| Julie Watts|
My Great Great Great Grandad Johann Justus was one in a group of six German vinedressers to immigrate to NSW Australia in 1838. Johann Justus together with Friedrich Seckold, Johann Stein, Caspar Flick, Georg Gerhard and Johann Wenz, were the first German vinedressers to Australia, arriving on the barque 'Kinnear' at Sydney on 23 April 1838. This first group of six winegrowers and their families (altogether 12 adults and 17 children) were recruited from the Rheingau region in Hessen by Major Edward Macarthur, for his brother William's property at Camden, NSW.
They set the precedence for 100's of German immigrants to be brought to Australia in later years.
Descendants of each of the Original Six vinedressers are currently coordinating a 170th Anniversary Reunion in Camden on 26-27 April 2008 to celebrate their arrival. We will meet together at Camden Park where our ancestors first worked and lived after arriving in Australia. We will honour the lifestyle change these Germans underwent as a result of leaving their native Germany for an English speaking country still in it's infancy and to acknowledge the little known history they made by being the very first group of German vinedressers to Australia. The German Consul General in Australia, Dr Gruber, will open the weekend's activities.
"They gave all and came that we might enjoy what they had only dreamt about."