Cassandra Pybus

Cassandra Jean Pybus (born 29 September 1947) is an Australian historian and writer. She is a professor of history at the University of Sydney, and has published extensively on Australian and American history.[1]

Pybus was born in Hobart, Tasmania and educated at North Sydney Girls High School and the University of Sydney.[2] Her mother, Betty Pybus, was a pioneer of women's health in Sydney and Tasmania.[3]

From 1989 to 1994, Pybus was editor of the literary magazine Island. She won the Colin Roderick Award in 1993 for Gross Moral Turpitude, a re-examination of the case of Sydney Sparkes Orr, a Northern Irish academic who became embroiled in a scandal involving a relationship with a student whilst working at the University of Tasmania.[4] In 2000, she won an Adelaide Festival Award for Literature for The Devil and James McAuley, a biography of the poet James McAuley.[5]

Pybus was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001 for outstanding contribution to Tasmanian and Australian literature and education.[6]

Cassandra Pybus
BornCassandra Jean Pybus
29 September 1947 (age 71)
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
OccupationHistorian, biographer, academic
EducationNorth Sydney Girls High School
Alma materUniversity of Sydney
Notable awardsColin Roderick Award (1993)


  • Enterprising Women: Gender Race and Power in the Revolutionary Atlantic (with Kit Candlin; 2015)
  • Other Middle Passages (edited with Marcus Rediker and Emma Christopher; 2007)
  • Epic Journeys of Freedom: Runaway slaves of the American Revolution and their global quest for liberty (2006)
  • Black Founders: The unknown story of Australia's first black settlers (2006)
  • The Woman who Walked to Russia: A writer's search for a lost legend (2004)
  • American Citizens, British Slaves: Yankee political prisoners in an Australian penal colony, 1839–1850 (with Hamish Maxwell-Stewart; 2002)
  • Raven Road (2001)
  • The Devil and James McAuley (1999)
  • Till Apples Grow on an Orange Tree (1998)
  • White Rajah: A Dynastic Intrigue (1996)
  • Gross Moral Turpitude: The Orr Case Reconsidered (1993)
  • Community of Thieves (1991)


  1. ^ "Professor Cassandra Pybus". Department of History. University of Sydney. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  2. ^ Who's Who in Australia, ConnectWeb
  3. ^ "Betty Jean Vyvyan Pybus OAM". Honour Roll of Women. Government of Tasmania. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Colin Roderick Award". James Cook University. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Tasmania: The Tipping Point?". University of Sydney. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  6. ^ "PYBUS, Cassandra". It's an Honour. Australian Government. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
Alfred Conlon

Colonel Alfred Austin Joseph (Alf) Conlon (7 October 1908–1961) was the head of the Australian Directorate of Research and Civil Affairs (DORCA) in World War II. A controversial figure, he influenced events throughout the Pacific region in the second half of the 20th century, through the Australian School of Pacific Administration (ASOPA), which grew out of the directorate.


Bislama (English: ; Bislama: [bislaˈma]; also known by its earlier French name, bichelamar [biʃlamaʁ]), is a creole language, and one of the official languages of Vanuatu. It is the first language of many of the "Urban ni-Vanuatu" (citizens who live in Port Vila and Luganville), and the second language of much of the rest of the country's residents. The lyrics of "Yumi, Yumi, Yumi", the country's national anthem, are composed in Bislama.

More than 95% of Bislama words are of English origin, whilst the remainder comprises a few dozen words from French, as well as some specific vocabulary inherited from various languages of Vanuatu; though these are essentially limited to flora and fauna terminology. While the influence of these vernacular languages is low on the vocabulary side, it is very high in the morphosyntax. As such, Bislama can be described simply as a language with an English vocabulary and an Oceanic grammar and phonology.

Black Loyalist

A Black Loyalist was an African American who joined the British military forces during the American Revolutionary War. Many of these Loyalists had been slaves who escaped from rebel masters to join the British in exchange for the Crown's promises of freedom.

