Bob and Pauline Hunter.

Interviewed by Geoff Barwick.


I first met Bob and Pauline when I was about 12 years old, probably soon after Bob bought “Levondale”.  The Hunters used to come up and stay in the little old original farm cottage some weekends. My best mate was Michael Cone, and Michael lived across the road. We’d turn up on our motorbikes, and play with young Michael Hunter. Michael used to ride the farm's Honda 90 stepthrough motorbike with us. Once we took Michael Hunter with us and we rode halfway to Merriwa and back. Not sure if Bob and Pauline ever knew about that one. Another time Michael Hunter and myself won a junior tennis tournament at the Warrah Creek hall together in doubles. We caused an upset and beat the red hot favourites, the Gallagher boys, James and Pat.


The last 7 years, dad and myself have farmed through a licence agreement, 400 hectares of farming land on “Levondale” and we have gotten on just great with the Hunters.

Bob Hunter.


Bob was born in Brisbane in 1930. His father was Les Hunter, and he worked as a tailor. Les Hunter moved his family to Sydney to live when Bob was 14 years old. Bob attended Waverley College, Sydney. In his leaving certificate, Bob managed to achieve a position in the top 200 of the state. This gained him a scholarship to be able to do Arts and Law at Sydney University. Without the scholarship it’s unlikely his family could have afforded to send him to university.

After completing his law degree, he worked as a clerk for catholic law firm Carroll O’Dea in Sydney for a few years.  He was then approached by the Minter Simpson family company to join them. Bob became a Barrister in 1959, and served for 35 years.  In 1972 he became a Queens Counsel, then became a Supreme Court Judge in 1994.


Pauline Hunter.


Pauline was born in Tamworth. Her great grandfather was Daniel Regan. He came out to Australia from Ireland in 1855. The family were in retail in Ireland, and when they came to Tamworth they set up Regan Pty Ltd, as a general merchandise business, selling everything from food, to haberdashery, to cars and tractors. The family later purchased a flourmill in Tamworth

Pauline's father was Basil Regan. After going back to England and doing a flourmill course, Basil managed the flourmill and eventually founded the starch factory. Basil perfected a process which produced the world’s first dry gluten. It was a world patent for the separation of gluten from flour. This process is now in use all over the world.

 This company was later made public. The Regans sold out of the company when it became the Goodman Fielder starch factory, and the company still resides on Marius Street, Tamworth.

Pauline attended primary  school at the Dominican Convent, Tamworth, and high school at Rosebay in Sydney. After school, she worked in the family's flourmill laboratory, testing the flour and wheat for the qualities needed to make good quality bread and biscuit products. She later moved to Sydney and worked for Fielders in their Sydney laboratories. Pauline met Bob through a mutual friend at the Law Ball in 1956. They married in 1958 and have 6 children. Kerry, Damian, Kate, Sophie, James, and Michael. They have 16 grand children.

Bob and Pauline's large family outside the "Levondale" home. James Hunter and his family are the only ones missing.





Bob started looking for rural land in 1972. He looked at properties on the northern tablelands, central slopes and tablelands, and as far south as Young, but could not find what he was looking for.  In 1979 he was the losing bidder on “Bective West”, out of Tamworth. The buyer was the “Vickerys”. On the trip home to Sydney following the "Bective West" auction, he called into Davidson and Cameron, and asked if there was any properties around for sale. He was taken out past Willow Tree and the Merriwa road and shown the 291 hectare “Levondale”. Bob bought the property on the spot and went straight home to Sydney, and returned with the cheque. It was exactly what he was looking for, had the best quality fertile soils, and most importantly, had a magnificent elevated site for a future homestead.

Bob's original Levondale 721 acres were blocks 78 and 79 of the 1912 subdivision. He then went on and added 4 more blocks to create probably the choicest big mixed farm on the 1912 subdivision. Block 86, “Talaski” was purchased in 1986 from John Crombie. Block 68, “Deepwell”  was purchased in 1988 from Robert Barwick. Block 77 was purchased in 1988 from Hector Barwick, and block 80 was purchased in 1988 from Albert Saunders. That makes up 6 blocks from the 1912 subdivision, all joined together.

Bob and Pauline built their magnificent home in 1985. It has a glorious garden and spectacular views over the farm. Levondale’s garden has been the feature at numerous open garden days where anyone can visit and admire. It’s also been used for many different photographic sessions, including my own wedding photos.

Bob and Pauline Hunter's big family traditionally always try to meet up over Easter at "Levondale". Two of their daughters, Kate and Kerry  also were married at Willow Tree and held their receptions at the "Levondale" home and gardens and tennis court.

"Levondale" farm is a mixed farm, growing both grain, and  breeding and fattening cattle, The 1100 hectare farm would produce roughly 2500 tonnes of grain per year, mostly sorghum and wheat, and occasionally sunflowers, and it runs 180 to 200 breeding cows, turning off roughly the same in calves. A cattle trading business is also run on the lush pastures and feed oats, and last year 300 fat  steers were turned off the property.

Neil Barwick harvesting wheat on "Levondale". December 2009.

Sadly, Bob and Pauline are looking to retire. "Levondale" hopefully will be sold and Bob and Pauline will move back to Sydney. Bob and Pauline have great respect and affection for this Liverpool plains country and have become very much attached to it. It is with great sadness that they will sell and move on.

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Frank Arnell | Reply 26.07.2015 23:14

Amazing people,family,citizens.God's beautiful creatures

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Latest comments

25.09 | 09:36

Absolutely delighted to come across a part of my direct ancestors history about which I knew very little and shall endeavour to find out more
Thank you Prof. A.

23.09 | 22:23

Very interesting Kelaher family history. Impressive number of trained nursing sisters. Jack lent the Copelands a cream horse, Playboy, in 1950's, ridden by Kate

09.09 | 17:58

Wonderfully informative. Thank goodness for Jane and John Atchison's work

06.09 | 14:33

I am Jack Kelaher and I am proud of my pop, dad and ancestors.

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