Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Do you reckon Heath Ledger was ever on Rotto? Gosh we wish so. Being a Sandgroper, the odds of him visiting were pretty good.

Heath uncertainty aside, Aboriginals were definitely there. We've touched on indigenous issues before...Tentland being closed, and the fact there was one death every eight weeks for a time on the island.

More indigenous stuff on eBay: the item description is ABORIGINES - AUSTRALIA ORIGINAL REPORT OF 1844 + 6 MAPS.

After some squinting at one of the item photos, it says something like: ABORIGINES (AUSTRALIAN COLONIES)
RETURN to the ADDRESS of the Honourable The ?House of C?
Dated 5 August 1844 –far
COPIES of EXTRACTS from the DESPATCHES of the Governors of the AUSTRALIAN COLONIES, with the REPORTS of the PROTECTORS of ABORIGINES, and any other CORRESPONDENCE to illustrate the Condition of the ABORIGINAL POPULATION of the said Colonies, from the date of the last Papers laid before Parliament on the subject, (Papers ordered by The House of Commons to be printed, 12 August 1839, No 526.)
Colonial Office, Downing-street, 9 August 1844
G.W. Hope
(Mr Alden.?)

Most intriguing. (The Rotto angle? The item has a map, 334 x 405mm, which is a "Cooured (sic) plan of the native establishment, Rottnest Island".) Only 325 GBP (or around $730, according to eBay). With our reporter hat on we contacted the seller, vld5, asking if we could ask some questions, but no joy.

"No, but you are welcome to bid, and buy it if you are the winning bidder," Mr/s 5 said.

Someone at Museum Victoria was more effusive: "The response is underwhelming from a news point of view, I’m afraid.

"The expert’s feeling is that the item is likely to be already represented in public holdings (likely National Library or other state libraries), and is not something the Museum would be interested in. We also can’t think of anyone else to refer you to for further advice on the specific document."

The item ends on Friday...no bids so far.

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