Some 3,000 Black Loyalists were evacuated from New York to Nova Scotia; they were individually listed in the Book of Negroes as the British gave them certificates of freedom and arranged for transport. The Crown gave them land grants and supplies to help them resettle in Nova Scotia. Some of the European Loyalists who emigrated to Nova Scotia brought their slaves with them, making for an uneasy society. One historian has argued that those slaves should not be regarded as Loyalists, as they had no choice in their fates. Other Black Loyalists were evacuated to London or the Caribbean colonies.

Thousands of African slaves escaped from plantations and fled to British lines, especially after British occupation of Charleston, South Carolina. When the British evacuated, they took many former slaves with them. Many ended up among London's Black Poor, with 4,000 resettled by the Sierra Leone Company to Freetown in Africa in 1787. Five years later, another 1,192 Black Loyalists from Nova Scotia chose to emigrate to Sierra Leone, becoming known as the Nova Scotian settlers in the new British colony of Sierra Leone. Both waves of settlers became part of the Sierra Leone Creole people. Thomas Jefferson referred to the Black Loyalists as "the fugitives from these States". While many Black Loyalists gained freedom, many did not. Those who were recaptured by slave traders were sold back into slavery and treated harshly for having served under the British.


Blackbirding involves the coercion of people through trickery and kidnapping to work as labourers. Generally, persons of European ancestry, or others being paid by them, coerced persons of non-European ancestry to work as labourers throughout the Southeast Pacific region. Blackbirders sought labourers for several major industries or plantations.

From the 1860s, blackbirding ships in the Pacific sought workers to mine the guano deposits on the Chincha Islands in Peru. In the 1870s the blackbirding trade focused on supplying labourers to plantations, particularly those producing sugar-cane in Queensland, Australia, and Fiji. Indigenous persons from the nearby Pacific islands, or northern Queensland, were recruited or coerced by unscrupulous colonial Europeans. In the early days of the pearling industry in Western Australia at Nickol Bay and Broome, local Aborigines were blackbirded from the surrounding areas.

The practice of blackbirding has continued to the present day, in certain developing countries. One example is the kidnapping and coercion, often at gunpoint, of indigenous peoples in Central America to work as plantation labourers in the region. They are subjected to poor living conditions, are exposed to heavy pesticide loads, and do hard labour for very little pay.

Charles Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak

Charles Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak, GCMG (Charles Anthoni Johnson Brooke; 3 June 1829 – 17 May 1917), born Charles Anthoni Johnson, ruled as the head of state of Kingdom of Sarawak from 3 August 1868 until his death. He succeeded his uncle, James Brooke, as the second White Rajah of this small country on the coast of Borneo.

Colin Roderick Award

The Colin Roderick Award is presented annually by the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies at Queensland's James Cook University for "the best book published in Australia which deals with any aspect of Australian life". It was first presented in 1967 and has a prize of A$20,000. Starting in 1980, the H. T. Priestley Memorial Medal has also been bestowed upon the award winner.

Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor

The Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor was a charitable organisation founded in London in 1786 to provide sustenance for distressed people of African and Asian origin. It played a crucial role in the proposal to form a colony in Sierra Leone. The work of the Committee overlapped to some extent with the campaign to abolish slavery in Britain and its empire.

Gross Misconduct (film)

Gross Misconduct is a 1993 Australian thriller film directed by George T. Miller. It stars Jimmy Smits and Naomi Watts. It was nominated for an award by the Australian Film Institute in 1993. The film has been described as an Australian version of Fatal Attraction.

Harry Washington

Harry Washington (c.1740-1800) was known as a slave of Virginia planter George Washington, later the first President of the United States. He served as a Black Loyalist in the American Revolutionary War and was granted his freedom by the British and evacuated to Nova Scotia. In 1792 he joined nearly 1200 freedmen for resettlement in Sierra Leone, where they set up a colony of free people of color.

Harry had been born in Gambia and sold into slavery as a war captive. He was purchased by George Washington, who had plantations in Virginia. During the American Revolutionary War, Harry Washington escaped from slavery in Virginia and served as a corporal in the Black Pioneers attached to a British artillery unit. After the war he was among Black Loyalists resettled by the British in Nova Scotia, where they were granted land. There Washington married Jenny, another freed American slave.

