Tenterfield is a small town in northern NSW in the New England Region, which is a very fertile, cool, highland area. It was originally inhabited by the Bundjalung, Jukeembal and Kamilaroi people. The first European came in 1840's. Sir Stuart Donaldson, a London merchant had 18,000 sheep on a station which he named Tenterfield Station. By 1870 there were churches, a school, the School of Arts, hotels and "the Chronicle" were established and there was a population of 900. In 1886 the Great Northern Railway was opened it was originally the junction of NSW and QLD rail lines.
In those days Australia was a collection of colonies all administered by England. Some of the population wanted all the colonies to join together and become a federation of Australia. During this campaign, Sir Henry Parkes delivered his famous federation speech in the School of Arts in Tenterfield in 1889, which ultimately led to the federation of all Australian States in 1901. Since then Tenterfield is known as the 'Birthplace of our Nation'.