New Maritime History of the Early Sydney Colony

The Flag’s Up

by Peter Poland

In the early days of the colony, ships from Russia, France, America and Spain anchored alongside British convict vessels in Sydney’s renowned harbour. Many famous figures sailed through the heads, such as Bligh, Bennelong, Flinders and Macquarie. The South Head Lookout Post which recorded these arrivals and departures has been manned since January 1790, making it the longest permanently manned site in Australia.

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Paved with Good Intentions


Over a century before the Mabo case recognised Native Title and rejected the doctrine of Terra Nullius, Aboriginal land rights were briefly acknowledged in two Australian colonies. Paved with Good Intentions, reveals the many strong declarations in favour of Aboriginal land rights in early Colonial times, and shows how this language was twisted and remodelled to support dispossession of Aborigines. South Australia and Port Phillip were settled in the mid-1830s, under very different circumstances to earlier colonies. A new wave of colonists comprising entrepreneurs and humanitarians jostled for ascendancy, with Aboriginals caught between good intentions and voracious demands.

As settlers seized nearly 20 million acres of Aboriginal country, the original owners of the land were pushed to the margins—offered “protection” and assimilation instead of recognition of their legal rights.

The Author

Hannah Robert is a lecturer at La Trobe University Law School whose writing has appeared in The Conversation, the Good Weekend, the Journal of Law and Medicine, and the Australian Feminist Law Journal.

Author in conversation with Dr Anna Clark

Paperback, RRP $34.95

Town & Country

A History of the Manning Valley

This area lies about 300km north of Sydney, where the earliest European settlers first arrived in the late 1820s. The Manning River runs through this rugged, isolated terrain, and this was to become the region’s main highway throughout the 19th Century. It is a valley with a rich history, a hidden gem with a rich past, and Max Solling’s latest book tells those stories and more, painting a vivd picture of life before and after settlement, and the people who left their homelands for a new life on the other side of the world. He also tells of the conservation history of the Wingham Brush, the last remnant of ancient wilderness in the region, and details the fight for its survival.

Max Solling is a passionate advocate for local histories whose previous work, a history of Glebe, was released to great acclaim.

Town & Country RRP $59.95