughter, Ruby (a gifted artist), stayed on at Kilburnie, eventually inheriting the property when her father John passed away in 1943.


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