In 1792 the couple were among more than 1,000 freedmen chosen to migrate to Sierra Leone, West Africa, where the British had established a new colony of people of African descent. In 1800 Washington joined a rebellion against the British colonial authorities in the Sierra Leone Colony. He was exiled to the Bullom Shore, where he subsequently died.

Island magazine

Island Magazine is a quarterly literary publication produced in Hobart, Tasmania. Started in 1979 it provides a forum for Tasmanian writers and writers from around Australia and elsewhere to publish new work.

The magazine's first issue in June 1979 was published as The Tasmanian Review. In March 1981, the magazine was renamed Island Magazine, to more accurately reflect its status as a national magazine rather than as a regional 'review'. Island Magazine published poems, short stories, articles, interviews, photographs and graphics. During the 1980s, the magazine exhibited a strong concern for ecological issues, supporting protests against the Tasmanian government's proposed damming of the Franklin River. In the 2010s the magazine publishes "Ideas, Writing, Culture".

Island is a not-for-profit incorporated body run by a board of management.

Marcus Rediker

Marcus Rediker (born 1951 in Owensboro, Kentucky) is an American professor, historian, writer, and activist for a variety of peace and social justice causes. He graduated with a B.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1976 and attended the University of Pennsylvania for graduate study, earning an M.A. and Ph.D. in history. He taught at Georgetown University from 1982 to 1994, lived in Moscow for a year (1984-5), and is currently Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History of the Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh.

Moses Wilkinson

Moses "Daddy" Wilkinson or "Old Moses" (c. 1746/47 – ?) was an African-American slave and Wesleyan Methodist preacher in Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone.

Moses Wilkinson was a blind and lame slave from Nansemond County, Virginia; his master was Mills Wilkinson. After Dunmore's Proclamation promised slaves of American rebels their freedom if they would join the British forces fighting in the American Revolutionary War, Wilkinson led a band of runaway slaves to freedom in 1776. In New York, the self-appointed, illiterate, fiery Wesleyan Methodist preacher gathered together a congregation.When the British were defeated in 1783, Wilkinson and other Black Loyalists were transported aboard L'Abondance to Halifax; he is listed in the Book of Negroes. A Black Loyalist settlement was established in Birchtown, Nova Scotia. On 26 October 1791, 350 people gathered in Wilkinson's church to hear John Clarkson explain the Sierra Leone Company's plans to reestablish a colony in what is now Sierra Leone, the previous 1787 attempt having failed miserably. Displeased with a climate colder than they were used to and a hostile reception from the resident whites, Wilkinson, members of his Methodist congregation, and those of other denominations emigrated; 1196 Nova Scotian Settlers set sail from Halifax on 15 January 1792.The ships made landfall on 9 March. Wilkinson established the first Methodist church in Settler Town. The Sierra Leone Company clashed with the independent-minded Christian denominations, and matters came to a head with a failed rebellion led by Methodists in 1800. Two Methodists were executed, a number of others, mostly Methodist, were exiled elsewhere in Africa, and Wilkinson's brand of Methodism lost favour.

Neptune (1780 ship)

Neptune was a three-decker East Indiaman launched in 1780 at Deptford. She made five voyages for the British East India Company (EIC), the last one transporting convicts to Port Jackson as one of the vessels of the notorious Second Fleet. This voyage resulted in a private suit against the master and chief officer for wrongful death. A fire and explosion in 1796 at Cape Town destroyed Neptune.

North Sydney Girls High School

North Sydney Girls' High School (NSGHS, more commonly known as NSG) is an academically selective public high school for girls, located in Crows Nest, in Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia.

Established in 1914, the school currently caters for approximately 930 students from Years 7 to 12. Admission is based entirely on academic results through the Selective High Schools Test undertaken by students in Year 6.

