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The Last Matron of Coranderrk: Natalie Robarts's Diary of the Final Years of Coranderrk Aboriginal Station, 1909-1924

The Last Matron of Coranderrk: Natalie Robarts's Diary of the Final Years of Coranderrk Aboriginal Station, 1909-1924

Author: Dr Ian D Clark
$149.95(AUD)  inc GST
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Natalie Robarts's Coranderrk diary was comprised of four parts. In 1975 anthropologist Aldo Massola published a history of the Coranderrk Aboriginal station in which he included a condensation of the first three parts, and Maurice Robarts, Natalie's son, provided him with a summary of the fourth part. Massola had spent two years working on the manuscript, and it was published posthumously in November 1975, four months after his death in July. The value of Natalie Robarts's diary is easily demonstrated. Rather than a cold historical narrative of the comings and goings of station managers and officials and the evolution of government policy, it allows us to humanise life on the Coranderrk station. Through her pages we are given an intimate picture of the rituals of life on the station, and we see the Aboriginal people of Coranderrk actively striving to protect their rights and assert their connection to their country. Maurice Robarts, the diarist's son and Liane's grandfather, had loaned the first three parts of the diary to Aldo Massola, presumably in 1973 or 1974. Today only the fourth part remains in the hands of the Robarts family. What happened to the first three parts is not known. It is possible that they were never returned to the Robarts family, owing to the untimely death of Aldo Massola in July 1975. Chapter One presents a genealogy of the Robarts family, which is a work in progress. Chapter Two reproduces and annotates the Massola (1975) transcript of the first three parts of Natalie Robarts's diary, spanning the years from 1909 until 1917. Chapter Three publishes the fourth book of Natalie Robarts Diary, in full, along with Maurice Robarts's summary and Massola's limited commentary. Chapter Four publishes official reports from Charles Robarts during his years as station manager; along with relevant newspaper articles from this time; and published reminiscences from those who visited the station during Robarts's tenure - such as Elinor M. Clowes (1911); Frederick Spurr (1915) and Viscount Northcliffe (1923). Chapter Five re-publishes Natalie Robarts's publications - her (1913) article 'The Victorian Aborigine as he is' noting differences between the published version and a draft copy found in her papers; and her (1934) publication of her father-in-law's reminiscences, along with three unpublished articles found in her papers. Chapter Six publishes for the first time, a family history manuscript written by Maurice Robarts, the second son of Charles and Natalie Robarts. Chapter Seven re-publishes six newspaper articles, a letter to the editor and the draft of another article on William Barak from Oswald Charles Robarts, the journalist son of Charles and Natalie Robarts. Chapter Eight re-presents a three-part history of Coranderrk published in the Healesville Guardian in 1943 by Ethel Shaw, the daughter of Joseph Shaw, who was Coranderrk station manager from 1884 until his resignation from ill-health in 1908. The next chapter presents three scrapbooks of photographs and images relevant to the history of Coranderrk. The final chapter presents a paper on the life and times of Ernest Leuba, Natalie Robarts's father.

Stock Information

General Fields

  • : 9781534626027
  • : Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • : Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • : July 2016
  • : 229mm X 152mm X 29mm
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : colour illustrations
  • : Dr Ian D Clark
  • : Paperback / softback