Jembaicumbene, New South Wales

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Jembaicumbene (pronounced Jemmi-c'm-bene) is a town in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia, located 5 miles (8 km) out along the Braidwood - Majors Creek Road. Once a thriving goldfield, it is now a peaceful, pretty valley on the way to Majors Creek.

Stands of fine old trees mark former home sites and the upturned earth along the length of the Jembaicumbene Creek bears witness to the efforts of many hopeful miners, and the later activities of several dredge mining companies.

Jemaicumbene was the birthplace of Archer, winner of the first two Melbourne Cups in 1861 and 1862. Foaled at the "Exeter Farm", it was also his last home where he was retired to stud, and where he is believed to be buried. Several other Melbourne Cup winners were also bred in the district. Horse racing was the most important leisure activity for the miners in the old days, and the social life for the settlers centred largely around the race meetings, held on courses which have now disappeared.[1]

The other interesting connection between Jembaicumbene and the horse Archer, is that Helen "Ellen" de Mestre, the aboriginal first child of Archer's trainer Etienne de Mestre was born in the area, and some of his Aboriginal grandchildren and great-grandchildren were born there, with one of Etienne's great-grandchildren going on to become an important leader in the Aboriginal community in the South Coast area of New South Wales. This notably is Guboo Ted Thomas (1909–2002), a spiritual leader, and the last initiated tribal elder on the South Coast.[2] Guboo was born under a gum tree at Jembaicumbene.


The Masters Touch, Racing with Etienne de Mestre, Winner of 5 Melbourne Cups (2008) by Keith W. Paterson (ISBN 9780646500287)

Coordinates: 35°30′55″S 149°47′05″E / 35.51528°S 149.78472°E / -35.51528; 149.78472