Henry Archibald Hertzberg Lawson was born at Grenfell, in the rich goldfields area of New South Wales. When he was nine years old, he attended the Eurunderee Public School. At around the same time Lawson contracted an ear infection and became partially deaf. With time, his condition worsened and he spent the remainder of his life with deafness. By age thirteen he worked with his father, in the building trade, around the Mudgee district.
In 1887, The Bulletin newspaper published Lawson’s first poem, ‘A Song of the Republic‘ quickly followed in December by ‘The Wreck of the Derry Castle‘ and the ‘Golden Gully‘ poem that grew partly out of his boyhood memories of the gold diggings.
On a trip to Bourke in 1892, Lawson saw a drought-ravaged NSW, that absolutely overwhelmed him. The harsh outback expeditions, armed the poet with a storehouse of memorable material, for years.
Lawson had understoodand experienced the hardships ofthe rural and bush life first-hand, thus many of his heartfelt short stories and ballad-like poems were about it, and the people who lived there. Lawson suffered from depression and alcoholism in his later life.
In 1966, when Australia changed to decimal currency, Lawson’s image appeared on the first issue of the $10 note, from 1966-1988.