Tricks or treats?: A case for Kulin knowing in Batman’s treaty

Robert Kenny


Against the usual portrayal of the Batman Treaty as a duplicitous act in which the Kulin were uncomprehending of Batman’s intention, a case is made that such views miss the pertinence of the Treaty in revealing the dilemmas of settlement. It is argued that the Kulin who participated did so in the knowledge of the events unfolding for forty years to their north and in so doing may have hoped to accommodate the European and thus limit settlement, an understanding which concurred with the desires of the audience in London Batman himself wanted to appease. This article has been peer-reviewed.


Batman Treaty; colonisation; Aborigines Protection Society; Port Phillip Settlement; Kulin; Aborigines, Melbourne


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