By Babette Smith
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Additional resources for Australia's Birthstain: The Startling Legacy of the Convict Era
Queensland’s infantile days were broad arrowed with crime . . the curse of the whippers and the prayers of the whipped was the doleful music played at its birth. 6 In fact, to the extent it has been available to them, Australians have generally shown interest in their history. In 1880, the New South Wales parliament passed an Act that made it a compulsory subject in all government primary schools. Later it was introduced into high schools. indd Sec1:34 26/2/08 12:20:42 PM amnesia However, in the ﬁrst half of the twentieth century everyone, including academics, were constrained in their choice of topics by lack of primary sources.
He pleaded not guilty to infringing the statute, which meant he had to prove he did not know the men gathered at Allen’s house were about to do something illegal. His earlier deposition to the magistrates was tendered in court, in which he insisted he had not known the poachers would be there but had gone to see Allen on business. ’ Describing some of them as ‘notorious poachers’, he agreed that he guessed they were going after game. Then he described how some were armed with guns and some with sticks, but he was carefully ambiguous about who carried what except in one instance.
The lawyer had responded by making his statement. The clergyman was incensed at the idea that he or anyone else had suggested the magistrates were not disposed to prosecute him. ’ Obviously feeling greatly betrayed, Brodribb persisted in the claim that he was induced to give a statement. indd Sec1:26 26/2/08 12:20:40 PM something to hide he told the court. ’ In this, as in all aspects of the poachers’ tale, one detects the fell hand of Colonel Berkeley. The law had not yet devised a system of Crown prosecutors acting for the State and by that means preventing vindictive prosecutions.