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From Dhobie’s Bight to Duntroon-bookcover

By: Daniel Robert Simpkins

From Dhobie’s Bight to Duntroon

Pages: 122 Ratings:
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Dan Simpkins, although born in Narrandera on the Murrumbidgee River in the south west of New South Wales in 1942, spent his childhood and formative years on the far north coast of the state. Because of his father’s nomadic lifestyle, he attended five different one-teacher bush primary schools, so small that on two separate occasions when larger families relocated and the little schools had to close, his education proceeded by correspondence. Stability was achieved with the award of a state bursary allowing attendance over five years at the Lismore High School. Dan worked as a bank teller in Canberra for twelve months after high school before entering the Royal Military College, Duntroon.

This book commences by tracing Dan’s forbears as they settled into Australia, and then follows his own upbringing from the bush at Dobie’s Bight to the start of his life in the Army. It is another example of the value of hard work and education.

Daniel Robert Simpkins was born in 1942 and raised in the Richmond and Clarence River valleys in the far north of New South Wales. He attended a series of one-teacher bush schools for his primary education.


Dan won a government bursary at the age of 11, enabling him to live in a hostel for bush children and attend the Lismore High School. After graduating with a Leaving Certificate, he gained entry to the Royal Military College at Duntroon.


On completion of that four-year course, Dan was selected to attend university in Adelaide for his bachelor’s degree in Technology-Civil Engineering. Dan did war service in Vietnam, studied at the Royal Military College of Science in England, and resigned from the army to work as a civil engineer, a career in which he is still engaged.

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