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NJB Plomley's Contribution to North-West Tasmanian Regional History


McFarlane, I, NJB Plomley's Contribution to North-West Tasmanian Regional History, Reading Robinson: Companion Essays to Friendly Mission, Monash University Publishing, A Johnston and M Rolls (ed), Melbourne, pp. 127-141. ISBN 9781921867309 (2012) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2012 Monash University Publishing

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The absence of either a settler or Government presence in the North West region of Tasmania during the period of early colonisation meant that the major parties involved in this process were limited to the Van Diemen’s Land Company (VDL Company) and the Aborigines themselves. The lack of documents detailing the accounts of either of these participants has hindered the development of a regional history of any depth and substance. The only sources traditionally available have been limited to Colonial Office records, sketchy accounts from early explorers and the occasional newspaper report issued from Launceston. However, the situation improved significantly with the introduction of VDL Company records into the public domain. Originating from Circular Head (the site of the VDL Company’s initial land grant in Tasmania’s far North West) and London, this material was gradually released from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. This release of material coincided with Plomley’s publication of Robinson’s journals in Friendly Mission (1966) which, however flawed, provided some hint of an Aboriginal perspective. Access to Robinson’s journals stimulated much of the subsequent archaeological research conducted in the region: Betty Hiatt (Food Quest and the Economy of the Tasmanian Aborigines from 1967), Sandra Bowdler (An Account of an Archaeological Reconnaissance of Hunter’s Isles, Northwest Tasmania, 1973/4 from 1974), Jim Stockton (Cumulative Report: Sites of Significance Survey, Tasmania from 1976) and of course Rhys Jones.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Research Division:Indigenous Studies
Research Group:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language and history
Research Field:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Australia's past
UTAS Author:McFarlane, I (Dr Ian McFarlane)
ID Code:83821
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Riawunna
Deposited On:2013-03-22
Last Modified:2015-03-25

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