William Buckley’s life and times

Since his retirement as a drug counsellor, self published author Phillip Gray spends a large part of his spare time writing and enjoying the seaside at Mount Martha. His second book ‘From Dreamtime to Arma-geddon’ is about William Buckley, an escaped convict who lived with the local aboriginals.

“I just love the history and the period homes of Queenscliff and would move there in a flash,” said Phillip. “My Buckley book is largely written in three sections, the first part is told in a first-person narrative in the words of Buckley himself, and covers the period before he is transported, through to the time that he spends with the Wathaurong people after they rescued him on the point of starvation.

During the next 32 years that he spent living amongst them, the British convict settlement that he’d escaped from at Sorrento, had been relocated to Van Diemen’s Land, and the next section of the book covers that part of our early history, particularly the way in which white settlement impacted on the lives of our first inhabitants, and much of what I’ve written in that part of the book is based upon historical research.

The third and final section covers the period from 1835 onwards, when John Batman came across to Port Phillip in an attempt to sign a treaty with the local aborigines as a representative of the Port Phillip Association, in the hope of purchasing vast tracts of land. That was when Buckley walked back out of the bush and attempted to re-engage with the white man’s world. This section is also largely based on events that were recorded in various diaries and other historical records.”

‘From Dreamtime to Armageddon’ is available at the Maritime Museum and Newsagents or from Phillip 0414 339 160.