Image of Tasmaina Aborigines at a coorobory by John Glover.

Broken Spear

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Black Tom Birch was the most feared and hated man in Van Diemen's Land. For four years he kept the colony in a state of terror. He was responsible for the deaths of dozens of settlers. He burnt their buildings and destroyed their livestock and crops. Newspapers raged against him. One demanded he be lynched on capture.

Although he was three times in British custody, Black Tom Birch was never tried or punished. Instead, he defected, and history tells us that for the rest of his life he helped the British round up his own people for incarceration on a Bass Strait island. But history is wrong.

Now, for the first time, the epic truth is told about this charismatic Aboriginal patriot and his unending fight against invasion. It is a heroic story - and a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.