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RAHS Day Lecture – Truganini: Journey through the Apocalypse

June 2 @ 13:00 - 14:00


Cassandra Pybus recounts that her ancestors told a story of an old Aboriginal woman who would wander across their farm on Bruny Island, in south-east Tasmania, in the 1850s and 1860s. As a child, Cassandra didn’t know this woman was Truganini, and that Truganini was walking over the country of her clan, the Nuenonne.

In writing Truganini: Journey through the apocalypse Cassandra Pybus has examined the original eyewitness accounts to write Truganini’s extraordinary story. Hardly more than a child, Truganini managed to survive the devastation of the 1820s, when the clans of south-eastern Tasmania were all but extinguished. She spent five years on a journey around Tasmania, across rugged highlands and through barely penetrable forests, with George Augustus Robinson, the self-styled missionary who was collecting the survivors to send them into exile on Flinders Island. She has become an international icon for a monumental tragedy – the so-called extinction of the original people of Tasmania.

About the speaker: Cassandra Pybus is an award-winning author and a distinguished historian. She is author of twelve books and has held research professorships at the University of Sydney, Georgetown University in Washington DC, the University of Texas and King’s College London. She is descended from the colonist who received the largest free land grant on Truganini’s traditional country of Bruny Island.

She was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001 for outstanding contribution to Tasmanian and Australian literature and education. In 2020 she was shortlisted for the Nonfiction Book Award at the Queensland Literary Awards for Truganini and also for the Nonfiction prize at the 2021 Indie Book Awards with Truganini.



June 2
13:00 - 14:00
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