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Abstract

In this paper, I am going to explore just how wide the gulf was between the world of the first Tasmanians and the beliefs and perceptions of the man who was one of the very few Europeans who was interested enough to leave a detailed, although often blind, record of this ancient world. I am also going to explore the idea of ‘garden’, particularly Indigenous gardens, referencing a range of ideas and using my own experience and garden in the Perth Hills as points of understanding and departure. The paper will investigate the fundamental proposition that the island worlds of Indigenous Van Diemen’s Land are more clearly understood if seen as a patchwork of ancient gardens and thereby will explore the hidden gulf between the world of Robinson’s perceptions and that of the people he met and traveled with and eventually exiled from their worlds

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