Tt is for – Time Line, Time Walk and Tony Robinson

Can’t begin to say how happy I was to read that Tony Robinson is doing a TV Time Line/ Time Walk in Adelaide, South Australia. Whooo Hooo!!! Gives me the opportunity to share, on the Gould “Family History Through the Alphabet” challenge, that not all of Australia was a convict settlement and broaden people’s thinking about why Australian’s are often seen as anti-authoritarian”. Come walk with me, eh???


Wikipedia describes how South Australia had a different mode of “Colonisation” to the rest of Australia. The South Australian Colonisation Act stated that “802,511 square kilometres would be allotted to the colony and it was to be “convict free”. Instead of granting free land to settlers, the land would be sold and the money raised would be used to transport settlers/ labourers free of charge.

“Dissenters” from the established “Church of England” were amongst the  first South Australian colonists and encouraged, and funded, others seeking relief/escape, from religious persecution to emigrate to this “Utopia in the South.”  Both Protestant non-conformists and Catholics were subjected to active discrimination in England from the 16th Century. Many Germans/ Prussians were also  drawn to South Australia, seeking religious freedom. The ” Bound for South Australia” website tells that these “dissenters” constituted a much higher population than those in other Australian colonies.  

Those who claim all Australians tend to be “Anti-authoritatian” because of their convict roots have missed this crucial part of the picture. i.e. The settlement/ European colonisation of South Australia and the settler’s determination to separate Church and State. 

So, back to Tony Robinson and his “Time Walk”  TV programme. Goodonya Tony and thanks to the South Australian Advertiser, for the info.

Given that South Australia was “settled by dissenters” it does not surprise me, at all, that South Australia led the nation with:

* Votes for women, including the right to stand for Parliament, and the first woman, Mrs Benny, to enter local Govt in Australia (1919).

* Dame Roma Mitchell, the first Australian woman  to be: a Judge, a Queen’s Counsel, a Chancellor of an Australian University, Governor of an Australian State.

* First crematorium in the South Hemisphere, built at the West Terrace Cemetery, South Australia in 1902. 

* The first Act, in Australia, prohibiting discrimination – “The 1966 Prohibition of Discrimination Act”, which started the ball rolling here in Australia.

* The first Australian publication by an Aboriginal author, David Unaipon born 28 Sep 1872 at the Port McLeay Mission, South Australia. He is commemorated on our Australian $50 note.

… and so many other “firsts” eg. The first metal mine in Oz (1841), the first Croquet Club, the first major long-distance telephone call etc … but most important of all, in my opinion, is that South Australia has so often led the way with legislation to address discrimination …

Bit of a pain that I don’t have Cable TV so won’t get to see the programme, but no worries. Happy that Tony Robinson will awaken some people’s interest in our unique South Australian history and honour our pioneering “dissenters”.  


 Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel   

More Grave Concerns but of the happy kind…

How serendipitious that just one week ago I was writing “Gg – is for Grave Concerns”, in the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge, and was totally unaware that the South Australian Government had released a “Draft Burial and Cremation Bill 2012” for public consultation. The proposal that every cemetery must provide a central register of burials is most exciting news for Genealogists and Family Historians world wide and “not before time”, some would say.

How can I thank my Genealogy Facebook friend for posting THIS LINK to the “Murray Valley Standard” in which I read the enlightening news?

The intention of the Bill is to provide a single Act to regulate all cemeteries, burial grounds and related facilities in South Australia; “the removal of the 99-year limitation on interment rights in public cemeteries and the creation of a better system for the identification of human remains before disposal.”

John Rau, South Australian Deputy Premier/Attorney-General, writes “A single Act to regulate the industry, including the management and establishment of cemeteries and crematoria, the duration of interment rights, the closure and conversion of cemeteries and the re-use of interment sites, would create consistency across the industry and ensure privately owned cemeteries are subject to the same regulatory scheme as publicly operated cemeteries.”


Elisabeth Clara HABEL – Private Cemetery, Loxton

This is an absolute boon, not only to South Australian’s, concerned about the desecration of their loved ones’ graves, but also to Genealogists and Family Historians throughout the country, and indeed the world. I keep thinking of the graves of those two precious little girls on private land which has since been sold outside of the family. One would hope that their graves would not be disturbed but… Changes to the Legislation will ensure they continue to R.I.P.

Barbara THIELE – Private Cemetery, Loxton

Now is your opportunity to encourage the South Australian Government in their plan and also quieten the voices of the “naysayers”, of whom there are sure to be many. Just click HERE to access the Draft Bill and Explanatory Notes.

The public consultation process closes VERY soon… next week, 4 July 2012, to be exact. If you’re short of time even a brief comment, on one or two items, would be so beneficial.

Feedback from Genealogists and Family Historians, both from inter-state and overseas, would be particularly useful, I believe.

Cheers, Catherine


SOURCES: “Murray Valley Standard”, 26 June 2012
                    South Australian (draft) Burial and Cremation Bill 2012 & Explanatory Notes

Copyright © 2012. Catherine A. Crout-Habel.  Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family