In 2001, The Sun-Herald ranked North Sydney Girls High School first in Australia's top ten girls' schools, based on the number of its alumni mentioned in the Who's Who in Australia (a listing of notable Australians).


Pybus is a surname. Notable people with this name include:

Cassandra Pybus (born 1947), an Australian historian and author

Dave Pybus (born 1970), English bassist with Cradle of Filth

Frederick Charles Pybus, English surgeon noted for research into organ transplantation

Sir Percy John Pybus, 1st Baronet (1880–1935), known as John Pybus, British Liberal Party politician

Richard Pybus (born 1964), English-born cricket coach

William Richard Pybus (1848–1917), South Australian organist

Quadrant (magazine)

Quadrant is an Australian literary and cultural journal. Quadrant reviews literature, as well as featuring essays on ideas and topics such as politics, history, universities, and the arts. It also publishes poetry and short stories.

Second Fleet (Australia)

The Second Fleet was a convoy of six ships carrying settlers, convicts and supplies to Sydney Cove, Australia in 1789. It followed the First Fleet which established European settlement in Australia in the previous year.

The Second Fleet has achieved a historical notoriety for the poor conditions aboard the vessels, and for cruelty and mistreatment of its convicts. Of the 1006 convicts transported aboard the Fleet, one quarter died during the voyage and around 40 per cent were dead within six months of arrival in Australia. The captain and some crew members of one vessel were charged with offences against the convicts, but acquitted after a short trial.

The ships were intended to sail to Australia together, arriving at Sydney Cove in 1789. However one was disabled en route and failed to make the destination, and another was delayed arrived two months after the other ships. The colony had expected that the Fleet would contain fewer unskilled convicts and more supplies: the arrival of so many sick and dying and so few additional provisions brought the settlement close to starvation before the Third Fleet reached Sydney Cove in 1791.

Sydney Sparkes Orr

Sydney Sparkes Orr was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tasmania and the centre of the "Orr case", a celebrated academic scandal of the 1950s.

Born in Belfast in 1914, Orr achieved a first-class-honours BA in Philosophy and received an MA with special commendation at Queen's University before commencing his teaching career at the University of St Andrews and the University of Melbourne. In 1952 he was appointed to the chair of philosophy at the University of Tasmania, after falsifying his academic record in his application. In 1955 the University dismissed him for sexual relations with an undergraduate student. He denied the accusation but his appeals to the Tasmanian Supreme Court and the High Court of Australia were unsuccessful. Many academics believed Orr had been denied due process and his position was declared "black". Many also thought that Orr had been made a scapegoat due to his openly challenging the University authorities. Orr died in 1966, shortly after reaching a monetary settlement with the University.

The Other Side of the Frontier

The Other Side of the Frontier: Aboriginal Resistance to the European invasion of Australia is a history book published in 1981 by Australian historian Henry Reynolds. It is a study of Aboriginal Australian resistance to the British settlement, or invasion, of Australia from 1788 onwards.

The book constituted the first comprehensive research on this topic, and had a profound impact on Australian historiography. The University of New South Wales Press, which published the book, said it "profoundly changed the way in which we understand the history of relations between indigenous Australians and European settlers. It has since become a classic of Australian history." Robert Manne described it as "an important landmark", while Professor Cassandra Pybus of the University of Sydney wrote of the book that "no one could doubt the magnitude of Henry Reynold's achievement in profoundly changing the way we understand our past".It has also been seen, retroactively, as one of the starting points of the "History Wars", an ongoing academic, political and public debate regarding perceptions and presentations of Australian history.Reviewing it for the Aboriginal Law Bulletin, John Terry wrote:

Reynolds' book presents important concepts in Australian history. It is an appreciation that the convicts, squatters, explorers, diggers, ticket-of-leave men and the like did not step onto a continent that was barren and uninhabited, but into a rich and complex world of another people who resisted the invasion, fought for their land, struggled to survive - and who continue to struggle for due recognition. These ideas have been familiar for some time of course, and attempts have been made to document them, but this is the first serious production by a competent historian.

In 1982, the book was awarded the Ernest Scott Historical Prize.

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