watercolourist and draughtsman, was appointed to the Melbourne Survey Office on 1 October 1850 and worked there until 31 January 1856. In June 1852, along with the other draughtsmen and clerks, Austin witnessed the arrival of the first gold escort. He depicted this event in a watercolour, Arrival of the First Gold Escort, William Street, Melbourne, June 1852: By an Eye Witness (LT), from which a (hand-coloured) lithograph was subsequently made. In 1874 Austin was listed in the Queensland Post Office Directory as an artist of Dickens Street, Brisbane. In July 1875 he advertised 'Local scenery painted in watercolours’ and stated he had won the prize for watercolour painting at that year’s Queensland Exhibition, his winning picture being on view at Knight’s, Queen Street.

Austin showed a watercolour View of Brisbane from Eildon Hill (for sale at 25 guineas) in the Queensland National Association Exhibition at Bowen Park on 19 August 1887. As Evening on the North Quay, Brisbane , it was shown again in the Queensland Court at the 1888 89 Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition, along with his Arrival of the First Gold Escort in Melbourne 1852 (Cat. 10: see card of Official Record p.534). He also exhibited at the 1879 Sydney International Exhibition and at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition (London 1886). At the 1889 Queensland Art Society exhibition he showed Brisbane from Bowen Terrace (5 guineas), which appears to have been his last exhibition work. A later prolific exhibitor, William Sidney Austin, has no known connection with William Austin but the Brisbane surveyor Robert Austin may have been a relative.

McKay, Judith
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