Wauba Debar

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Wauba Debar's grave and headstone in Bicheno Wauba Debar's grave.jpg
Wauba Debar's grave and headstone in Bicheno

Wauba Debar (1792–1832) was a female Aboriginal Tasmanian. Her grave is a historic site located in the east coast Tasmanian town of Bicheno, which memorialises her rescue of two sealers, one of them her husband, when their ship was wrecked about 1 km from shore during a storm. She assisting first her husband, then the other sealer safely to shore.

Aboriginal Tasmanians ethnic group

The Aboriginal Tasmanians are the Aboriginal people of the Australian state of Tasmania, located south of the mainland. For much of the 20th century, the Tasmanian Aboriginal people were widely, and erroneously, thought of as being an extinct cultural and ethnic group. Contemporary figures (2016) for the number of people of Tasmanian Aboriginal descent vary according to the criteria used to determine this identity, ranging from 6,000 to over 23,000.

Tasmania island state of Australia

Tasmania is an island state of Australia. It is located 240 km (150 mi) to the south of the Australian mainland, separated by Bass Strait. The state encompasses the main island of Tasmania, the 26th-largest island in the world, and the surrounding 334 islands. The state has a population of around 526,700 as of March 2018. Just over forty percent of the population resides in the Greater Hobart precinct, which forms the metropolitan area of the state capital and largest city, Hobart.

Bicheno, Tasmania Town in Tasmania, Australia

Bicheno is a town on the east coast of Tasmania, Australia, 185 km north-east of Hobart on the Tasman Highway, with a population of around 950. It is part of the municipality of Glamorgan/Spring Bay. The town is primarily a fishing port and a beach resort.

The grave site overlooks Waubs Bay and Warbs Harbour both of which were named after her, and is listed on the Tasmanian Heritage list. [1]

Wauba Debar, as a teenager, was one of many Aboriginal women kidnapped and enslaved by sealers and whalers for sexual partners during the European colonisation of Tasmania. She was a strong swimmer.

She died in a boat off the coast whilst travelling towards the Furneaux Group and her body was brought ashore and buried. Local settlers raised funds in 1855 to erect the headstone on her grave, immortalising her act of heroism. [2] [3]

Furneaux Group island group

The Furneaux Group is a group of approximately 100 islands located at the eastern end of Bass Strait, between Victoria and Tasmania, Australia. The islands were named after British navigator Tobias Furneaux, who sighted the eastern side of these islands after leaving Adventure Bay in 1773 on his way to New Zealand to rejoin Captain James Cook. Navigator Matthew Flinders was the first Westerner to explore the Furneaux Islands group in the Francis in 1798, and later that year in the Norfolk.

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References

  1. eHeritage, Headstone of Wauba DEBAR , State Library of Tasmania. Accessed 18 October 2008
  2. Bicheno Online Access Centre, Community History . Accessed 18 October 2008
  3. Derek John Mulvaney, Encounters in Place: Outsiders and Aboriginal Australians, 1606-1985, University of Queensland Press, 1989, ISBN   0-7022-2153-8