Controversy has always surrounded John Batman’s account of meeting Woiwurung leaders in 1835 and his claim to have negotiated not one but two ‘Treaties’. Batman purported to have purchased land in both Melbourne and Geelong, but with both purchases being from the Melbourne tribe.
All previous discussion of this historic event has relied on Batman’s own documentation and has not sought to understand the Aboriginal perspective. The author, through his knowledge of Aboriginal culture, language, travel routes and land use, has brought fresh insights to the discussion.
A previously little understood eye-witness account by William Barak the famed Kulin leader is re-examined. Barak’s account reveals that the site of the historic meeting with Batman was in fact on the Plenty River at Greensborough, not the Merri Creek. It is also shown that there was not even a charade of a treaty signing, as the documents never even left Batman’s boat.
ISBN: 978 0 949196 35 4