Party: Penemeroic, Toinneburer, Rawee


Penemeroic (black magpie), his wife Toinneburer and their son Rawee (crab) were devastated by GA Robinson's plan from 1830 to capture and remove all Tasmanian Aboriginal people from their country. Toinneburer was captured in 1833 with another seven people and taken to Grummet Island in Macquarie Harbour. After repeated efforts, she and two other women managed to swim back to their people. The family met GA Robinson's group again at Sloop Rocks south of Macquarie Harbour and were taken captive with ten more people in July 1833. Penemeroic escaped, but the following day lit a signal fire and surrendered, as he could not endure another family separation. The three spent three months in appalling conditions on Sarah Island with many other Aboriginal people. In mid-September, Robinson put them and four other Aboriginal people on board a ship to sail to Hobart and on to Flinders Island.

Penemeroic and Toinneburer's son Rawee was only nine. With the other west coast children seized in 1833 he was immediately sent to the Hobart Orphan Asylum. Meanwhile, in 1836 Penemeroic was renamed Milton by Robinson. Toinneburer was one of the few not 'given' a new English name, being among the minority of thirteen, out of 103, who retained their original names. Penemeroic died in 1837, aged 47. He was literally one-eyed - he had been shot in the face by Europeans on the west coast. Toinneburer died seven months before him. In 1836 their son Rawee was transferred to Flinders Island and renamed Charley Clark. He and another nine Aboriginal children lived with the Religious Catechist, Robert Clark, who periodically beat many of them. It is not known what became of Charley Clark - better known as Rawee.

Julie Gough