Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson (1864 – 1941) was born near Orange, in the Central West region of NSW. He practised as a solicitor from 1886 and began to submit verse to The Bulletin. He exchanged law for journalism in 1901 and subsequently worked as a newspaper correspondent and editor in Australia and abroad. He wrote prolifically, producing four books of verse, two novels and several collections of sketches and reminiscences, and his war dispatches were highly acclaimed.
Banjo is Australia’s most famous poet. Known as a poet of the bush, his iconic verse captures the landscape, hardship, resilience and humour of Australian life at the turn of the 19th century. Ballads such as ‘The Man from Snowy River’, ‘Clancy of the Overflow’, ‘The Man from Ironbark’, ‘Mulga Bill’s Bicycle’ and ‘Waltzing Matilda’ have become a legendary part of our Australian heritage.
In 1939, two years before his death, he was appointed a Commander of the British Empire for his contribution to Australian literature.