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03 February-George Robinson, Australia's first "Forest Gump"

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03 February-George Robinson, Australia's first "Forest Gump"

Unread postby Max ADU » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:58 pm

Australian History
Wednesday, February 3,

1830 - George Robinson sets off on a four-year walk around Tasmania as missionary to the Aborigines.


George Augustus Robinson (1791-1866), protector of Aboriginals, was born on 22 March 1791 in London in the United Kingdom.

In January 1824 George arrived in Hobart Town set up himself as a builder.

At the time of Robinson's arrival, relations between Aboriginals and settlers had almost reached the stage of open hostility, a result partly of the usurpation of the natives' hunting grounds, partly of the cruel treatment and killing of natives by shepherds, stockmen, bushrangers and sealers, partly of the kidnapping of native children.

Following increased tensions between the Aborigines and white settlers, the government was intending to implement their policy entitled the Black Line, a military plan to round up Aborigines in Tasmania. In 1829.

Prior to George Robinson appointment of Chief Protector of Aborigines he had been called upon to mount a "friendly mission" to find the 300 remaining Aboriginals in Tasmania and also he was concerned for the well-being of the Tasmanian Aborigines.

Robinson requested permission from Lieutenant-Governor George Arthur to travel around Tasmania, persuading the Aborigines that the government's plan to relocate and "civilise" them was desirable.

Robinson set out on 3 February 1830, accompanied by several Aborigines whom he had befriended, to act as cultural intermediaries for him. Robinson's journey took him almost four years, during which he travelled around almost the complete perimeter of Tasmania.

Whilst he succeeded in assisting the relocation of many tribes, ultimately the government did not live up to their end of the bargain in providing suitable food, clothing and shelter. Because of this, Robinson's role in Tasmanian Aboriginal history tends to be viewed negatively.

George Robinson was the Chief Protector of Aborigines in Port Phillip District from 1839 to 1849.
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